624.3531/12–1946: Telegram

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

secret
us urgent

1141. At the request of the Junta President50 the Sub-Secretary of Foreign Affairs asked me to call today to discuss Bolivian-Argentine situation. The Sub-Secretary said that the Argentine Ambassador51 here had told him that Argentina wishes an overall trade treaty with Bolivia and a customs union. Sub-Secretary added that the Bolivian Ambassador in Buenos Aires52 has advised that Argentina wishes Bolivia to send a commission immediately with powers to conclude such a treaty and that in the absence of a treaty the Ambassador is convinced that no exportation to Bolivia will be permitted after January first when Argentine 5-year plan goes into effect, the Ambassador having been informed that all Argentine rolling stock will be needed to implement that plan. Ambassador said contemplated treaty would involve an actual clearing.

Regardless of desirability of signing a trade treaty with Argentina Bolivia does not wish to send a commission now as it feels such a [Page 425] treaty should be the responsibility of the permanent government which is to result from elections to be held January 5. On the other hand Argentine quotas for 1947 are to be allotted during the month between December 15 and January 15 and Bolivian Ambassador Buenos Aires reports that no quotas are to be expected should Bolivia fail to send commission.

Sub-Secretary requested me to determine whether United States Government would supply Bolivia with essential foodstuffs for half of 1947 requirements which would enable Bolivia to negotiate with Argentina other than under the present pressure which is being exerted. The foodstuffs needed and their amounts in tons are the following: wheat 30,000, hog fat 1,500, edible oils 400 and white sugar 2,500.

As Argentina evidently taking advantage of very difficult period through which Bolivia is passing our help at this time would be real contribution to independent Bolivian reconstruction and I recommend most strongly that Department endeavor meet Bolivian needs.

In view pressing time element Department’s immediate attention and reply as soon as possible most desirable.53

Repeated Buenos Aires.

Flack
  1. Tomás Monje Gutiérrez.
  2. Mariano Buitrago Carrillo.
  3. David Alvestegui.
  4. In a memorandum of December 27, 1946, the Ambassador indicated to the Foreign Minister that 8,476 tons of wheat were on the way from the United States and that another shipment might be available at the end of March (824.5018/1–247).