831.6363/1641: Telegram

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

451. Declaration made by President Medina in his annual message to Congress yesterday, reiterating his strong position on the refinery question influenced the trend of the consultation held last evening with [Page 1664] my British and Netherlands colleagues, as instructed by Department. See telegram 450, April 28, for President’s statement of position.50

A brief summary of the consultation follows.

Netherlands Minister had no instructions and could take no position. British Minister had been instructed to parallel our Government’s action. Both were willing, in view of the attitude of the companies, to delay action pending additional information as to progress of companies’ negotiations with the Government and other further considerations. We have agreed to consult together again tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime companies understand a new resolution will be issued today enabling specified 10 percent of oil to be refined within country, to be supplied in equivalent quality from existing concessions, thus easing commercial aspect of this point.

It would be appreciated if a brief telegram indicating Department’s further instructions might be received before tomorrow afternoon.51

  1. Telegram not printed; President Medina’s statement indicated that Venezuelan petroleum must be refined in Venezuela or in the countries which consume it as refined products or by-products. New concessions were not to permit refinement outside Venezuela for other markets. (831.6363/1640)
  2. The Department’s further instruction, telegram 379, April 29, 1944, 1 p.m., merely referred to its telegram 377, infra.