811.20 Defense (M) Bolivia/1409: Telegram

The Chargé in Bolivia ( Woodward ) to the Secretary of State

1103. After the departure of the Axis nationals from Bolivia on May 18, Ambassador Warren55 authorized Wynn to proceed with a quinine agreement. Ambassador Warren had indicated on May 17 to Egger56 of the Bolivian Development Corporation and previously to Wynn that the quinine purchase arrangement would be primarily preclusive purchasing as indicated in this Embassy’s telegram number 1052 May 13, from Warren.57

After an oral discussion of the matter with Wynn and with directors of the Development Corporation Egger addressed a letter to Wynn on May 19 in which he stated that the interest of the Development Corporation in cooperating in the quinine program has been first to be of material assistance in the war and second to establish a permanent quinine industry in Bolivia. Egger stated that the new synthetic quinine appears to offer a potential which may eliminate the possibility of a permanent quinine industry in Bolivia. He indicated that the Development Corporation would of course cooperate fully in [Page 485] supplying quinine if it were of vital necessity in the war but that the Corporation is ill prepared to use Bolivian Government funds in a program of preclusive buying.

It will be recalled that the arrangements made tentatively by Wynn for obtaining practically the entire output of Bolivian quinine and cinchona as described in this Embassy’s telegram number 929, April 24,58 were predicated on the cooperation of the Bolivian Development Corporation. Wynn and I would appreciate a statement from the Department after consultation with the Foreign Economic Administration and the War Department and any other agencies which have direct interest in quinine procurement indicating clearly whether quinine is vitally needed in the war and the extent to which purchase of quinine may be guaranteed during the next year or so.

If our need for quinine is not now vital there would seem to be serious question about our persuading the Bolivian authorities to require sale of quinine to our Government at lower prices than are being offered by other United Nations.

Please repeat to Foreign Economic Administration for Crowley, Nitze, and Adler.

  1. Avra M. Warren, Ambassador to Panama; for correspondence on his special mission to La Paz, see pp. 455465.
  2. Roland A. Egger, General Manager, Bolivian Development Corporation.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.