825.5151/356: Telegram

The Ambassador in Chile ( Philip ) to the Secretary of State

103. The International Exchange Control Commission publishes announcement today of which the following is the principal part: from October 1st the Commission will authorize the importation of luxury articles or those not absolutely indispensable, such as automobiles, radios, films et cetera solely from exchange created by the gold production of Chile. Such importations will require as usual prior authorization from the Commission. The importation of automobiles and radios from each country will be subjected to quotas.

It is understood that gold exchange rates will be arbitrarily set by the Government, for the stated purpose of providing means of increasing wages of the gold washers, but no information is yet available as to these rates. The Embassy assumes that the rate will be around 30 pesos to the dollar.

No authoritative information as to quotas as would be available but Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that it is proposed to limit importation [Page 357] of passenger cars and trucks to a total of 1800 units, of which 1530 units will be assigned to the United States, 180 to Germany, and 60 to France. Amount of exchange to become available for radios not yet computed.

Hope to forward additional information shortly. Please advise Commerce.

Philip