811.20 Defense (M) Bolivia/9–2844: Telegram

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

1726. Reference Department’s telegram number 946 of September 20, 1944. There follows summary of Bolivian Foreign Office note replying to our note on the completion of tin contract.

After expressing appreciation of the attitude of the United States Government toward opening discussions the Foreign Minister states that parts of his memorandum (see Embassy’s despatch number 4227 [Page 490] of August 29, 194472) have been interpreted incorrectly. He requests consideration of following six points.

Does policy of returning procurement program to private trade apply generally to all contracts and materials.
Does this policy mean FEA purchases will be replaced by direct purchases by minerals consumers.
Bolivian Government desires to have its representative attend contract negotiations and direct producers representatives. Note says people and mine laborers of Bolivia must be represented by Bolivian Government’s spokesmen. Government claims constitutional right to intervene in discussions under article 13 of Constitution.
Bolivian Government did not propose contract between our two governments although United States officials made such proposal twice. Because Bolivian Congress has not yet passed law establishing Government exportation of all Bolivian minerals, Bolivian Cabinet is willing to enter discussions on basis of amendments to present contract taking into account social and economic arguments presented in memorandum.
Bolivian Government hopes political considerations such as Bolivia’s assistance to the war effort, measures taken against Axis nationals and membership in United Nations will be taken into account along with economic arguments when fixing tin price. Note asks cooperation in shifting without social unrest Bolivia’s economy from war to peace basis. Note requests contract under which mines can work normally and Bolivia can reconstruct assistance to by developing industries such as agriculture and petroleum.
Note says Bolivian Government, as soon as agreement is reached, will “dictate tax laws which will permit the realization of the proposed social plan and guarantee the normal development of the tin industry taking into account production costs and margin of profit.” Note says Bolivian officials in Washington have been ordered to open conversations with FEA and producers’ representatives.

Full translation of note being sent by air mail.73

  1. Not printed.
  2. Transmitted to the Department in despatch 4404, October 2, 1944, from La Paz, neither printed.