846E.2317/3–1252: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Ceylon1


339. Re Embtel 446 Jan 30, sent Bangkok 42 and Embtel Feb 21, sent Dept 478 Bangkok 5.3

Dept concerned rice procurement difficulty Ceylon as evidenced by aid given in diversion to Ceylon of Southeast Asia rice destined Jap and switch procurement by US Army for Korea from Southeast Asia to US. However, see no feasible basis for US approach Thailand Govt now particularly in absence internatl allocation, for increase declared availabilities and portion earmarked Ceylon. Thailand policy reduce scale its allocations appears applied generally across board. Presume that when later in year becomes evident export availabilities exceed 1,100,000 tons figure now used for allocation purposes, allocations will be increased. Unless Emb perceives objections pls inform GOC along lines foregoing.

FYI only. Dept considers US intercession with Thailand Govt might react to disadvantage GOC. Emb Bangkok believes present small export allocation in spite of current crop optimism reflects unwillingness Thailand commit itself over the year on prices on rising market. Also Thailand Govt worried “possibility sterling devaluation.” Thailand expected emphasize greatest possible sales for dols. This connection desire your comments on final para Rangoon tel Jan 254 pouched Colombo.

Difficult assess possible further availability from US. Prelim calculations indicate relatively small availability US during current rice year for Far East beyond shipments and commitments already made and normal requirements for market Western Hemisphere. GOC can explore with private trade possibility procurement rice US. No US export controls on rice presently in force. Whether rice cld be procured US after April doubtful. Dept agrees Embtel 503 March 75 not [Page 1514] appropriate US Govt provide financing this purpose GOC this time. If GOC concerned re dol position, GOC understands means open to GOC improve situation. Bangkok airpouch to Rangoon this tel and Colombo tel 4.

  1. This telegram was repeated for information to Bangkok as telegram 1904.
  2. Ante, p. 1504.
  3. Not printed.
  4. This referred to the last paragraph of Rangoon telegram 727, Jan. 25, 1952, which stated as follows: “Thai Chargé told me understood Ceylon offering dollars for additional Burmese rice. Not confirmed. UK Emb lacks info.” (790B.00 (W)/1–2552)
  5. Supra.