446E.419/6–1952: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1


377. 1. FYI Embtel 58152 considered prior drafting Deptel 43.3 Fully prepared accept BOT statement re situation that date, but nevertheless deeply concerned by possibility reports recd here may be borne out by subsequent request for license. We read urtel 5815 as indicating possibility license cld be issued if application filed. Quantities mentioned both reports recd here from different sources were identical; recognize possibility may have derived from same source originally.

2. FYI our concern based on following considerations: Despite repeated objection to GOC by US, Ceylon has exported substantial quantities of rubber to China since fall 1951. Objection based China’s use rubber in aggression against UN. US stopped aid and refuses export licenses sulphur and other commodities directly related rubber production. Attempt being made achieve change Ceylon’s present policy. Fungus attacked Ceylon’s rubber trees causing rubber growers pressure GOC stop shipments China order obtain badly needed sulphur. Present US effort on verge success. Vital that policy not be jeopardized by inadvertent or uncoordinated UK action. Ceylon cabinet minister due Wash July 17 discussions inter alia rubber. Cooperation France this subject obtained 100% (ref Deptel 7548 and Paris 8139).4 UK shipments now wld undermine US position and have serious repercussions public and congressional opinion here.

3. In light above request Emb advice re procedure most likely avoid undesirable consequences which wld follow from shipment by UK.

  1. This telegram, repeated to Colombo as telegram 22, was drafted by Carlton L. Wood, Director of the Far Eastern Division, Department of Commerce.
  2. Telegram 5815 from London, June 19, 1952, reported that the London Board of Trade had stated that it had received no applications for the export of sulphur to Ceylon and hence had issued none (446E.419/6–1952).
  3. After receiving telegram 5815 (footnote 2 above), the Department in telegram 43 had asked the Embassy in London to investigate reports that British authorities had permitted the shipment of 500 tons of dusting sulphur to Ceylon (446E.819/7–252).
  4. See telegram 7548, June 24, p. 1521.