The Venezuelan Minister of Finance (Machado) to the American Counselor of Embassy (Groves)13


My Dear Mr. Groves: I acknowledge receipt of your communication dated the 20th of the current month14 in which you state that you [Page 294] have read with the greatest attention and interest the Resolution of this Ministry, Bureau of Economy and Finances, dated March 15 of the present year, in connection with the program of decentralization of the control of exportations.

You say that, even though from the terms of the Resolution it appears to be necessary to obtain a prior permit for all importations to Venezuela from the United States, it is understood that the exceptions indicated in the Memorandum annexed to the Note of that Embassy, No. 1229 of February 19, 1943, addressed to the Venezuelan Chancellor, and discussed in recent conversations between representatives of your Government and Members of the Import Control Commission, will be taken into account in the subsequent regulations that said Commission may establish, in accordance with instructions of this Ministry. You add that it is likewise presumed that the requirement of prior permits does not have as purpose in any way to modify the contractual situation that governs the commerce between the United States and Venezuela, such as is established by existing agreements between both Governments, and you conclude indicating that my confirmation would be appreciated on the two points of view expressed above.

In regard to the first, I am pleased to state to you that, in fact, in the regulations that the Import Control Commission is going to dictate, it will be taken into account within the limits agreed upon in the conversations to which you refer and without prejudice to the provisions in effect in Venezuela, contained in the Law of Customs Tariff and in the Law on Arms and Explosives, relating to the importation of explosives and war material.

In regard to the second point, this Office considers that the measure in question is in all ways analogous to others taken previously both by the Government of Venezuela as well as by that of the United States; and it is well also to observe that in order to comply with the suggestions in the Memorandum on decentralization to which your communication refers, the subjection of all importations coming from the United States to prior permit, as has been done in the Resolution dictated for that purpose by this Ministry, was indispensable, as was clearly understood in the conversations between American officials on the one part and this Office and the Import Control Commission on the other.

These observations having been made, I am pleased to state to you that it was not the intention of the Government of Venezuela, in dictating that Resolution, to modify unilaterally the agreements on commerce existing between the Government of Venezuela and that of the United States of America.

Very truly,

Alfredo Machado Hernandez
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in Venezuela In despatch No. 4146, March 30; received April 6.
  2. Not printed.