824.6363 St 2/525: Telegram

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

39. Meetings are scheduled tonight of newspaper workers and several other unions in sympathy with demonstrations which took place yesterday of taxi drivers’ and mechanics’ union protesting against alleged interference by Standard Oil Company in Bolivian affairs. About 350 taxi drivers and mechanics paraded through streets to Plaza Murillo and speeches were made in front of legislative building, but there was no disorder. These demonstrations are obviously designed to deter the Government from making any concessions in proposed settlement in the Standard Oil case and are doubtless instigated by Radical-Socialist elements, probably with German support.

As reported in my despatch 705 of March 1310 the Standard Oil case has been under discussion in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies and yesterday afternoon the Senate adopted a resolution approving in a general way the Government’s policy toward the Standard Oil case, although it is not clear just what the policy is. Discussions are still continuing in the Chamber of Deputies where there is much more opposition to the administration and the outcome is uncertain.

Although Minister of Foreign Affairs and other Ministers have made lengthy statements on the Government’s policy in relation to [Page 467] the Standard Oil case, they had said little or nothing calculated to build up a friendly understanding for us in the minds of the Bolivian people and I fear that little has been accomplished in these debates. Despatch follows by air mail.11

I hope to see the Foreign Minister this afternoon when I shall take advantage of the opportunity to discuss these developments.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Despatch No. 726, March 27, 1941, not printed.