800.6354/249a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )

778. The Bolivian delegates to the International Tin Conference (Señors Antenor Patiño and Ortiz-Linares) are leaving tomorrow by clipper for London to participate in the discussions regarding the promulgation or renewal of the agreement. From correspondence between the British and Bolivian delegates which has been made available to the Department through the courtesy of the International Tin Committee, and from discussions with the Bolivian Minister here, the Department understands that the question of the future standard tonnage for Bolivia may be one of the matters at issue.

In view of (a) the fact that Bolivian production has suffered in the past from special circumstances such as the Chaco war,76 (b) the possible interruptions and danger facing tin supplies from the East, and (c) our ore buying contract with Bolivia and our plans for the construction of a tin smelter, the Department hopes that the relative standard percentage of Bolivia will not be reduced.

The Bolivian Government is suggesting to its representatives that they get in touch with the Embassy and consult with it regarding the situation as they may find it. The Embassy is requested to give the Bolivian representatives all feasible aid within the limits of its judgment, and to convey to the British and Dutch Governments our attitude as set forth above with a view towards seeing that the Bolivian percentage is maintained or if the Bolivian representatives conclude that the acceptance of some reduction is essential, that this reduction be as small as possible. Naturally, the Embassy will not assume any responsibility in the matter, but will do its best to support the Bolivian position.