811.20 Defense (M) Bolivia/214: Telegram

The Ambassador in Bolivia (Boal) to the Secretary of State

476. Reference paragraph “d” of my 470, June 24, 7 p.m.16 Minister of Economy objects to article 8 of the proposed agreement as subject for domestic action not for contractual relations with Reserve.17 He states that he agrees with objectives of article and that Bolivian Government intends to take steps along the lines suggested but that insertion of article would place difficulties in the way of approval of agreement as a whole especially if producers are required to sign.

It is my feeling that economic condition of gatherers can best be improved and equitable real wages established through proper control of $2,125,000 fund on ground by Reserve. Greatest problem at present is that gatherers are always in debt to companies which advance them food and supplies. This situation can be more effectively remedied by Reserve through use its fund than by Bolivian Government promises and without possible bad results of insisting on latter. The Department will appreciate that the fact that this article is in neither Peruvian nor Brazilian agreement might open the Government here to criticism from the opposition if included for Bolivia alone. Increased opposition strength in the next Congress suggests advisability of not offering grounds for political debate.

The President has put forward any suggestions to offer to La Paz to June 28 or June 29 in order to deal with rubber problem and to [Page 572]give instructions to Ministers of Economy and Finance before departure for Washington June 30. If question raised in my 470 and the present telegraph can be resolved before the week end it should probably be possible have agreement ready for signature by latter date unless new unforeseen difficulties arise.

Tentative draft agreement as discussed with Minister of Economy this morning is being forwarded by tomorrow’s courier.

Boal
  1. Not printed.
  2. Article 8 was a provision concerning fair wages and supplies for rubber gatherers.