The Secretary of State to the Secretary of Commerce (Hoover)

Sir: The Department has received a telegram from the American Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at Caracas, referring to a confidential communication dated January 12, 1928, sent by the Transportation Division of the Department of Commerce to its Caracas office on the subject of air line concessions in Venezuela and inquiring whether the Legation should institute inquiries with a view to obtaining the Venezuelan Government’s attitude towards the proposed air line.

It appears from the Department’s information that the American interests concerned have not themselves taken up this matter with the Venezuelan Government, and are relying upon representatives of the United States in Venezuela to take the initial steps.

The Department of State expects its representatives abroad to render all proper assistance and support to responsible American interests in their legitimate activities abroad. It is, however, the practice of this Department to avoid having the representatives of this Government abroad initiate or conduct private business negotiations with foreign governments on behalf of private American interests.

In view of the above considerations, this Department, after careful consideration, feels, in the light of the information at hand, that it is not in a position to instruct the American Legation at Caracas to take up this subject with the Venezuelan Government, [Page 828]and has instructed the Legation to that effect. The Legation, however, will of course give all proper assistance to a representative of the American interests in question.

I have [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Francis White

Assistant Secretary