The Paraguayan Minister (Estigarribia) to the Secretary of State


Excellency: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that on June 17 next I will leave by aeroplane to return to my country, where I must arrive before the end of the month because of matters related to the coming constitutional change of Government which will take place August 15 next.5 I truly regret that my stay in the United States [Page 760] must be relatively very short. The extraordinary progress of this country in all matters is a perpetual source of education for all the other new countries of our continent and we all have a great deal to learn here. But above all, the cordial hospitality and the friendly understanding which His Excellency the President of the United States as well as Your Excellency have consistently shown me have been for me a cause of satisfaction which I can never forget. They reveal to me how sincere and effective is the determination of His Excellency President Roosevelt, in close collaboration with Your Excellency, to convert into reality the policy of true cooperation and good will between the American Republics which the Government of the United States so wisely pursues. I carry to my country the most ardent admiration for the notable talents as a statesman of His Excellency the President and for the high qualities of Your Excellency.

The peaceful and successful settlement of the boundary dispute between Paraguay and Bolivia, which was agreed upon by the two parties with the assistance of the six mediatory nations at the Chaco Peace Conference,6 leaves my country free to devote itself to the constructive task of developing its natural resources. Paraguay knows from bitter experience what sacrifices and what diversion of energies from economic and social progress are imposed by war. It turns from the sword to the ploughshare with deep satisfaction, and as a result of the freely-expressed choice of the Paraguayan people. I realize, as do my fellow citizens, the magnitude of the task which faces us, but we are determined to succeed and to obtain those benefits of modern civilization which will mean happiness and prosperity to the country. The United States already has shown its desire to be of assistance through cooperation in the lending of experts on various subjects, and any further help which it now may be able to offer in the matters set forth below will strengthen and perpetuate those friendly ties which mark the cordial relations so happily existing between the two countries.


In carrying out its desire of encouraging the expansion of production of appropriate non-competitive agricultural products which will complement production in and furnish the United States with necessary and assured sources of supply, the Government of Paraguay greatly appreciates the cooperation which is being extended by the Government of the United States in the study and development of such products. My Government considers that the development of the nation’s economy and natural resources and of economic relations between Paraguay and the United States may further be stimulated by the provision of adequate transportation facilities linking the country [Page 761] with the capital and with the principal routes of communication to foreign nations. In order to make possible this extension and improvement of the transportation facilities of Paraguay and the development of other projects designed to increase the productive capacity of my country and its commerce with the United States, the Government of Paraguay requests the extension of credit facilities for the financing in the United States of equipment, materials and essential services.


The expansion of Paraguayan foreign commerce and economic relations with the United States would be further encouraged by the carrying out by the Government of Paraguay of a policy of meeting promptly commercial obligations to United States nationals and concerns and reducing seasonal and unusual fluctuations in the rate of exchange of the peso. To carry out this policy, credit in United States currency to the Banco de la Republica del Paraguay would be desirable.


Recognizing the valuable contribution which new foreign capital and technical experience may make to the development of Paraguay’s natural resources I wish to assure Your Excellency that it is the intention of the Government of Paraguay to accord every appropriate protection and security to encourage such investment by United States citizens.

Before closing, I wish to express to Your Excellency the conviction of the Paraguayan people, and my own, that with the realization of the program outlined above, there will be assured the prompt economic and financial rehabilitation of Paraguay whose progress, through the assistance of the United States, will be yet another factor in the collective security of the Continent to which all Americans aspire.

I take advantage of this opportunity to reiterate to Your Excellency the expression of my personal gratitude to His Excellency the President of the United States as well as to Your Excellency and beg [etc.]

José F. Estigarribia
  1. Mr. Estigarribia became President of Paraguay in August 1939.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. v, pp. 89 ff.