The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Bolivia (Thurston)

No. 312

The Secretary of State refers to the Embassy’s despatch no. 1270 of July 25, 194576 and informs the Officer in Charge that the Department is impressed with that communication.

The Embassy inquires whether it should cease urging American citizens to continue in the Bolivian mines considering the conditions which expose them to personal danger. In reply it may be stated that the decision as to whether or not American citizens should engage in or remain with the Bolivian mining industry is entirely one for the individual judgment of the person concerned. Moreover, in view of the termination of hostilities patriotic motives need no longer constitute a determining factor. Further, if consulted, in no case should the Embassy advise that it is safe for American citizens to go to or stay in the mines if the Embassy is satisfied that such a course is attended by unusual risk.

The Department is deeply concerned with the events that have recently occurred in the mining industry in Bolivia. As the Embassy has been informed (Department’s telegram 535, August 10, 4 p.m.76 this matter has been brought to the attention of the Bolivian Ambassador here. The Embassy will also have addressed a note to the Bolivian Government under the Department’s telegraphic instruction 539, August 11, 1 p.m.,76 expressing the view of this Government that it expects the Bolivian Government to assure protection to American citizens and afford them full enjoyment of their rights in Bolivian territory.

The Department hopes that the Embassy’s representations may have brought to the consciousness of the Bolivian Government the necessity of taking the necessary measures to these ends and that an improvement of the situation has come about. It would, however, appreciate being informed by telegram whether there are indications that such is the case.

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