Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Financial and Monetary Affairs (Barber) to the Acting Chief of the Division (Collado)

I believe that it would be proper, as I transfer from FMA to CCA10 to record the action that has been taken and progress made regarding lend-lease reimbursements from the Latin American countries during the year’s time that I was an officer of FMA. After considerable correspondence [Page 238] with FEA11 the first statement was received on April 11, 1944 covering lend-lease shipments to Haiti. This first statement showed that shipments in excess of the agreed ceiling had already been made to that country. A start having been made, reports for Brazil and the Dominican Republic were received on May 13 and 26, 1944. During June 1944 reports were received for all of the other countries with which Agreements were in effect.

A second series of statements was received from the FEA during the months of August, September and October 1944. A third set of reports for each country was received during January and February 1945. The FEA is now preparing to handle these matters on a regular quarterly basis.

Reimbursement payments have now been received from Colombia (two payments), El Salvador, Haiti (two payments), Honduras, Dom. Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. Venezuela and El Salvador have promised to make additional payments. The Brazilian Foreign Minister12 has ordered the payment of the amount requested in the third billing of that country, and the payment is expected by the Department at any day. The Uruguayan payments were made without having been billed. The countries which are now current are Brazil, Haiti, Uruguay and Colombia. Countries whose accounts the Department has asked FEA to reexamine for accuracies are Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The FEA has not yet answered the Department’s requests for reexamination of these two disputed accounts.

The total amount received, counting the Uruguayan and Brazilian payments mentioned above, is $42,344,000. At present the largest delinquencies are for Chile, Peru, Mexico and Cuba.

Up to the present the Department has eschewed any publicity regarding these payments so as to avoid invidious comparisons amongst the Latin American countries and with respect to the non-cash reimbursement lend-lease countries. To my knowledge and in my judgment no lend-lease payments to date have had an injurious effect upon our friendly diplomatic relations, nor upon the financial situation of the paying country. It is my opinion that with careful handling the collections can be continued to be made from all of the other American republics without injury to friendly relations or to their economies, and to the considerable benefit of the United States Treasury.

Willard F. Barber
  1. Willard F. Barber was scheduled to assume in April the position of Acting Assistant Chief of the Division of Caribbean and Central American Affairs.
  2. Foreign Economic Administration.
  3. Pedro Leão Velloso, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs.