The Assistant General Counsel of the Treasury Department (Luxford) to the Acting Chief of the Division of the American Republics (Walmsley)

Dear Sir: Reference is made to your letter of June 2, 1943,63 enclosing a copy of a translation of a decision of the First Appellate Section of the Supreme Court of Justice of Costa Rica, relative to litigation involving a “gold value clause” in contracts to which American firms are parties. I regret the unfortunate delay in replying to your letter.

This opinion has been carefully considered. It would appear that some of the statements contained therein, such as that the purpose of the Joint Resolution of June 5, 1933, was to increase the prices of agricultural commodities and that the purchasing power of the dollar was reduced after the monetary reforms at that time, may be inaccurate. However, it does not appear that these matters were essential to the decision reached by the court.

The fundamental conclusion that the contracts involved are governed by the law of Costa Rica would appear to be legally justifiable, and the fact that the Costa Rican court did not give effect to the Joint Resolution of June 5, 1933, as a matter of comity, is hardly subject to criticism in view of decisions of our own courts in cases involving similar statutes of other countries. See Central Hanover Bank and Trust Company v. Siemens & Halske Akt. (S. D. N. Y. 1936) 15 F. Sup. 927, aff’d per curiam (C. C. A. 2d 1936) 84 F. (2d) 993, cert. denied (1936) 299 U. S. 585; Barnes v. United Steel Works Corporation (N. Y. 1939) 11 N. Y. S. (2d) 161; Deutsch v. Gutehoffnungshutte Akt. (N. Y.1938) 6 N. Y. S. (2d) 319; Anglo-Continentale Treuhand, A. G. v. St. Louis South Western Ry. Co. (C. C. A. 2d 1936) 81 F. (2d) 11, cert. denied (1936) 298 U. S. 655.

Very truly yours,

Ansel F. Luxford
  1. Not printed.