811.20 Defense (M) Bolivia/1385

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Edward D. McLaughlin, Division of West Coast Affairs

Colonel Garside,49 in charge of the Quinine Procurement Program in the War Department told me that the Army has had success with the use of atabrine and that quinine is no longer a problem. He made it very plain that if the State Department were in a position where for political ends it was faced with the alternative of cutting off the flow of quinine altogether, it could safely do so. The Colonel is evidently displeased with the Procurement Program of FEA and thinks that the results have been meager for the time and energy invested. I told him that conditions in Bolivia were somewhat better, that the more dangerous political elements had left the Junta April 5, and that it was entirely possible some over all agreement might be worked out on quinine. In this case I asked his opinion as to whether or not other countries, particularly Argentina, should be given a minimum share in Bolivian quinine production. He said he thought the situation as to supply was such that we could and should permit other countries to share in it.

I have the distinct impression that the Army (1) has a very substantial reserve supply of quinine sulphate, (2) has found the use of [Page 483] atabrine to be most effective, and (3) that while it would like to have all the quinine it could get, the War Department is willing, if necessary, to forego all Bolivian quinine for an indefinite period if some beneficial political [ends?] can be served.50

  1. Col. Charles Garside was sent in 1943 by the Board of Economic Warfare on a special mission concerning quinine to certain American Republics.
  2. A handwritten marginal note reads: “Navy Liaison says it is needed! C[ecil] B. L[yon].”