824.50/12a: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Bolivia ( Jenkins )

127. The original of the memorandum the text of which is quoted in full hereafter was handed to the Bolivian Minister here today. The Minister stated that he would send it by air mail at once to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and would request from him a cabled reply as to the views of his Government. In view of the desire of the Bolivian Minister here to handle the negotiations in this way it is believed that you should confine yourself at this stage merely to making available immediately to Dr. Ostria Gutierrez67 the text of the memorandum.

[Page 436]
  • “1. The Department of State has been considering with other agencies of the Government of the United States measures which might appropriately be included in a long-term plan of collaboration to foster continued mutually beneficial economic relations between the United States and Bolivia and to develop the national economy and national resources of Bolivia.
  • 2. It is believed that the basis of such a plan must be in the development of communications—largely of highways, but perhaps including certain railway facilities. The report of the United States Army engineers67a who studied the Vila Vila–Santa Cruz railway project does not support the construction of such a railway, but suggests as an alternative consideration of the construction of a highway joining the two points. It is believed that a decision regarding a long-term program for the development of communications in Bolivia can best be taken after a general survey by competent engineers. The Bolivian Government has recently inquired concerning the possibility of a general survey by highway experts, and there is attached a memorandum68 outlining the studies which the appropriate officials of this Government believe may be practicable at this time. The Government of the United States is prepared to detail qualified experts to Bolivia under the provisions of Public, No. 63 (76th Congress)69 to carry out this survey work.
  • 3. The development of communications should encourage an expansion and diversification of agricultural production in Bolivia, involving both an increased degree of self-sufficiency and perhaps the development of certain tropical products for export. It is believed that this development might be advantageously speeded up and assisted by a comprehensive survey of the several potentially important agricultural regions of Bolivia. The Government of the United States is prepared at the request of the Bolivian Government to detail competent agricultural experts to carry out such a survey in cooperation with the Bolivian authorities.
  • 4. It has been suggested that it may be feasible and desirable to stimulate production of tin, tungsten and certain other minerals in Bolivia of small miners by assisting them in improving their methods, providing them with appropriate machinery, and possibly erecting a reduction plant for the treatment of low-grade tin ores. Such possibilities of course would require careful study, and the Government of the United States would be glad to consider any request that may be made by the Government of Bolivia for the services of a qualified expert.
  • 5. The Government of the United States is prepared to cooperate in giving effect to the recommendations arising out of thorough technical and economic surveys of Bolivian communications needs and agricultural and mineral potentialities by the extension of financial and technical assistance in appropriate manner and amounts for the execution of individual projects which are considered desirable, useful, and practicable by both the Bolivian and United States Governments.
  • 6. The Government of the United States is prepared to consider the practicability of measures which may be suggested for cooperation with the Government of Bolivia in the stabilization of the Bolivian currency in its relation to the United States dollar.”
  1. Bolivian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Not printed; for summary of report, see despatch No. 562, January 6, 1941, from the Minister in Bolivia, Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. v, p. 553.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Approved May 3, 1939; 53 Stat. 652.