846E.2395/2–1352: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Ceylon


312. Embtel 469 Feb 13.1 This tel is FYI. Corea and Gunaratna2 met with Deptreps today. Emb also questioned by reporter and replied there nothing to rumor. No further inquiries Dept.

Corea instr basis discussion today crossed his previous outgoing cable. Much discussion re price based on GOC amplification earlier proposal that price be highest obtaining any one of four markets. Impossible interpret adequately but seemed imply GOC request this be minimum and that purchases any day cld be effected by GSA buyers at higher price. If so, unacceptable GSA. Discussion inconclusive.

Corea again raised question obtaining US Govt assurances re procurement and informed conferees sympathetic GOC desire but again urged not make part of contract. Believe Corea agreeable later discussion this point. Advised also that ground work for any high level mission shld precede such possible mission.

On Battle Act, Corea asked whether only Chi or all Commie countries included frame of reference. Informed that criteria for negot for control under Battle Act now being considered but that for countries other than Chi there wld be room for negot. Informed that spirit of Battle Act intended apply all countries which might be unfriendly US and that while room for negots countries other than Chi there wld be considerable pressure for inclusion other countries in embargo. Corea understood and rested on understanding room for negots.

Corea informed contents London tel 3501 Feb 12 rptd Colombo 16.3 Expect further discussion Feb 15.

  1. Telegram 469 from Colombo, not printed, reported that Corea had been instructed to ask if the United States would assist Ceylon with procurement problems after an agreement was concluded. The Ceylon Ambassador had confided that the main intent of this proposal was to appease Commerce Minister Senanayake, who opposed an agreement. (846E.2395/2–1352)
  2. W. D. Gunaratna, Counselor of the Ceylon Embassy in Washington.
  3. Telegram 3501 from London reported that the financial editor of the Daily Telegraph advised that the USSR had bought 3,000 tons of rubber in Ceylon for shipment in February or March, a report which was confirmed by another London source (861.2395/2–1252).