811.20 Defense (M)/7415

The Guatemalan Minister for Foreign Affairs (Salazar) to the American Minister in Guatemala (Des Portes)30

No. 7719

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to refer to the aide-mémoire which Your Excellency was so good as to transmit the 10th of June, relative to the possible development and exportation to the United States of rubber existing in the forests of the republic.

In order to reply to Your Excellency I first addressed the Ministry of Agriculture so that they might furnish the statistical information or approximate calculations on the production of rubber and its cost.

I have today received from the Minister of Agriculture the information which I take pleasure in transcribing to Your Excellency and which textually reads as follows:

[Here follows report from the Minister of Agriculture on rubber production and costs.]

With regard to the contract which the Government of the United States desires to be signed by this Government of Guatemala with the Rubber Reserve Company, I must state to Your Excellency, with especial instructions of the President of the Republic, that this Government is willing to deliver to the Government of the United States or to the person or entity which the Government of the United States designates, all the rubber production which may be gathered in the forests of Guatemala, without limitation except the quantity necessary to satisfy the small industries of the country. The Government is disposed to obligate itself, because it has dictated a law by which the Government is the only one who can buy rubber from persons engaged in its extraction, without other conditions than the willing and cooperative offer of the President of the Republic to deliver the Guatemalan rubber production to the Government of the United States in order that this (Government) take advantage of it as it sees fit.

The cost of production is not the same in the various groves of the Republic, because there are no planned plantings of the trees producing rubber, since they are found in a wild state in the interior of the forests and there is a great difference in the effort, work and cost of the rubber obtained from the accessible forests in the nearby departments and the rubber which is gathered in the heart of the distant and solitary forests in the Department of the Petén. However, [Page 455] to the cost of Q.30.00 and Q.35.00 per quintal, there would have to be added the modest profit for those who gather the rubber, it being noted that the Guatemalan Government will not receive for itself any merchant’s profit, but only the profit of its willing cooperation in the common work of defense of the United Nations.

In view of the foregoing explanations I desire to state to Your Excellency that this Note, written under the instructions of the President of the Republic, should be considered as the contract which requires the Government of Guatemala to deliver the rubber production to the Government of the United States under the sole condition of paying its cost and an equitable profit of 10% for those who gather it in the heart of the forests.

I avail myself [etc.]

Carlos Salazar
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in Guatemala in his despatch No. 2988, June 19; received June 23.