Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Charles W. Lewis of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

Participants: Mr. Warren Lee Pierson, Export-Import Bank
Mr. LeBaron, Export-Import Bank
Mr. Yilma Deressa, Vice Minister of Finance of Ethiopia
Mr. Paul McGuire—EA38
Mr. Lewis—NE

Mr. Pierson referred to the Department’s recent letter39 to the Export-Import Bank concerning the desire of Ethiopia to obtain financial assistance from this Government and said that although the Bank would be glad to render such assistance as might be found practicable its field of activity outside the Western Hemisphere was considerably circumscribed by the law and regulations under which it functions. He said that the Bank could, however, make loans in limited amounts to facilitate trade with Ethiopia and for the purchase of capital goods for industry, agriculture, transportation, et cetera, and could make funds available for certain other purposes which might be helpful to Ethiopia. On the other hand, it could not make a loan for expenditures within the country, that is, cash funds which could be drawn on by the Ethiopian Government. This form of assistance, he said, would have to be sought from some other agency of the Government, if any other agency of the Government makes loans of this character.

Mr. LeBaron then referred to conversations which he and Mr. Pierson had had with Mr. George Blowers, who has been appointed by Mr. Deressa as Governor of the State Bank of Ethiopia, and indicated that Mr. Blowers was now more or less familiar with the Export-Import Bank’s activities and requirements. Mr. Pierson said he would be glad to see Mr. Blowers again if this should be considered necessary.

The suggestion was made that Mr. Deressa, in cooperation with Mr. Blowers, should, on his return to Ethiopia, prepare a more precise statement of the requirements of Ethiopia falling within the field of the Export-Import Bank’s operations. This statement would then, Mr. Pierson indicated, receive the careful and sympathetic consideration of the Export-Import Bank. Mr. Deressa said he would be glad to prepare such a statement and would forward it to Washington as soon as possible.

  1. Office of the Adviser on International Economic Affairs.
  2. Supra.