The Secretary of State to Diplomatic and Consular Officers in the American Republics

The Secretary of State refers to the Department’s circular airgram of February 17, 1948, 8:40 a. m.1 and to an article entitled “Current and Prospective World-Wide Petroleum Situation” which was published in the Department of State Bulletin dated March 28, 1948, (Vol. XVIII, No. 456, pages 426 and 427).

In view of the continuing importance of the world petroleum situation, it is desired to emphasize, in connection with the statements cited above, two points which will be of value to American diplomatic and consular officers in any discussions which they may have at their posts regarding the petroleum situation:

On March 8, 1948, the United States representative to the Inter-American Economic and Social Council presented to the Council, at a plenary session, the statement published in the Department of State Bulletin of March 28, 1948, cited above. As all the American republics are represented on the Council, the presentation of the United States statement to that body may properly be considered as its presentation to the governments of all the American republics.
Many countries depend largely on imports to satisfy the needs of their domestic civilian economy, as well as to satisfy the requirements of their military establishments, whether ground, air or naval. Should world production decline or should important sources of petroleum now available to world trade be cut off, the repercussions in these countries would be serious, notwithstanding the best efforts of the United States to attempt to meet their minimum needs. Accordingly, the problem of stimulating new petroleum production in the Western Hemisphere is a matter which is considered to be of great and direct interest to all the American republics and not solely to those countries where important deposits are believed to exist.

  1. Not printed.