811.20 Defense (M)/1078: Telegram

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

11. Your 12, January 25, 3 p.m.80 On January 8 the Minister of Bolivia81 presented a Memorandum to the Department80 suggesting that the Bolivian Government would be glad to complete a 5-year agreement with the United States covering the Bolivian production of tungsten. The Bolivian Government would commit itself to organize production for a minimum annual exportation of 2,500 fine tons.

The Memorandum suggested that the contract be on the basis of the present price in New York.

At a meeting on January 24 the President of Metals Reserve Company82 indicated to the Bolivian Minister the willingness of the Company to buy the entire Bolivian production. The first offer was to take 2,500 tons (tungsten content) per year with an option to buy all production over that amount. The Minister thought this would not of itself assure increased production and Metals Reserve countered with an offer to take all Bolivian production up to 3,500 tons per year with an option to take any production over that figure.

No decision was reached at that meeting on price or term of the contract except to indicate that Metals Reserve was not disposed to contract for so long a period as 5 years. Metals Reserve and the [Page 453] Defense Commission are anxious not to disturb the source of supply of the two domestic refineries of tungsten and are considering the contract with that problem in view.

All of the foregoing is known to the Bolivian Minister here but should be regarded as confidential.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Luis Fernando Guachalla.
  3. Not printed.
  4. The Metals Reserve Co. was a buying agency of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation under the Federal Loan Agency.