846E.2395/6–1451: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Ceylon 1

secret

452. Embtel 572 May 23 and 619 June 14.2 FYI only. Gen Wilson3 now in Asia and has negotiated with Thailand4 a rubber contract [Page 2028]covering eighteen months which subject some revisions. Dept is requesting Gen Services Admin consider he be sent Ceylon discuss what kind of contract cld be negotiated with Ceylon. Gen Services Admin tentatively indicates possible interest purchase of 4 or 5,000 tons a month from Ceylon for a short period. Dept recognizes this wld not be completely satis Ceylon since involves relatively short-term arrangement and further all purchases wld be at or near market price at time delivery. However, shld help Ceylon by absorbing some excess stocks and help stabilize market.

Request Emb comments for Dept only re acceptability this type contract.

This tel for Dept distribution only. Pls mark reply same.5

Acheson
  1. Repeated for information to London as telegram 5920.
  2. Telegram 619 from Colombo, June 14, read as follows: “Wld greatly appreciate early reply my 572 May 23 re possibility US–Ceylon Rubber Agreement as failure receive courteous and early reply, even if negative, to request from Ceylon’s highest authority, wld naturally cause me considerable embarrassment.” (846E.2395/6–1451)
  3. Brig. Gen. Thomas B. Wilson, U.S.A.R., Special Consultant to the Administrator, General Services Administration.
  4. For related documentation, see pp. 1594 ff.
  5. In telegram 637 from Colombo, June 18, the Embassy replied in part as follows: “Emb considers re Deptel 452, June 15 that: (1) Any step is valuable that might convince Ceylon US not unmindful of local rubber problem; (2) It is desirable Wilson visit Ceylon for discussion with Emb officials but with authority negotiate rubber contract. Arrival shld be unpublicized and as inconspicuous as possible.” (846E.2395/6–1851)