The Ambassador in Uruguay (Dawson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 5:52 p.m.]
307. Informal conversations with representatives of the Uruguayan Government headed by the Director of the Commercial Section of the Foreign Office33a were finally inaugurated last week but unfortunately not much progress has been made due mainly to the basic divergence in point of view, the representatives of the Bank of the Republic being obviously reluctant to recede from the arbitrary methods of allotment of exchange and import quotas now practiced by the bank, which represents a source of considerable income as well as a means of controlling importation. As the Department can appreciate, Uruguay’s exports to the United States are at present highly satisfactory and there are no immediate advantages beyond prestige now to be gained by Uruguay through a trade agreement. It appears, therefore, unfortunately that the advantages to be sought are mainly for our own account.
Although it is realized that the Department may be reluctant to connect our general trade agreement policy with our procurement program as respects wool and other Uruguayan supplies requested or our export control policy as respects materials urgently required here, it may be necessary to capitalize on these controlling factors in order to obtain a prompt and satisfactory trade agreement.[Page 570]
While the Embassy will make every effort to further the progress of the negotiations on the general provisions I feel obliged, in view of the situation described in the first paragraph, to point out that Uruguayan officials apparently feel no great urgency in conducting the negotiations. Moreover, press of important and urgent work connected with export control and undesirable agencies and particularly that arising from demands made by firms on the President’s blacklist published yesterday has in effect swamped the Commercial Section of the Embassy. It is imperative that the additional personnel envisaged for this section, Chapin’s letter to Shaw of May 27, 1941,34 be made available immediately if the work is to be adequately carried on.