The Chargé in Paraguay (Montgomery) to the Secretary of State

No. 1091

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Embassy’s Despatch No. 702, dated January 12th,58 in which the Department was requested to indicate a policy regarding the sale of petroleum products supplied by the Pool Committee by Paraguayan authorities to local firms on the Proclaimed List of Blocked Nationals. Reference is also made to the Department’s reply, airgram No. A–203, dated April 16, 6:30 p.m., 1943 and the Embassy’s acknowledgment, airgram A–138, dated May 1, 8 a.m., 1943. The Embassy’s reply under reference stated that this matter had been called to the attention of the Minister of Agriculture, Commerce and Industries and that he was in full agreement with the Department’s position that petroleum products provided under the Pool system should not be made available to the firms or persons in this country on the Proclaimed List.

During the course of the month of May a close study has been made of the automotive vehicles registered with the municipality with the idea in mind of identifying those belonging to Listed firms. When gasoline ration tickets were made available for the month of June these vehicles and their proprietors were refused gasoline rations. A list of the vehicles involved is being attached hereto58 for the information of the Department.

From the point of view of actual numbers the attached list may not be considered as impressive. It is important that the Government has conformed to its undertaking and has definitely refused gasoline to these firms. Conigliaro is one of the most important trucking firms in Asunción while Zanotti, Cavazzoni, Billi y Cía rank as one of the most important importers of foodstuffs. This development, as might be expected, has raised a tremendous amount of adverse [Page 701] comment against the Direction General of Industries & Commerce which is responsible for the allocation of fuel quotas. However, the Direction General as well as the Minister of Agriculture have firmly stood their ground and it is refreshing to say the least that such steps have been taken by the Paraguayan Government.

Upon the occasion of the discussion regarding this policy with the Minister of Agriculture it was also mentioned to him that in principle the same policy should apply to all supplies imported from the United States and also tires and tubes which are obtained from Brazilian sources. The Embassy has been assured by the competent authorities that the trucks belonging to Listed firms which have been refused gasoline supplies will also be refused purchase orders for either tires or tubes.

Respectfully yours,

Edmund B. Montgomery
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