File No. 763.72119/27

The Minister in Venezuela (McGoodwin) to the Secretary of State

No. 288]

Sir: I have the honor to report that Dr. Manuel Diaz Rodriguez, Minister for Foreign Affairs, discussed with me in his office this morning the attitude of Great Britain with reference to the war now raging in Europe. He criticized the alleged determination of the British Government to prolong the conflict, declaring that such action works a much greater hardship upon Venezuela and all other South American countries proportionately than upon the Allies themselves. Dr. Diaz Rodriguez explained the purpose of his conversation as due to an earnest desire that the United States make another offer of its good offices to the nations at war and he gave me the impression that he may approach the other countries of South America with a view to making a joint appeal to Germany, representing that reasonable concessions should be made to the Allies as partial compensation for retention of that country’s commerce on this continent. It seems quite probable that there have been communications between the Venezuelan Foreign Office and most of the other South American Governments with some such purpose in view, but it is not yet clear whether an appeal will be made to all nations. I think the idea contemplates individual appeals—Peru to England, Venezuela to Germany, etc., the appellants addressing in each instance the European Government with which it has maintained the most extensive commercial relations or the most cordial, as the case may be. At all events, the antipathy to England for the reason given above is quite significant and it is most bitter in so far as this Government is concerned.

I have [etc.]

Preston McGoodwin