493.46E9/9–1251: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Ceylon 1


104. Re previous on export Ceylonese rubber to Commie Chi.

Colombo: Do not act on fol before Sep 15, allow time UK Govt approach GOC if willing do so, unless Mickiewicz’s departure matter of hours, indicating you shld act without delay.

London: Inform FonOff urgently of fol proposed action and suggest UK Govt may desire instruct UKHC Colombo urgently impress on GOC US attitude this matter and endeavor persuade GOC agree stop this and future rubber shipments to Commie Chi without necessity approach by Satterthwaite along lines set forth this tel, and without necessarily referring to specific US action which wld follow GOC’s refusal coop in Mickiewicz case. Urgency arises from prospective departure Mickiewicz from Ceylon for Commie Chi about Sep 19 if not sooner.

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Fol msg for Colombo: Embtel 162 Sep 12,2 FYI Mickiewicz case greatly increases Dept’s anxiety over consequences failure Ceylon cooperate UN strategic embargo against Chi Commies. Mickiewicz shipment wld be first large overt breach of embargo on rubber and might result in reversal Indo compliance, thus initiating chain defections which wld finally destroy effectiveness whole program.

Emb aware that action reported Deptel 102 Sep 11 and last para Deptel 78 Aug 233 do not refer to allocation but to procurement assistance Ceylon within third quarter global sulphur quota. Commerce has been extremely coop in giving this procurement assistance and now in securing brief delay action by US firm. At Dept request, Commerce postponed assistance until latest possible time. In order give opportunity license other valid applications before Sep 30, firm must be given definite ans on Ceylon sulphur by Sep 20. If by Sep 20, GOC can give no assurance halt rubber shipments, license can not be granted.

In view of above, and in event UKHC has not recd satis assurance, Dept desires you approach GOC and indicate that US assistance and licensing sulphur for Ceylon will be impossible if Ceylon rubber moves to Commie Chi. Sulphur contributes to production rubber which goes to enemies actively engaged in aggression defined by UN. US people cld not understand Ceylon action or US sulphur assistance. US has gone to great lengths make sulphur available in view our friendly relations and GOC friendly reception points made previously by Emb, which led to hope that GOC wld come to concrete and full support UN and free world position as it did so ably at Jap Treaty Conference. Other natural rubber suppliers also desire higher price available outside free world but have refused in favor ultimate benefit of united action.

In discussion, you may wish raise fol additional points.

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Sizeable majority UN members applying embargo accordance UNGA res, as are several non-members incl Ger Fed Rep, Italy, Jap and Spain. UNGA called on all states, not members only, take such action. While US gratified at GOC’s coop at Jap treaty conf, is it not incumbent upon GOC, seeking admission to UN, accept share of responsibility and burden of UN’s present struggle against aggression?

You may also emphasize to PriMin important assistance to enemies of UN and US represented by Mickiewicz shipment, and any others which might fol, cld not fail arouse deep resentment US Cong and public.

You may impress upon PriMin GOC has real and obvious stake in joint efforts deter or suppress aggression before stage reached at which GOC might find itself immed prospective victim. Inconceivable that GOC cannot see own self interest in combatting aggression before it gains even greater scope and momentum.

Above all, movement Ceylon rubber to Commie area will make it impossible grant now Ceylon exception under Kem Amendment or Battle Bill.

For manifest friendly reasons, US is making no public announcement present delay licensing sulphur shipment and trusts appropriate GOC action re Mickiewicz will allow sulphur proceed soon as possible.

Above will be brought attn Ceylon Emb Wash if UKHC efforts fruitless.

  1. Repeated to London as telegram 1482 priority and to Djakarta as 322 for information.
  2. Telegram 162 from Colombo, September 12 (493.46E9/9–1251) expressed concern over a report from the Department of Commerce contained in telegram 102 to Colombo, September 11 (446E.119/9–1151), that 1,200 tons of refined sulphur were being supplied to Ceylon by a U.S. firm. Telegram 162 commented in part as follows: “With full cargo rubber actually being loaded Colombo for Commie Chi it would in my opinion constitute serious policy error allocate sulphur GOC at this time in spite Emb’s previous recommendations. I, therefore, urge you endeavor postpone or suspend action due complete change in situation caused by failure GOC prevent shipment to Commie Chi in spite our rptd warnings.”
  3. Telegram 78 to Colombo, August 23, was mainly concerned with the political situation in Ceylon. The last paragraph read as follows: “While not directly related foregoing, FYI Ceylon Emb urging assistance obtain refined sulphur for rubber industry. Sulphur extremely tight and many important users coop UN embargo not getting essential amts. Therefore difficult US Govt justify assistance in procuring sulphur for Ceylon when rubber for which used might find its way to enemy. Public opinion wld react violently such assistance. If you believe helpful ur informal conversations Ceylon officials you may wish refer obliquely this difficulty.” (746E.5/8–951)