336. Telegram 6242 From the Embassy in Afghanistan to the Department of State1 2

[Page 1]


  • PL–480 Wheat, Title I


  • State 142801
Mohseni, Chief, Economic Section RGA, MFA, Oct. 6, asked EmbOff status Washington deliberations on Afghan request for 100,000 mt wheat under PL–480, Title I. Mohseni said that he had cable from Ambassador Malikyar reporting his call at Department and MFA wondering when we would begin negotiations. Malikyar reported USG could not rpt not supply full tonnage requested due budgetary restrictions but thought 60,000 mt’s would be possisle. Report added USG willing consider remaining amount in next fiscal year.
In the ensuing dicussion, it evolved that MFA had not rpt not given consideration to necessity for sufficient lead time to assure Kabul deliveries in March/April. As result this discussion, Embassy and USAID/A would appreciate guidance about date on which we could expect to receive negotiating instructions.
EMB/AID believe early conclusion PL–480 agreement would have salutary effect on wheat and flour prices which have risen precipitously over levels of year ago. Price increases in three grades of wheat as of Oct 1 compared with same date 1969 [Page 2] were 64 percent, 81 percent and 110 percent: those of wheat flour, 70 percent and 75 percent. RGA has successfully sought stem price rises by releasing wheat from food department’s stocks: however our best guesstimate available stocks not rpt not more than 100,000 mt.
EMB/AID question efficacy of idea, which conveyed to us through official informal channels and which RGA now rpt now aware that RGA request be split 60,000 mt FY 71 and 40,000 mt FY 72, to meet budgetary limitations. We believe that need for full 100,000 mt in FY 1971 fully documented and supported by available data. If absolutely impossible to provide full amount do not rpt not judge it wise to tie shortfall to possible subsequent fiscal year requirements. If RGA requests PL–480 food grains for delivery in fiscal 1972, such request should be considered in terms of requirements and conditions obtaining at that time. It may very well be that shortfall from requested tonnage for fiscal 1971 delivery would be one of such conditions. But let’s not rpt not put ourselves in positions of committing something for next year on basis this year’s need.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, AID(US) 15–8 AFG. Limited Official Use. Sent as a joint Embassy/AID message. On October 24, the Department authorized the Embassy to negotiate an agreement for 50,000 metric tons of wheat. Budgetary limitations precluded an agreement for the full amount requested. (AID airgram 2370 to Kabul; ibid.) The PL–480 agreement was signed in Kabul on March 27, 1971. (Telegram 2125 from Kabul, March 27; ibid.) The text of the agreement was transmitted to the Department on March 31 in airgram A-33. (Ibid.)
  2. The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs inquired about the status of the request for 100,000 tons of PL–480 wheat.