Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Roy Veatch of the Office of the Adviser on International Economic Affairs

Participants: Señor Guachalla, Minister of Bolivia.
Mr. Donovan.
Mr. Veatch.

When Señor Guachalla called at the Department August 20, he mentioned the fact that he had some further instructions from his Government regarding supply of tin concentrates to the United States in connection with a smelting enterprise here. Since Mr. Veatch was not available at that time, he had not gone into detail and Mr. Veatch and Mr. Donovan suggested today therefore that he might wish to come to the Department and give them whatever further information he had received.

Señor Guachalla said that he had received a long letter from the Minister of Finance indicating that the Bolivian Government would wish to enter into a contract to supply all Bolivian concentrates other than the Patiño concentrates to the United States, stressing the fact that the thousand tons of tin in concentrates suggested by this Government should be considered as a minimum amount only, with the idea that maximum amounts would run up to 1700 tons or more. He said that the Minister of Finance had indicated that Patiño concentrates would not be available since the Patiño organization has entered into a contract with the British Government including an arrangement with the Bank of England providing for payment of two-thirds of the value of the concentrates in metallic gold, the rest to be paid in sterling. Señor Guachalla understands that Aramayo19 has no contract for the delivery of concentrates to British smelters but that Hochschild has a contract covering the delivery of high grade concentrates to Williams Harvey and Company; this contract probably runs through December of this year.

Señor Guachalla said that he was informed that Mauricio Hochschild arrived early this week by plane from La Paz and that Señor Aramayo is coming by plane next week. Arrangements have also been made by the Bolivian Government to send a representative of the Banco Minero to represent the Government interests in the negotiations in Washington. Señor Guachalla understood that this representative would be coming by boat, leaving Chile next week and he expressed the opinion that he probably would arrive here too late to be of much value to his Government. He said therefore that he would [Page 534] suggest that this representative come by plane if, in the opinion of the Department of State, this would be desirable. Mr. Donovan and Mr. Veatch agreed that such action would be desirable.

In reply to a direct inquiry, Señor Guachalla said that he was certain that his Government would wish to sell Bolivian concentrates (other than Patiño concentrates) to this country irrespective of the establishment of a tin smelter although his Government would of course hope that a smelting industry could be set up in the United States.

Señor Guachalla was then asked whether it was his idea that a contract for the delivery of certain amounts of Bolivian concentrates to this Government or to private smelters here should be negotiated with the producers in Bolivia or directly with the Government. He said that he was strongly of the opinion that the Bolivian Government should sign the contract and that it in turn should then allocate to the various producers (other than Patiño) their share of the concentrates to be delivered to the United States, each producer making all arrangements for his own shipments under that contract and probably receiving payment directly. He said that he had made a recommendation along these lines to his Government and that he had received word that the recommendation was approved.

  1. Carlos Victor Aramayo, owner of large tin mining properties in Bolivia.