The Ambassador in Peru (White) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 24.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s Confidential Instruction of December 6, 194438 requesting information concerning enemy investments and plans, and the activities of persons attempting to preserve the enemy’s economic, political and military potential abroad after the cessation of hostilities.
Peru, through a series of emergency decrees and laws, has successively tightened its controls over the persons and properties of Axis subjects, and it may be said that at the present time the majority of Axis investments in this country have been liquidated and the proceeds frozen. Of the businesses, properties or investments owned by Axis subjects which have not yet been liquidated under this emergency legislation, the greater part are under intervention or administration by the Peruvian Government so that with only a few exceptions the situation here is well under control. However, as our Government’s policy, as described in the instruction under reference, envisages the necessity of regulating the activities and investments of Axis subjects in the post-resistance period when as far as is now known Peruvian controls will come to an end and frozen Axis funds handed over to the individual owners, it is obviously necessary that surveillance over such individuals be continued.
It is not known that any looted property has found its way into Peru and it is not regarded as probable that entities domiciled in or controlled from Germany are a vital factor in the local situation, although the few cases in which that probability figures, such as Farbenindustrie, Bayer and Ferrostaal, are in themselves important. The local branches of these organizations have been expropriated and liquidated but as the individuals who managed them are at liberty attempts to reestablish those instruments of German economic penetration in the period following cessation of hostilities are a definite possibility. In general, however, the enemy assets here which may become available to Axis interests in the post-resistance period will belong to Axis subjects or sympathizers actually domiciled in Peru [Page 1326] who will either act for themselves as local controls permit or through cloaks and other confidential agents. Consequently our register of enemy assets in Peru will not ordinarily contain much information of interest in the investigation and examination of records and individuals in the Axis homelands. Data on hand and to be compiled by this Embassy will be more local in scope but will nevertheless constitute a defense against reestablishment of the enemy’s military potential in or from this country.
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As a result of Peruvian emergency measures nearly all of the Axis property remaining in this country is in the easily hidden or transferable form of money. It will therefore be very difficult if not impossible in most cases to obtain definite evidence of improper employment. However, our familiarity with all phases of the local situation will enable us to determine with reasonable certainty the identity and methods of those who act as cloaks and intermediaries in the mobilization of the elements of Axis economic resurgence here.…
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Counselor for Economic Affairs
- Not printed.↩