851.61311/5–1948: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France

us urgent
most immediate

1742. Urtel 2645 May 19.1 US prepared ship within first ten days July, possibly within first week, three additional cargoes wheat to enable [Page 635] French increase ration to 250 grams first June. Shipments will be in form three cargoes wheat totalling 27,000 tons or two cargoes wheat and one flour accounting for 30,000 tons wheat equivalent. These cargoes should therefore arrive France by July 25 as specified. Planned scheduling June allocation as follows (figures in cargoes): First week June, 3 wheat, 2 flour; June 11–17, 3 wheat, 1 flour; June 21–24, 4 wheat; total 10 wheat, 3 flour, accounting for 128,000 tons. This should all arrive France before July 15.

Please inform Monnet and Durand2 and keep Dept closely advised of developments.3 Assumed announcement when made will appropriately reflect role US and ERP. As VOUSA will wish pick up announcement immediately, please cable Dept as soon in advance as possible and in any event furnish 24 hr notice exact time announcement.

Keep Dept supplied subsequent French press comments suitable for radio use. Dept considers ability French” raise bread ration so soon after passage ERP and before harvest concrete evidence international economic cooperation and splendid augury success ERP which will not be lost on peoples France and Europe. Dept commends Reagan and Thibodeaux for important part they played in negotiations.

  1. Not printed; it included a statement that the French Government was willing to accept the risk of possible delay in delivery of 25,000 tons of wheat because of “paramount importance politically in helping counteract threat by General Confederation of Labor to demand 20% wage increase on 1 June.” (851.61311/5–1948)
  2. André Durand, Director of the French National Cereals Board.
  3. In telegram 2712, May 21, 7 p. m., Caffery reported that Schuman received the news “with enthusiasm” and said: “This will solve many problems. It could not be more opportune. Will you say to your government that I am enthusiastically appreciative and I thank them cordially.” (851.61311/5–2148)