811.6354/658: Telegram

The Minister in Bolivia ( Jenkins ) to the Secretary of State

67. Minister of Finance17 this afternoon informed me he had instructed Bolivian Minister in Washington by air mail as follows in regard to tin proposals: 1, That Bolivia would guarantee supply of minimum of 1000 tons fine a month if, 2, agreement were reached for a period of years and, 3, a fixed price for entire period could be agreed upon.

In the course of the conversation it developed that what the Bolivian Government apparently desires is a contract for at least 5 but preferably 20 years at fixed price of 45 cents a pound f. o. b. Bolivian railroad for entire Bolivian production of about 3000 tons fine a month. He said producers other than Patiño were in accord with his suggestions and that while he did not know opinion of latter he thought Patiño would undoubtedly agree to program. He added that he had instructed Bolivian Minister in Washington to keep in close touch with Patiño and Van den Broek.

The Minister said it was immaterial to Bolivia who did smelting, that being question for American Government. He does not oppose use of ore from Netherlands Indies or other sources and expressed belief that it might even be of assistance as tending to keep tin pool from breaking up.

Price suggested by Minister seems high as mine operators have mentioned 43 cents to me and would probably be willing to accept less giving present return to them for tin sold in England as about 40 cents.

Hochschild18 left by plane for Washington today. He claimed in conversation with me to carry representation of other non-Patiño miners but they deny this although he appears to have been converted at last minute to fixed price, long term project after at first opposing it. From conversations here with officials and mine operators I feel that they place less confidence in Hochschild than in Patiño who is furthermore a more important factor if an extensive program is contemplated.

Full report by air mail.

  1. Edmundo Vázquez.
  2. Mauricio Hochschild, owner of large tin mining properties in Bolivia.