824.6363 St2/249

Mr. E. Holman of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey to the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

My Dear Mr. Welles: With reference to your letter of March 18, 19384 and Mr. Palmer’s telephone conversations with Mr. Duggan on March 21, 1938, we may advise that the Standard Oil Company of Bolivia filed suit before the presently existing Supreme Court of Bolivia at Sucre at two p.m. March 21, 1938.

On the morning of March 23, 1938 our representative, Mr. H. A. Metzger, delivered personally to the Minister of Foreign Affairs at his office in La Paz a letter dated March 22, 1938 written on the letterhead of the Standard Oil Company of Bolivia, copy of which is attached together with an English translation. Mr. Metzger was accompanied only by Mr. Franco, the local manager of the Company. The Minister read the letter in their presence and his reaction, as reported by Mr. Metzger, seemed to be one of understanding.

We deeply appreciate your continued active interest in this matter which has had and is having such a serious bearing on the security of American investments generally in Latin America.

Respectfully yours,

E. Holman
[Page 325]

The Standard Oil Company of Bolivia to the Bolivian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Diez de Medina)

Mr. Minister: Although a matter not directly connected with the Ministry under your most able direction, the Standard Oil Company of Bolivia takes the liberty of informing you that it considers it has a right to make respectful though formal protest against the denial of international justice resulting from the following facts brought about by the Supreme Government:

Cancelation of the contract between the Supreme Government and the Company with the subsequent confiscation of the properties of the latter by Governmental Resolution without previous judicial process.
The unprecedented action of having reduced, also by Executive order, the period of the statute of limitations, which in this case was 30 years under the Civil Code and which could be modified only by the Legislative Power in accordance with the Constitution in effect, to an arbitrary term of 90 days, later extended for 60 days—a term of 150 days that expires today.
The unconstitutional and irregular organization of the present Supreme Court, also by a decree of the Executive who should not intervene in the matter, by which the previous court constitutionally established was suppressed.

Notwithstanding the three points above mentioned, the Standard Oil Company of Bolivia, although under protest, is filing suit before the Supreme Court of Justice in order that it may not be alleged that the Company has not exhausted all local remedies.

Taking this opportunity [etc.]

Standard Oil Company of Bolivia
H. A. Metzger

Representative in Bolivia
  1. Not printed.