824.504/1–1646: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Bolivia ( Adam )

secret

57. ReEmbassy’s A–16 January 15 and 78, January 30, 6 p.m.67 Although Dept feels that for present Embassy need not take official cognizance of Juan Lechín letter68 to Ambassador or possibility that Ministry of Labor assisted in preparation of letter for distribution Dept is concerned over possible consequences its circulation in so far as contents of letter patently hostile and inimical to this country and its citizens.

Emb should therefore orally and immediately bring matter to attention of Foreign Office in following sense:

Reference should be made to reports received by Emb of impending general strike in mines and that in that connection Lechin’s letter is being widely circulated in mining areas. It should be pointed out that unfounded and tendentious charges made in that writing against the Ambassador of the US and the hostile allusions it contains to the US, its citizens and its principles might arouse sentiments dangerous to Americans in the mining districts. It should be said that in fact the tenor of letter suggests that this may be purpose that Lechín hopes to achieve through its circulation. It should be stated that in view of incidents of threats and attacks against American employees of mining industry and their families that have unfortunately occurred [Page 380] in the past foregoing circumstances per force give rise to continuing concern of this Govt with respect to safety of its citizens; and that this observation accordingly is made in consonance with assurances of Bolivian Govt of protection of American citizens.

Byrnes
  1. Neither printed.
  2. Letter of January 2, 1946, charged that the Ambassador reported the Bolivian labor movement as illegal, that its leaders were venal, and that Lechín accepted or was willing to accept a bribe (824.504/1–846).