The Minister in Paraguay ( Frost ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 11:10 p.m.]
110. Department’s telegram No. 55, July 10, 7 p.m. Foreign Minister30 on behalf of Minister of Agriculture now states officially Paraguay would be glad to avail herself of $400,000 for mandioca and agricultural development if the American experts can be furnished gratis under Public Resolution No. 29 [Public 63?]31 and if an American market for mandioca or mandioca products can be assured. The second condition is to avoid contracting a debt with no security that [Page 491] means can be found for repaying it. The first is because the salaries and expenses of the two experts would be extremely burdensome under Paraguay’s conditions and standards. An early reply would be appreciated.
On behalf of the Minister of Public Works, Minister for Foreign Affairs states that the construction of the port improvements is earnestly desired and that the details shortly to be furnished by the Export-Import Bank will be examined at once upon receipt. It is hoped that action may not be delayed.
The municipal head has twice informed me that Aguilera has assured him that the sanitary works for Asunción will soon be granted. This would be helpful and informative and in any case it is desirable that the bank reopen studies and negotiations regarding feeder roads, without which Estigarribia highway will have limited value. There is much criticism among the public here of the highway as unduly expensive in proportion to its usefulness unless feeders can be obtained; and Argaña has been promised funds from Argentina for this purpose. There is now real probability that they will be secured in the very near future on favorable terms; and this would more than neutralize any good effects remaining from our loan, which the Paraguayans are thus far fully repaying, for the main road.
Minister of Agriculture has secured disused brewery near the port in which he believes cold storage equipment could be installed for $150,000. This project seems practical and meritorious.
The feeder road project in my judgment should have immediate consideration ahead of sanitary projects, although both are highly desirable.