831.6363/1363: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Venezuela (Flack)

856. Your 1373, December 21, 4 p.m., and 1376, December 21, 11 p.m.23 The Department’s point of view is that, since the Venezuelan Government is currently engaged in drafting legislation and in making other arrangements affecting the entire oil industry of Venezuela, it is important that all of the United States oil interests be given an adequate hearing. It seems important that you, as the representative of the United States Government, make sure that such a hearing is, in fact, granted. The Department is, of course, convinced that the Venezuelan Government desires to consider equitably and comprehensively all of the different interests involved, both private and public. Please, therefore, take an early opportunity of discussing this situation informally with Dr. Manrique.

As you are, of course, aware, Mr. Thornburg,24 who has in the Department’s judgment been extremely effective and helpful in this [Page 755] matter, is acting in an entirely unofficial capacity. In other words, he is not discharging the responsibility of the Department and of the Embassy toward United States interests, but is merely giving advice at the request of the Venezuelan Government.

Please keep the Department currently informed as to whether, in your judgment, the proposed petroleum legislation is fair and equitable as between the American interests which will be affected, taking into account, of course, their relative state of development and the nature of their operations.

  1. Neither printed.
  2. Max Thornburg, Petroleum Adviser in the Department of State, who had gone to Venezuela on the invitation of the Venezuelan Government.