811.20 Defense (M)/1223: Telegram

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

16. Department’s 12, February 15, 2 p.m. Negotiations referred to have been under way in La Paz since late October as indicated in my despatch No. 579, January 13 and Department’s instruction No. 145, January 3122 but are not likely to be concluded before end of February. British representative has kept Legation fully informed in general but has never mentioned clause in question.

Legation’s impression is that, if quotas were reduced, clause as drafted would result in the United States receiving substantially [Page 481] less than half of Bolivian tin production because of continuation of exports to Great Britain during the last half of 1940 by some exporters who are now selling to the United States. Ratio originally envisaged would probably be assured if basis of formula were changed to exports in 6 months ending June 30, 1941 or 12 months ending December 31, 1941 inasmuch as the current semester is the first in which the effects of United States-Bolivian tin contract have become fully operative. It is to be hoped that the Department will request such a change in the clause if it desires ratio maintained. Otherwise second sentence of paragraph 2 of United States-Bolivian tin contract may conflict with British clause.

Figures by countries of destination on exports of tin from Bolivia for second half of 1940 have not been made public but I will endeavor to obtain them and submit further report by telegraph. In their absence I estimate that British clause might result in reduction of American receipts to as low as one-third of Bolivia’s exportation instead of contemplated ratio of almost 50%.

  1. Neither printed.