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

No. 601

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s confidential airmail instruction No. 1484, dated November 17, 1943, regarding application received by the United States Treasury Department filed by the Whitney National Bank of New Orleans, Louisiana, on behalf of the Banco de Honduras, Tegucigalpa, for a license to permit the release of approximately $500,000 in 50 cent and 10 cent pieces which it is claimed the Banco de Honduras contemplates sending to the United States.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In any event, it is not believed advisable to export any substantial amount of United States currency from Honduras at this time. Although it is true that the work of the United States Army Engineers on the Pan-American Highway in Honduras has been terminated, this work is being carried on at a reduced pace by the United States Public Roads Administration which it is believed will employ a substantial number of men even though not in the numbers heretofore employed by the United States Army Engineers and contractors.66

Should it become evident that Honduran banks are holding undue amounts of American currency or that there is other reason to export [Page 395] substantial amount thereof, the matter will be promptly reported. For the present, it is recommended that action on the application be deferred. It would be unfortunate if substantial amounts of United States currency were exported from Honduras to the United States and then work on United States projects resulted in substantial employment necessitating the return of such exported United States currency to Honduras.

Respectfully yours,

John D. Erwin
  1. For discussion and negotiations concerning the suspension of construction operations by the United States Army Engineers on the emergency Pioneer Highway project in Central America, see vol. v, pp. 76 ff.