135. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1

1366. For Henderson. Herewith Department comments on questions Embtel 1078.2

Nothing can be said at this time.
Advising shipowners not pay canal tolls into unblocked account would be inconsistent with existing general license. However such license could be amended to require that such payments be made into blocked account.
Suppliers most likely to furnish crude could refrain from supplying, and probably would if U.S. Government asked them. No guarantee could be given that some U.S. firm would not however supply if it chose to do so, unless such sales were prohibited by new U.S. Treasury regulations.
No technical or legal difficulties.
Figures contained in paper with Bliss, but may be summarized as follows: Total—$78.5 million of which: machinery and vehicles 27.7; relief goods (mostly food) 21.3; tobacco 6.3; chemicals and pharmaceuticals 4.9; foodstuffs 3.6; non-metallic minerals 3.3; metals and manufactures 3.2; other 8.2. Breakdown of figure for machinery and vehicles is: industrial machinery $11.9 million; autos, trucks and parts 11.0; electrical machinery 2.5; tractors and parts 1.5; other machinery 0.8.
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Department would consider any comprehensive program of sanctions inadvisable at this time, and would think it unprofitable to seek definition now of kind of contingency in which a comprehensive program of sanctions would be desirable. It is also highly important to consider whether a sanctions program would gain enough support to be genuinely effective. Sanctions invoked by two or three countries, such as U.S., U.K., France would probably be ineffective and hence counterproductive.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/8–2556. Secret; Priority. Drafted and approved by Armstrong; cleared by Roberts (NE), Mathews (S/P), Nehmer (IRD), Carre (FN), Beckner (FSD), and Maurer (L/E); and signed by Armstrong for Dulles.
  2. Document 133.
  3. In telegram 1138 from London, August 29, Henderson reported that Bliss had presented the U.S. position outlined in telegram 1366 to the tripartite working group. (Department of State, Central Files, 974.7301/8–2956) A note of this tripartite meeting, presumably prepared by the British Foreign Office, is ibid., Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 766.