811.20 Defense (M)/1774

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

No. 764

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 753 of April 15, 1941,91 in the postscript to which is reported the willingness of the [Page 458] Bolivian tungsten producers to accept a three year sales contract with the United States at $17 per unit, and to report the following as an interesting indication of the pressure which certain interests may attempt to bring in order to discourage a final consummation of the contract.

From a source which is thoroughly reliable, but strictly confidential, the Legation has learned that cables urging intervention in order to prevent the signing of a contract which would provide for the sale of Bolivia’s total production of tungsten to the United States were received today from Japan by some seven individuals and organizations. Four of the individuals receiving cables are in the Bolivian army, all of them except possibly one, however, are comparatively unimportant at the present time. The interesting feature in connection with these officers included in the list of those receiving telegrams is that they have all been in Japan at one time or another in an official capacity.

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

The Japanese Legation was of course a recipient of one of the cables, as was the Banco Minero, the message to the latter including the additional request that everything possible be done to reserve seventy tons of tungsten monthly for Japan. The final telegram on the list was sent to Mr. Vásquez, Minister of National Economy, indicating a lack of information by the Japanese as to his position in the matter, since it has been the Minister of Economy more than anyone else in Bolivia who has pushed the negotiations with the United States to the position where they now are, and who has brought the small miners into line.

Although it is not thought that these cables will have any effect at all upon the course of the tungsten negotiations, it is believed that the fact they were sent will be of interest to the Department as an indication of the concern with which Japan is apparently viewing the matter.

Respectfully yours,

Douglas Jenkins
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