811.51/5157: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Brazil (Caffery)

A–394. Your despatch no. 8368, September 9.74 The British Embassy in Washington has reported to the Treasury Department that travelers by air from West Africa to the United States via Brazil have been experiencing difficulty in meeting expenses at Natal and Para through their inability to cash Sterling and West African bank notes. The British Treasury has, therefore, suggested to the West African Governors Conference, (consisting of Nigeria, the Gold Coast, Sierra Leone and Gambia), that to surmount this difficulty all travelers from West Africa by the above route should provide themselves with dollar currency.

The United States Treasury Department would like to cooperate with the British in this matter and to inform them that small amounts of dollar currency will be converted in Brazil for travelers in transit to the United States from West Africa. The maximum amount which each such traveler would be permitted to convert under any such arrangement would be $40 in United States currency.

Please discuss this matter with the appropriate Brazilian authorities and inform the Department whether you believe the above arrangement is satisfactory. You should keep in mind that if some such arrangement as this is not established, it will be practically impossible for travelers from West Africa to provide themselves with the means for settling minor incidental expenses while en route. If [Page 812] you approve the arrangement, it would, of course, be understood that amounts up to $40 could be liquidated locally by the Bank of Brazil for each such traveler in transit between West Africa and the United States via Brazil and that such currency would be handled in the same manner as currency liquidated locally for United States and Brazilian official personnel in accordance with the Department’s 2232, August 11, 8 p.m.76

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