815.515/131: Airgram

The Minister in Honduras (Erwin) to the Secretary of State

A–113. Reference Legation’s despatch No. 2779, March 9, 1943 and No. 2808, of March 20, 194348 regarding currency difficulties in Honduras. Banco Atlántida has curtailed purchases of foreign exchange to an amount equal to sales, or roughly $250,000 per month. Banco de Honduras plans to follow the same policy within the next [Page 386] 3 weeks, which will limit its purchases of exchange to approximately $175,000 per month. Anticipated offerings per month of exchange: United Fruit Company and Standard Fruit Company, $400,000; Inter-American Highway bridge construction contractors, $40,000; U. S. Coordinator’s Office road construction, sanitation, and other projects, $60,000; Rosario and Agua Fría Mining Companies, $50,000; miscellaneous offerings $50,000. Estimated total sales, $425,000. Estimated total offerings: $725,000. These statistics, arrived at by combining confidential figures given informally by banks, indicate situation extremely critical.

Banco Atlántida has informed the Inter-American Highway construction contractors that it can purchase a maximum of $60,000 per month from them, or less than half of their present needs of $125,000. The contractors expect their needs to increase sharply during the next few months.

Legation urgently requests immediate action be taken as indicated in final paragraph of despatch No. 2808.

  1. Neither printed.