The Secretary of State to the Paraguayan Minister (Gondra)
Sir: Referring to my notes to you of February 7, 26, April 19, and March 13, 1919, in regard to the Asunción Port Concession held by the Construction and Engineering Finance Company, I have the honor to inquire whether your Government is in a position to reply to the notes on this subject which have been addressed to you. In this connection I may state that since the notes mentioned were written and since your personal interview with this Department,15 my Government has made a further examination of the Asunción Port Concession which has confirmed its earlier conclusion as to the innate justice of the request of this Government that the President’s decree of February 21, 1918, be withdrawn or modified. In your interview with this Department you expressed an apprehension that the port enterprise would not be an enterprise backed by capital and management in the United States, but would be transferred to citizens of other countries. The Construction and Engineering Finance Company has now given my government satisfactory assurances on this point which is, as you must be aware, of interest to my Government as well as to your own. My Government also entertains the view that should the President of Paraguay [Page 338] concur in the views of this Government and reinstate the concession without reservation, this act would not only redound to the prosperity of the Port of Asuncion and the general economic well-being of Paraguay, but it will accord with the high principles of justice and fair dealing which Paraguay has always maintained in its relations with foreign countries.
I would be pleased if you could advise me promptly whether the President of Paraguay cannot possibly, upon further consideration, find some means of complying with the request contained in this Government’s note of February 7, 1919, in view of the fact that the American interests concerned are seriously and adversely affected by the cloud which has been cast upon their concession by the decree of February 21, 1918.17