563 Rio de Janeiro/10–2246
The Chairman of the American Delegation to the Second Pan American Congress of Mining Engineering and Geology ( Daniels ) to the Secretary of State
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s Instruction No. 243 of September 28, 1946, addressed to me as Chairman of the Delegation of the United States of America to the Second Pan American Congress of Mining Engineering and Geology, held at Petropolis, Brazil, October 1st through the 15th, 1946. In accordance with the Department’s request in the penultimate paragraph of the subject instruction, I am transmitting herewith a confidential report3 summarizing the procedures and accomplishments of the Congress with particular reference to participation by the United States Delegation. Since the Secretariat of the Congress has not yet had opportunity to transcribe and distribute the final resolutions of the Congress and the text of closing statements, it is not possible at this time to prepare the official report on the Congress. As soon as it is possible to obtain pertinent documents of the Congress, these will be forwarded by the Embassy to the Department for inclusion in the report.
Official delegations from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Canada, Uruguay, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and the United States were in representation at the Congress. The total attendance of these delegates together with representatives of technical schools and mining corporations totalled about 350 persons. In addition to the official U.S. Delegation listed in Department’s telegram No. 1262 [Page 72] of September 25,4 about twenty other U.S. representatives from such agencies and corporations as the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the U.S. Geological Survey, Ventures, Ltd., the Engineering and Mining Journal, M. A. Hanna Company, the Standard Oil Company (N.J.) and the Denver Equipment Company took active part in the discussions of the Congress.
The Congress was officially convoked on October 1st with formal statements of welcome by Brazilian officials. On the same day, the credentials of the official delegations were checked and the various commissions were established to discuss papers presented to the Congress. The main work of the Congress began on the ensuing day and at the first opportunity a meeting of all United States representatives was called to outline the Department’s views with respect to this meeting. The important aspects discussed in the Department’s instruction were briefly covered. In summary, the following points were made:
- The delegation was instructed to achieve unanimity in the expression of any official views. Personal opinions expressed by any of the representatives or delegates were to be clearly indicated as such.
- All papers presented by members of the delegation should be cleared with the chairman.
- The chairman requested all representatives to call to his attention any discussions or resolutions which appeared to be contrary to U.S. foreign policy.
- It was announced that the official delegations of the various countries were to be each accorded three votes and that the chairman would designate the voting members of the delegation at the appropriate time.
- With respect to the subject of the locale for the next Congress, the chairman pointed out that this delegation could not make any commitments in the name of the United States government but that the U.S. Section of IPIMIGEO was not impeded from extending an invitation on its own responsibility, if such was its desire.
- The delegates were requested to submit information regarding the work of the Congress to Mr. Brown, Minerals Attaché of the Embassy, and Mr. Wendel of the Department of State for collation and eventual inclusion in an official report on the Congress.
- The chairman requested that all drafts or resolutions intended for presentation by United States delegates be cleared with him.
- The delegation was cautioned not to initiate any discussions regarding mining policy in view of the fact that the work of the Congress was basically on technical subjects. However, he stated that he was prepared to propose a reaffirmation of the Economic Charter of the Americas if this appeared necessary to thwart resolutions or proposals prejudicial to the foreign policy objectives of the United States government.
As the actual work of the Congress commenced, the United States representatives were distributed among the twelve commissions created to review the papers presented to the Congress and to recommend appropriate resolutions based on discussion of these papers.
From the viewpoint of the Department, the 7th Commission dealing with mining legislation and policy and the 8th Commission dealing with mining economy, commerce and trade in minerals were of foremost importance and consequently the progress of discussions at these two commissions was watched closely. Several controversial papers had been referred to these commissions and after some lengthy argumentation it became necessary for the presiding officers to appoint sub-committees to determine whether or not the points of view of the authors should be accepted as the bases for the formulation of the conclusions of the commissions. These sub-committees subsequently reached agreement that all of these papers should be published. However, it was recommended that the reports of the commission include appropriate wording to make clear that although the papers were worthy of study, the conclusions reflected only the opinion of the author, and not necessarily that of the Congress. These recommendations were approved by the commissions which then were prepared to proceed with the preparation of appropriate resolutions. Among the resolutions formulated for approval by the plenary body of the Congress, was the re-affirmation of the Economic Charter of the Americas, particularly emphasizing the relation of the ten principles of the Charter to the mining industry. (Resolution LI of the Final Act of the Inter-American Conference of Chapultepec, 1945). It is not believed that the Congress approved any resolutions prejudicial to United States policy.
