800.6359/2–2449: Telegram

The Administrator of the Economic Cooperation Administration (Hoffman) to the Special Representative, Paris (Harriman)1

top secret

Torep 3403. To Hughes2 from Just.3 Several communications from ECA missions concerning raw materials for atomic energy have come to the attention of the Strategic Materials Division. They have raised the question of what the role of ECA should be with respect to certain atomic energy materials. This subject has been discussed with the Department of State and the conclusions cleared with the Atomic Energy Commission. The following instructions have been prepared:

The “atomic energy raw materials” include thorium, uranium, beryllium, and all their ores. The ECA missions should follow a different course with respect to beryl from the one followed for the other two elements and their ores.

In connection with uranium and thorium and their ores, please observe the following:

1)
Although it is not a responsibility of the ECA missions to seek information on, or to investigate, these materials, it is very important and desirable that information on these materials which is acquired [Page 435]in the normal course of work or which may be obtained discreetly be reported to Washington.
2)
Such information as is acquired should be handed to the local embassy for transmission to the Department of State in Washington rather than being sent to ECA–Washington by the ECA mission through the usual channels.
3)
If, after study of the information in Washington, the Department of State and Atomic Energy Commission decide that ECA 5% counterpart funds could be employed to advantage, or that it is desirable that ECA strategic materials specialists undertake specific investigations in the field, or that any other steps should be taken by ECA such steps will be planned here in Washington and specific instructions will be issued from Washington. Any ECA activity on these materials should be undertaken only upon specific instructions from Department of State and should be conducted in such a way as to permit no external evidence of ECA’s activity.

In connection with beryl please observe the following:

Although beryllium materials have some usefulness for atomic energy purposes, they also have other applications which is the basis for the inclusion of beryl in the list of strategic materials, and we recommend that you proceed to obtain information and investigate procurement and development possibilities on beryl in the manner common to other strategic materials, reporting from the ECA mission to ECA–Washington through the usual channels instead of as described above for uranium and thorium, and proceeding on your own initiative and judgment in the field. If word of unusually large transactions in any of these materials comes to your notice, please give appropriate emphasis in your reports.

This instruction supersedes a recommendation cabled to OSR early in January for consideration at the meeting in Paris on strategic materials on January 4 and 5, which requested uniform treatment of the three elements and their ores. This instruction has been cleared with Department of State and Atomic Energy Commission.

Please forward these instructions to the several country missions.

  1. This message received prior clearance from the Department of State and the United States Atomic Energy Commission. On February 24, the Department received a copy from ECA Administrator Paul G. Hoffman. (800.6359/2–2449)
  2. H. Herbert Hughes, Chief of the Strategic Materials and Non-ferrous Metals Section of the European Headquarters of the Economic Cooperation Administration, Paris.
  3. Evan Just, Director of the Strategic Materials Division of the Economic Cooperation Administration.