740.00112A European War 1939/22856

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Venezuela (Corrigan)

No. 1822

Sir: Reference is made to consular despatch no. 365 from Maracaibo dated December 2482 concerning efforts made by pro-Nazi elements in Venezuela to obtain publicity adverse to the Proclaimed List and to discredit it in the eyes of the Venezuelan public.

The Department believes that it is desirable to consider possible steps to meet attempts of this nature and, in addition, to obtain as wide a distribution of the Proclaimed List as may be practicable for the purpose of securing its widespread observance by the Venezuelan public and to assure that Venezuelans have an adequate realization of the purposes and significance of the Proclaimed List program. Two things specifically would appear to be possible at this time.

The first would be an augmenting of the efforts to distribute copies of the list in Venezuela. Your despatch no. 3299 of October 26, 194282 indicates that only 200 copies of the list are regularly duplicated and that considerably less than this find their way into the hands of Venezuelan individuals and firms. This number is considerably less proportionately than the number distributed by other missions. It is, therefore, suggested that you consider the feasibility of making a wider distribution of the list to business concerns, chambers of commerce, druggists, doctors, banks, trucking companies, forwarding and dispatching agents, shipping companies, pro-democratic and other appropriate organizations, citizens of the United States, and particularly to all individuals or companies who are believed to be trading with listed firms.

It is further suggested that members of your staff discreetly enlist the cooperation of persons of known pro-allied sympathies in publicizing the objectives of the Proclaimed List. It is recognized that any publicity sponsored officially by the Embassy would be discounted as self-serving and that what this Government does with the Proclaimed list is less open to attack than anything said in defense of such action. However, wherever it is deemed feasible to channel information to [Page 831] reliable Venezuelan newspaper men, radio commentators, and others ho formulate public opinion, it would seem desirable to do so. In the Department’s view, such publicity should stress the economic and propaganda interpenetration of the American republics by Axis agents; the hazard to the security of the hemisphere through the continuance of such activities; the fact that the amount of goods exported to Venezuela has been determined by supply considerations and available: shipping space, and that only the distribution of this over-all fixed total has been affected by the existence of the Proclaimed List; that shipping shortages are directly related to the subversive activities of the Axis in this hemisphere. With respect to injuries to the Venezuelan economy through the application of United States export controls, it is the earnest desire of this Government to reduce to a minimum any inconvenience to the Venezuelan economy; such controls must, however, be exercised in the light of the broad objectives of hemispheric security and of the requirements of enterprises whose loyalty to these objectives is unquestioned.

The enclosure to this instruction83 sets forth the “lore” of the Proclaimed List for such use as officers of the Embassy may wish to make of it.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Dean Acheson
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