The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Bolivia (Cottrell)
15. Your despatch 663, March 18,7 and previous. Bolivian memorandum7 does not sufficiently meet Department’s contentions as outlined in Department’s 2, January 3. If you see no objection, you are instructed to present the following note to the proper Bolivian official, reinforcing it with such oral representations as you believe will be most effective:
“Under instructions from my Government I have the honor to refer to Your Excellency’s recent memorandum in reply to my communication of Blank concerning the granting by the Bolivian Government of certain petroleum concessions which contain provisions constituting a discrimination in favor of European interests and against American interests.
My Government has noted the statement of the Bolivian Government that the execution of the provisions of the treaty of 1858 is subject to regulation by the law of the respective countries, but cannot believe that it was the intent of this treaty that either party should be free to adopt measures which expressly place the citizens of European or other nations in a more favorable position than American citizens in matters such as that now under consideration. My Government is not unmindful of the concessions that have been granted in the past by the Bolivian Government to American interests. The Government of the United States, however, makes no discrimination against Bolivian commerce or other Bolivian interests and feels that Bolivia should not maintain clauses which constitute direct discrimination against American interests and which tend to exclude such interests from participation in the further development of the natural resources of Bolivia.
My Government is gratified to note the view of the Bolivian Government that the clauses in question have no general character and may be modified or suppressed as convenience may dictate. It is, therefore, my Government’s hope that the Bolivian Government may take early action to modify or suppress the provisions in question to [Page 567] the end that American interests may have equal opportunity with any other foreign nationals to participate in that development.
Telegraph result of your representations.