824.6352/9–745: Telegram

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

934. Dept.’s 593, Sept. 6.

Neither the Dept. nor this Embassy can object to a strike. We can, however, insist that as has not been done heretofore, American personnel be protected during strike.
It has never been the Embassy’s intention that we should bargain American lives against the price of tin. I see no reason, however, which could prevent us from making the negotiation or signing of a new tin contract absolutely contingent upon formal assurances that agitation against Americans will be stopped. That is all the Embassy has ever recommended to Dept.
The Bolivian Govt, should be required to take these steps: (a) Prevent its own agents (labor inspectors Toranzas and Escobar79) from inciting the miners against Americans; (b) prevent labor agents [such as?] (Lechín) from such agitation; (c) address itself directly to the miners calling for respect for the Americans.
I discussed this matter along the foregoing lines but more forcefully last evening with President Villarroel and again received assurances of prompt corrective measures.
  1. Cesár Torranzos, Inspector General of Labor, and José de la Asunción Escobar, of the Ministry of Labor.