The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Uruguay (Dawson)

No. 1650

Sir: The Department has read with interest your despatch no. 3196 of September 8, 194316 transmitting copies of memoranda of conversations [Page 770] with Mr. Herman A. Metzger of the Standard Oil Company concerning prospective negotiations for a further extension of the marketing agreement between the Ancap and the private petroleum companies operating in Uruguay.

As stated in the Department’s telegram no. 341 of June 23, 1943 this Government has no desire or intention of interposing in any Uruguayan domestic matter such as the implementation of the legislation giving Ancap a monopoly over sales of petroleum products in Uruguay and the Department does not now wish to be placed in a position of supporting a long-term renewal of the present marketing agreement between the Ancap and the private companies, which support might be construed as unwarranted interference of this nature. At the same time, the marketing agreement currently in force is intimately connected with the operation of the Latin American pool arrangement and the Department feels that in the general interest of the war effort of the United Nations as well as in that of Uruguay no action should be taken which might disturb the successful operation of the petroleum pool. Accordingly, as the occasion arises, the Embassy should lend its good offices in informal support of such temporary renewals of the present marketing agreement as may be necessary to maintain the status quo for the duration of the war emergency, or for as long as the Latin American petroleum pool may remain in being. While the length of time such temporary renewal or renewals might cover is a matter for negotiation between Ancap and the private companies, the Department feels that an extension of the agreement for a period up to two years would not be excessive from the point of view of the general interest.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Dean Acheson
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