811.20 Defense (M) Bolivia/9–2144: Telegram

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

951. For your background information there is no political consideration whatsoever involved in this Government’s decision that it would be undesirable to conclude a government-to-government tin contract with Bolivia. It is the established policy of this Government to withdraw as rapidly as practicable from participation in international trade and to return such trade to private hands. This policy has been followed by the United States in its dealings with other countries and it is felt that a government-to-government contract with Bolivia would be a restriction upon private trade and therefore inconsistent with the above mentioned policy. Under these circumstances, the existence of a valid contract between the United States Commercial Company and the Bolivian tin producers makes it most logical that such revisions as may be agreed upon be considered as amendments to the existing contract.

While it is realized that this Government’s position is a disappointment to the Bolivian Government in its plans for a social program, it is felt that it will be entirely possible for the Bolivian Government to obtain funds for the social program from the proceeds of the production of tin and that a government-to-government tin contract is not necessary to this end.