The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Colombia (Braden)
270. From Feis.70 Finletter on the 22d wrote you a personal letter70a giving in detail the Colombian platinum and silk situation. You may find the information contained therein is sufficient to enable you to work out a solution for the matter as presented in your 369, August 24. Would you kindly cable an estimate of the quantity of silk that Colombia on the basis of ordinary consumption would need to carry it through an adjustment period of some 3 months at the end of which it should be possible for the mills to utilize other materials making adjustments similar to those faced by the silk and hosiery mills of the United States. No promise can be held out that even a very small amount of silk can be procured for Colombia in the light of the fact that practically none is being made available for civilian use in the United States; however, on receipt of estimates of the quantities needed, fresh consideration could possibly be obtained in the matter in the light of our very real wish that none of the platinum go to destinations other than this country.[Page 50]
Should the mills be able to use rayon, which probably will turn out to be the main material used in the replacement of silk in the United States, it might well be easier to obtain rayon supplies for Colombia. The Department is willing to make every effort to try to see that Colombian mills receive the same consideration as regards rayon supply as the mills in the United States producing for civilian use.
In estimating the amount of silk needed to carry the mills for 3 months, you should of course deduct any stocks which are now on hand in Colombia, separately reporting the same to the Department.
Since dictating the above your 372 received.71 On receipt of estimates requested Department will do its very best as regards silk. [Feis.]