The Bolivian Minister ( Guachalla ) to the Secretary of State


Excellency: Wishing to define more closely the sense of the note which, under date of December 14,33 I had the honor to send to Your Excellency, requesting, in behalf of my Government, the sending to Bolivia of a military mission of aviation instructors, I am pleased to refer to the notes exchanged between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia and the Minister of the United States at La Paz, on October 30 and 8 respectively,34 in the part in which the said notes have reference to the matter which concerns me.

In paragraph 3 of his note, Mr. Jenkins35 was pleased to request the expression of opinion of my Government as to “the incompatibility of the presence of non-American military missions with the perfect realization of continental solidarity.” In my Government’s opinion, a merely affirmative reply was not proper, since it would have implied the immediate cancellation of the contract of the only non-American [Page 413] military mission in Bolivia without any provision to compensate for the damage.36

Hence, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in reply, made the following explanation: “There is in Bolivia one military mission of Italian origin. It renders its services, which are exclusively for military instruction, in the Escuela de Armas of the city of Cochabamba. According to its contract, it is to remain in Bolivia for a period of seven more years. In spite of the simply pedagogical character of this mission, the Government of Bolivia is willing to cancel its contract; but in such case it would wish the Army of the United States of America to detail a mission of aviation officers to replace the Italian mission and to come equipped with the respective machines for instruction. The Government of Bolivia considers that in this way real technical cooperation on the part of the United States of America would be effected.”

On this plane of real cooperation to which the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia refers, I have the honor to request of Your Excellency that you will kindly recommend to the War Department careful consideration of the present representation and obtain its opinion respecting the technical and economic collaboration which it can give in this circumstance.

On this occasion I am very happy to renew to Your Excellency [etc.]

Luis [Fernando] Guachalla
  1. Not printed.
  2. Neither printed; these notes resulted from conversations between the Chief of Staff of the Bolivian Army and the representative of the General Staff of the United States Army. Five points of agreement were indicated in the October 8 note from Minister Jenkins to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Alberto Ostria Gutiérrez, as follows: (1) to combat the influence of subversive groups Bolivia agreed to increase the supervision of non-American elements; (2) to exchange information with the United States on defense matters and subversive activities; (3) to consider the presence of non-American military missions as incompatible with continental solidarity; (4) to facilitate the entry into action of United States forces in case they go to the aid of Bolivia by guarding routes of entry, maintaining order, and making facilities available; and (5) to continue bilateral conversations on defense. In his reply of October 30 Ostria Gutierrez expressed a willingness to rescind the contract of the Italian military mission provided the United States would detail a mission of aviation officers, and agreement in principle to facilitating American Army forces. (810.20 Defense/345¹⁄₇)
  3. Douglas Jenkins, the American Minister in Bolivia.
  4. In a conversation of December 28, 1940, with Mr. Orme Wilson, State Department Liaison Officer, the Bolivian Minister indicated that since his country would have the expense of indemnifying the Italian Mission for the cancellation of its contract, the United States should bear the expense of the American Mission (824.248/131½).