442. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness (Lincoln)1


  • Request for Exemption to Prohibition on Sales of Excess Tin from the National Stockpile

Thank you for your memorandum of February 23, requesting my advice on whether an exemption can be made from the President’s prohibition on tin sales from the stockpile.2 Because of the economic and foreign policy significance of this matter, it is important that the President himself review this issue. I would therefore ask that the Department of State consult after UNCTAD III (April 13-May 19)3 first with producer governments and then with the International Tin Council4 to determine their reaction. OEP could include these results along with the views of the Department of State, CIEP and other appropriate agencies in a paper which would be submitted to the President on or about June 2.5

With regard to the long-range issue of our tin stockpile, the possibility of commercial sales of excess tin from the national stockpile is viewed by the tin producing states as a threat to their economies. Therefore, so long as surplus tin remains, its disposal will continue to be an irritant in our bilateral relations with these countries. With a view to removing this irritant, it would be desirable if the Office of Emergency Preparedness, in consultation with the Department of State, could explore the possibilities of devising a mechanism or mechanisms for the possible gradual release of surplus tin in a manner least likely to disrupt the world market.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 267, Office of Emergency Preparedness, Volume III 1972-1973. Confidential. A copy was sent to Under Secretary of State Irwin. Forwarded to Kissinger for his signature under cover of a March 14 memorandum from Hormats and Hewitt. (Ibid.)
  2. Document 440.
  3. For documentation on UNCTAD III, see Documents 144 ff.
  4. In their March 14 covering memorandum to Kissinger, Hormats and Hewitt pointed out that the United States was committed to consultation with the Tin Council before any release of tin from the stockpile.
  5. Not found.