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

No. 391

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s telegram No. 36, of September 27, 6 p.m., and to report that I called on Dr. Ostria Gutiérrez at the Foreign Office yesterday morning and informed him that Captain Leroy Bartlett and Lieutenant Irving M. Parry, of the Engineer Corps of the United States Army, were expected to arrive in La Paz on October 11, to survey the Vila Vila–Santa Cruz section of the so-called Santos–Arica railway.

I took advantage of the occasion to bring up the question of the financing of the line in the event construction was considered feasible after the survey. I told the Foreign Minister that the information I had from the Department was very specific and made it entirely clear that the survey would be made without any obligation on the part of the Export-Import Bank or other agency of our Government for financing construction. The Minister said he understood this but went on to say that we had promised to “help” construct the line. He added, however, that as yet no arrangement for financing had been made, although Dr. Guachalla had discussed the matter with the Department and the sum of $6,000,000 had been mentioned tentatively.

At this point I repeated that no obligation could be assumed for financing as a result of the survey and expressed the hope that there would be no misunderstanding in this connection.

Dr. Ostria Gutiérrez looked very serious and concerned during our conversation, but I am certain I left him without any reason to misinterpret the situation.

Respectfully yours,

Douglas Jenkins