The Secretary of State to the Foreign Economic Administrator (Crowley)
My Dear Mr. Crowley: I wish to thank you for your understanding letter of January 10, 1944 in reply to my communications of December 24 and January 129 setting forth certain political considerations in respect to Bolivia. I shall be glad to comment on the points you make in the order they appear in your letter under acknowledgment:
- No lend-lease shipments should be made to Bolivia until further notice.
- The Department is fully alive to the importance of quinine to the successful prosecution of the war and is anxious that the quinine procurement program move forward as rapidly as possible with a minimum of dislocation. Of course, normal quinine procurement activities in Bolivia may continue unaffected, but I consider it desirable at least for the time being that negotiations looking to the purchase of the Quimbol plant be suspended. This plant is owned by Senator Mariaco Pando, a supporter of President Peñaranda. Quinine production and procurement activities in Bolivia have from the beginning been deeply immersed in domestic politics and the status of the Quimbol plant has been the subject of lengthy discussions in the press and in political circles. Were an agency of this Government at this time to proceed with negotiations looking to the purchase of this plant, it would tend to confuse the Bolivian political situation and could well give a misleading impression of this Government’s future intentions. The Department much prefers to avoid giving any impression (however farfetched) that this Government is dealing with one political faction or another. I shall be glad to review the situation as it may affect the purchase of the Quimbol plant from time to time and assure you that the moment it becomes feasible to resume negotiations the necessary clearance will be promptly given.
- I agree with you fully that the operations of the Mine Supply Control District in Bolivia should continue. If further developments necessitate any change, I shall inform you promptly.
- With respect to the granting of export licenses for merchandise to be shipped to Bolivia, I am happy to state that informal working arrangements have already been arrived at with members of your staff which will permit the continuance on an orderly basis of essential shipments. For the time being the procedure for the issuance of import recommendations is being suspended and these are no longer being received by the Embassy from the Bolivian Central Bank. The matter is, I am told, being handled on an individual case basis in the Foreign Economic Administration in consultation with representatives of the Department.
I have noted with interest that you are preparing a current appraisal of the economic dependence of Bolivia upon exports from the [Page 477] United States, and that you will be pleased to submit to the Department a copy of this study when it is completed. I shall be very happy to receive this useful study.