Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Walter N. Walmsley, Jr., of the Division of the American Republics

Participants: Mr. Arno Konder, Brazilian Chargé
Mr. Bonsal32
Mr. Walmsley

Dr. Konder called at 11:30, November 15, at his own request and delivered the attached memorandum, of which a translation follows, [Page 552]with the request that he be informed as soon as possible of the status of the matter discussed in order that he might suitably communicate with his Government:

“I am confidentially informed by the Bolivian Legation in this capital that, in accordance with the stipulations of the recommendation inserted under No. X in the Final Act of the Second Consultative Meeting at Habana, the Government of the United States of America would be prepared to undertake at its own cost a survey of the proposal to construct the stretch between Vila Vila and Santa Cruz of the Arica–Santos Transcontinental Railway.

“I have also confidential information that the Export-Import Bank is now examining, under institutions [instructions?] of the Government of the United States of America, the possibility of financing the work on the said stretch.

“As Your Excellency knows, the stretch has an extension of 515 kilometers, the construction of which is estimated at approximately $21,000,000.

“By the railway connection treaty which we signed in [with] Bolivia in 193833 we agreed to cooperate with that country ‘in the manner and with the guaranties that might be set forth’ in the matter of the construction of the Vila Vila to Santa Cruz stretch. This indicates in itself Brazil’s interest in seeing completed the connection of the port of Santos to the port of Arica.

“I submit the foregoing to Your Excellency in order to facilitate your discussing this matter in the Department of State and to make known our support of any initiative which the Government of the United States might wish to take to the end that the development of this work of continental interest might be advanced.”

Dr. Konder was informed that the matter would be looked into by the proper officers of the Department and that he would be given an indication of the Department’s attitude in a day or two.

  1. Philip W. Bonsal, Assistant Chief of the Division of the American Republics.
  2. Signed at Rio de Janeiro, February 25, 1938; for text and correspondence, see Bolivia, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Colección de tratados vigentes de la República de Bolivia, tomo iv, Convenciones bilaterales (A–CH), pp. 291–308.