The Ambassador in Ceylon (Satterthwaite) to the Secretary of State
167. Acting UKHC Metcalf saw PriMin this morning on instructions from CRO as result Deptel 104, Sept 13. He reports results Ms discussion entirely negative.
PriMin told Metcalf he wld do nothing prevent shipment going forward on Mickiewicz or any other ship arriving to lift rubber for Commie China. On other hand he wld do nothing encourage further sales. PriMin apparently spoke with considerable emotion of injustice he considers Ceylon suffered from UK and US war and postwar rubber policies and said that if US was unwilling protect Ceylon’s rubber industry under present circumstances in which US making all-out military effort then certainly Ceylon cld expect no help under less favorable circumstances. Metcalf argued strongly against these points without moving PriMin.[Page 2051]
From Metcalf’s report of conversation it is obvious PriMin is considering solely economic aspects of problem and possible effects on local political situation. He showed no indication of comprehension of or sympathy toward broader moral issues involved.
PriMin left shortly after his conversation with Metcalf for weekend trip and will not return to office until 18th. I shall, however, endeavor make representations contained Deptel 104 to him before then if there is any likelihood Mickiewicz sailing in meantime. This seems unlikely but is possible as indicated today’s Embtel 168.1
In order strengthen my representations I suggest Dept discuss matter not only with Amb Corea but also with MinFin Jayewardene.
Dept pass London, Djakarta. Sent Dept 167, rptd info London 62, Djakarta 15.
- Telegram 168 from Colombo, September 15, not printed, indicated that the Mickiewicz might sail from Colombo sooner than expected because of a possible lack of credits sufficient to cover the entire quantity of rubber (493.46E9/9–1551).↩