The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Nicaragua (Stewart)

No. 814

Sir: With reference to your telegram no. 452 of August 3, 10 p.m., the Department encloses herewith a copy of a letter23 which the Rubber Development Corporation is forwarding to Mr. Apodaca with regard to procurement of rubber in the area between the Patuca and Coco Rivers.

The Department hopes that it will be possible to reach an arrangement for rubber procurement in this area satisfactory to the Rubber Development Corporation and to the Nicaraguan and Honduran Governments, and desires you to take whatever discreet steps you deem appropriate to this end.

The Department believes that you may wish Mr. Apodaca to make the first approach to the Nicaraguan authorities, in order that you may have a preliminary indication of their attitude before you approach them. Mr. Corson’s suggestions outlined in the enclosed letter are satisfactory to the Department. The Department wishes to emphasize, however, that it has no strong views as to the type of agreement which should be reached. It is confident that the two Governments will be willing to accept an arrangement which will facilitate the extraction from this area of important quantities of rubber vitally needed by the war effort which they are jointly making with the United States.

A similar instruction24 is being sent by the Department to the Embassy in Tegucigalpa, and a similar letter by the Rubber Development [Page 357] Corporation to Mr. Holt. It is believed that you may wish to consult with them before presenting any concrete proposal to the Nicaraguan authorities.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
  1. Not printed: this letter dated August 17, 1943, from Mr. H. J. Corson, suggested that no fixed operations such as commissaries, warehouses, etc., be established in the disputed area, but instead that the Rubber Development Corporation, with the consent of the Honduran and Nicaraguan Governments, make contractual arrangements with producers from both countries to operate in clearly defined sections of that area and treat the rubber thus produced as “free” rubber.
  2. No. 1384, August 19, 1943.