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

No. 506

Sir: With reference to my despatch No. 314 of September 19, 194683 entitled, “Steps Taken to Protect American Citizens at the Hochschild Potosí Mines”, I have the honor to enclose a copy of a self-explanatory memorandum,84 the original of which I handed to the Foreign Minister, Dr. Aniceto Solares, on the morning of October 17, 1946.

Dr. Solares, I found, was already not only fully acquainted with the general situation, but was informed of the particular incident concerning Messrs. Peterson and Bandy which took place at Huanuni. Dr. Solares said that he had already discussed this incident with the Minister of Government85 and they would concert on the best steps to be taken to assure security of the lives of Americans in the mines at Huanuni and Catavi. I agreed with the Minister that the situation of maintaining order at these mines is particularly delicate and that the problem is one of psychology as well as of force, and that these points would have to be taken into account by the responsible Bolivian authorities.

In conclusion, the Foreign Minister assured me again that all possible steps would be taken to provide safety for American citizens at the mines and in view of the instructions which have already been issued to the various Prefects and Sub-Prefects in this sense as previously promised by the Minister, I have no doubt that he will make every effort within his power to fulfill his promises on this occasion. I shall, however, continue to follow this situation and to keep it before the Bolivian authorities with a view to forestalling any possible injury to American citizens.

Respectfully yours,

Joseph Flack
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed; it indicated that two American officials of mining enterprises were forcibly ejected from mining properties near Huanuni and subjected to physical abuse. A local official at the mill succeeded in spiriting them away to a police station. The mob then dispersed. (824.504/10–1846)
  3. Roberto Bilbao Vieja.