740.00112A European War 1939/29553: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Guatemala ( Long )22


A–436. Your despatches 3829 of April 20, and 3832 of April 2123 and previous communications with reference to the current Proclaimed List coffee crop.

[Page 357]

The Treasury Department has approved, under Executive Order No. 8389, as amended,24 the importation into the United States, and other dealing in coffee of the current year’s crop, produced on fincas owned by persons on the Proclaimed List. Such approval is based upon the assurances received from the Guatemalan Government with respect to the continuation of the control program and such coffee can, of course, be imported only in accordance with its terms.

It is suggested, however, that, before any notification is given as to the approval of the plan, you arrange for the delivery to you, on as current a basis as possible, of all data (such as a list of all sales and sale prices, administrative expenses with respect to each finca, et cetera) necessary for a determination by you from time to time in the future that the control plan is being adhered to and whether further action would be desirable at any time in order to reduce to a minimum the profits to be credited to the blocked accounts of the Proclaimed List owners of the fincas. In view of the difficulties encountered in obtaining such figures this year, you may, in your discretion, wish to obtain written assurances from the Guatemalan authorities that such data will be promptly forthcoming in the future upon request.

In addition, with reference to the proposal of the Guatemalan Government to defer nationalization of Proclaimed List fincas until after the war, it is suggested that, in your discretion, you continue to point out the desirability of legislation which will permit more immediate action against the dangerous firms on the Proclaimed List.

As directions with reference to the necessary modal arrangements are requested in your despatch no 3832 of April 21, the points raised in that despatch will be answered in order:

Treasury and the Department are of the opinion that separate Treasury licenses need not be issued, either by you or in this country, permitting each sale of Proclaimed List coffee. You are accordingly authorized to notify all United States persons and firms that, notwithstanding General Ruling No. 11,25 such coffee can now be dealt in and imported into this country without the necessity of obtaining specific Treasury licenses, under Executive Order No. 8389, as amended, and to notify all local persons and firms that they will not be recommended for inclusion on the List if they participate in the purchase of such coffee for shipment to the United States. In order to insure that all prospective buyers will have an equal opportunity to negotiate for and buy such coffee you should take such steps as you may deem advisable to notify all prospective buyers of the approval of the control plan.
The Consulate General is hereby authorized to issue consular invoices covering shipments of coffee produced on fincas owned by persons on the Proclaimed List. Such authorization covers the entire current Proclaimed List coffee crop and applies to shipments to private importers in this country, as well as to any shipments intended for Army use. Such consular invoices are to be issued only when the Consulate General is satisfied that the sale is being made pursuant to the control plan and may be refused in the event that the control plan is not being adhered to in any instances.
In view of the need for coffee in this country, and of the concession being made in permitting Proclaimed List coffee into this country, it would be preferable if all of the Guatemalan Proclaimed List coffee were shipped to this country. It is hoped, therefore, that no sales will be made to the Swiss, and you may wish discreetly to intimate this to the Central Bank. It is believed, however, that your authority under the circular instruction of February 25, 1942,26 grants you sufficient authority to deal with any questions which may arise, with respect to the acceptance of Proclaimed List coffee which is not to be shipped to the United States, by United States shipping and railway companies. With respect to such sales, you should make sure that the coffee is actually going to be shipped and will not be stored for the duration in Guatemala before granting specific licenses.

This airgram relates only to Proclaimed List coffee and does not purport to answer the questions raised in your A–231 of April 27.27 Separate instructions will be issued to you in the near future with regard to such problems.

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  1. The American Legation in Guatemala had been raised to the status of Embassy, and Mr. Boaz Long presented his credentials as Ambassador on May 19, 1943.
  2. Latter not printed.
  3. For the original order, signed April 10, 1940, see 5 Federal Register 1400.
  4. For text of Ruling No. 11, see U.S. Treasury Department, “General Ruling No. 11 Under Executive Order 8389, as amended, and Regulations Issued Pursuant Thereto, Relating to Foreign Funds Control,” in Documents Relating to Wartime Financial and Property Controls of the United States Government (Washington, June 30, 1942).
  5. Not printed.
  6. Airgram No. A–231 recommended that consideration be given to the question of purchases of products other than coffee, particularly cinchona bark, from Proclaimed List plantations intervened by the Banco Central (740.00112A European War 1939/29739).