The Chargé in Venezuela (Dawson) to the Secretary of State

No. 9378

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s circular airgram of October 3, 1946, 8:40 a.m.,54 requesting the Embassy’s comment on any local legislation regarding ultimate disposition of enemy assets which may present an obstacle to the carrying out of the principles adopted by the Special Committee on Enemy Property.

The Embassy has transmitted to the Department the following despatches which give in detail the existing Venezuelan legislation concerning the nationalization of German and Japanese properties and funds in Venezuela:

Despatch No. 8442, February 21, 1946,54 “Nationalization of German and Japanese Properties and Funds in Venezuela”. As an enclosure to this despatch there were transmitted five copies of Gaceta Oficial No. 21933 of February 13, 1946, containing the full text of the law.

Despatch No. 9003, July 22, 1946, “1. Nationalization of German and Japanese Assets in Venezuela; 2. Conversation with Dr. J. M. Herrera Mendoza, President, Administration of Nationalized Properties”.

The Embassy has studied with interest the principles adopted by the SCEP in the airgram under reference, as well as the more comprehensive circular airgram of August 22, 1946, 11 a.m.54 While those principles appear to be equitable, and the renunciation of the United States to any share in the excess assets is magnanimous, the Embassy is inclined to believe that the Venezuelan Government may not have the same broad view as the SCEP in this matter. The Venezuelan Government is still attempting to assess the extent of German and Japanese assets in Venezuela and pending the determination of many individual cases, all such assets are frozen. Neither the Embassy nor any source within the Venezuelan Government can estimate [Page 1330] the value of enemy assets at this time. A very rough guess would place them in the neighborhood of Bs. 10,000,000, or approximately $3,000,000. This estimate, however, includes the Bs. 7,000,000 paid in escrow by the Venezuelan Government for the German railway properties in Venezuela, the title to which properties may eventually be the subject of prolonged litigation with the alleged Spanish owners.

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Respectfully yours,

Allan Dawson
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