800.6354/257: Telegram

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

1057. Your 1171, March 25, 6 p.m. The Department believes that the Bolivian counter-proposal conforms fairly closely with a reasonable adjustment of the new standard tonnages and it is particularly glad to learn of Clauson’s concurrence in this point of view. You are therefore requested, as suggested by Clauson, to address similar communications to the British and the Dutch Governments expressing the hope of the United States Government that the existing standard tonnage of Boliva (46,490 tons) be continued in the new agreement. This would not be far out of line with actual Bolivian performance since reports coming to the Department from the Legation at La Paz indicate that Bolivian production may reach as much as 45,000 tons in 1941. Even with this adjustment the Bolivian standard tonnage will be a smaller relative part of the total standard tonnage than it is at present and future downward revisions of permissible exports will affect Bolivia more quickly and more heavily than in the past.

If you see no objection, the notes might be drafted after further consultation with Clauson along lines which would be, in his opinion, most persuasive to the Dutch Government and to which the British Government would feel that it could give full support.

The interest of the United States Government should again be presented primarily in the light of the decision to erect and to maintain in operation, as a continuing activity, its smelter for treating Bolivian ores as a defense measure. This, it should be apparent, is important to the British and Dutch Governments as well as to this Government. Furthermore, the willingness of both this Government and the British Government, in their contracts and agreements with Bolivia for the purchase of all Bolivian tin output, to provide that Bolivian deliveries to them shall be proportionately reduced in the event of any action of the International Tin Committee reducing permissible exports should allay fears of unwillingness and inability of the Bolivians to abide by the terms of the international control agreement.

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Although the Department has as yet had no reply from the British Government on our comments on the British-Bolivian tin negotiations,84 it would appear reasonable to hope that this question is being examined in a completely friendly and cooperative attitude by both governments and that this should be of considerable assistance in reaching agreement, in the same spirit, on the Bolivian standard tonnage.

  1. See note of March 25, 1941, to the British Embassy and British note of April 3, 1941, in reply, vol. vi , section under Bolivia entitled “Interest of the United States in Anglo-Bolivian tin negotiations.”