740.00112A European War 1939/29380: Airgram

The Minister in Costa Rica ( Scotten ) to the Secretary of State

A–587. [Reference to a specific form of import license has been omitted here.]

While the control of Proclaimed List nationals in Costa Rica has been described to the Department in previous despatches and reports, the following is a brief summary thereof:

All Proclaimed List nationals are controlled, except Costa Rican born citizens of Costa Rican parents, of whom there are about 14 at present.
It now appears likely that all or most of the above will also be subjected to local controls within the very near future.
In the case of individuals, the controls are limited to the blocking of funds, with a monthly allowance not exceeding $200 for living expenses.
In the case of firms or business establishments, one or more government “fiscales” or interventors are stationed on the premises with authority to supervise and administer the business, examine books, etc. Proclaimed List business establishments are not permitted to replenish [Page 105] stocks, but are allowed to sell to the public. Their funds are also blocked, but the Junta de Custodia (Alien Property Custodian Board) authorizes certain withdrawals for business operating expenses.
No Proclaimed List national, regardless of nationality, is permitted to import or export merchandise.
A substantial proportion of the blocked funds is compulsorily invested in Costa Rican Defense Bonds, which are also blocked.
The blocked funds are also subject to a graduated capital tax.
No controlled person is permitted to transfer property.
The controls are, on the whole, effective (as far as they go) although there are occasional “leaks”.

Such licenses as have been granted by the Legation to persons or firms subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to engage in transactions with Proclaimed List nationals have been issued on the authority of the Department’s general instructions on the subject and, with the exception of the period during which the Coordination Agreement was in existence,29 have not been based on local control plans. The Legation has, however, considered the local controls as one of the factors to be weighed in all cases in reaching a decision, and to the degree that these controls have been gradually “tightened” the Legation has felt justified in pursuing a more liberal policy in the granting of licenses.

  1. For a description of this agreement, which became effective in September 1941 and terminated March 31, 1942, see Department of State Bulletin, March 21, 1942, p. 240.