The Minister in Paraguay ( Frost ) to the Secretary of State

No. 321

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s circular telegram of August 30, 5 p.m., suggesting the formation of a Petroleum Committee in Paraguay to cooperate with the Petroleum Supply Committee in the United States.

A copy and translation of most of the text of the Department’s telegraphic instruction were formally transmitted to the Foreign Office under date of September 6, 1941, after previous informal conversations with the Foreign Minister; and were referred by the Foreign Office to the Minister of Agriculture, Commerce and Industries, Dr. Francisco Esculies. On various occasions I have recalled the matter orally to the Foreign Minister, and he in turn has recalled it to Dr. Esculies. I have also twice mentioned it personally to the latter.

There is now at hand a formal reply from the Foreign Office, dated December 15, 1941, incorporating a communication which it received [Page 184] from Dr. Esculies under date of December 10, 1941. A copy and translation are enclosed herewith.16 The Department will note that the Minister of Agriculture, Commerce and Industries feels that since Paraguay’s supplies of petroleum products are received wholly through Argentina, the handling of petroleum matters here might be left to the National Carburant Section of his Ministry without the formation of the Committee suggested in the telegraphic instruction above cited. If the organization of the committee is necessary he suggests that it be composed of two representatives of the Paraguayan Government and one representative of the petroleum importers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I anticipate that the recent declarations of war will gradually lead Dr. Esculies into a more cooperative attitude, if political developments here do not result in his retirement; but feel that no present attempt should be made to force his hand. It is my understanding that Paraguay’s petroleum supplies are in fact wholly controlled from Buenos Aires so that the formation of a country committee in Paraguay might very well be entirely foregone.

Respectfully yours,

Wesley Frost

[The following countries also indicated approval of the national oil pool committee plan: Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Publicity was given the statement contained in Department’s circular telegram of August 30, 5 p.m., printed on page 171, by Costa Rica and Cuba.]

  1. Not printed.