In view of the Department’s comments with respect to expected action of the Argentine Delegation, I am happy to state that this delegation was extremely co-operative in furthering resolutions consistent with the superior economic commitments of the American Republics. The controversial papers referred to above, were presented by unofficial representatives of other countries and in the evolution of formulae to reconcile the individual viewpoints with international economic policy, the Argentine and also the Brazilian Delegations strongly supported the United States position on these matters.
Although a complete account of the resolutions passed by the Congress will be included in the official report, it appears desirable to enumerate here several of the more important resolutions of particular interest to the United States Delegation in this report. The Congress, inter alia, resolved:
- To re-affirm the Economic Charter of the Americas; (introduced (by pre-arrangement) in Commissions 7 and 8 by a United States representative, not a member of the official delegation).
- To sponsor creation of a Pan American Institute of Mining Law, subsidiary to IPIMIGEO, with headquarters in Argentina; (sponsored by an Argentine delegate).
- To promote uniform standards of statistics and technical terms; (suggestion informally made to Brazilian delegates and eventually introduced in the final resolutions of Commission 8).
- To encourage the exchange of information on the mineral industry and of the promotion of cooperative exchanges of professors, geologists and mining engineers among the American countries; (introduced by the United States Delegation on Commission 9).
- The promulgation of laws clearly outlining the norms affecting profit on and amortization of foreign capital invested in the various countries, intended to encourage foreign capital investments.
The recommendation made by a member of the United States Delegation for the creation of a commission on engineering and geology was taken under consideration by the Executive Council of IPIMIGEO.
The entire United States Delegation was completely aware of the limitations existing with respect to encouragement of the convocation of the Third Congress in the United States. However, from the very beginning, it was noticeable that most of the South American delegates assumed that the United States would be prepared to serve as host to the next Congress, because South American countries had sponsored the first two Congresses. Although the question of the locale of the Third Congress was on the agenda for the final day of the meeting, the subject unexpectedly arose for discussion in a sparsely attended plenary session on October 6th while many representatives were preparing to leave on the excursions. Presumably to table an anticipated invitation by the Argentine Delegation, the Brazilian delegates offered a resolution favoring the United States as the site of the next Congress. Because this resolution is of interest to the Department, I am enclosing a copy of the resolution5 in the form it was approved by the Congress. It is interesting to note that in the final session of the Congress, the Mexican Ambassador to Brazil extended an invitation for the Congress to be held in Mexico City. The Canadian delegate also expressed his hope that Canada could some day act as host to a Congress, subject to the action of his parliament regarding the necessary appropriation.
Referring to the expected Argentine invitation during the recess of the Congress, the President of the Congress received an official letter from the Government of the Department of Mendoza, Argentina, offering financial support in the amount of Fifty Thousand Argentine Pesos, if Mendoza, Argentina, should be selected as the site of the Third Congress.[Page 75]
Most of the delegates and representatives attending the Congress took advantage of excursions arranged for the week of October 6th to 13th. These excursions gave the visitors and their Brazilian hosts an opportunity to visit many important mining and metallurgical plants and technical institutions of the country, including Morro de Mina manganese operations, the Casa de Pedra iron mine, the Morro Velho gold mine and mill, the diamond fields near Diamantina, the coal fields of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, the aluminum refinery at Ouro Preto, the new Volta Redonda Steel Plant, the charcoal-iron blast furnaces in various locations; the industrial cities of Belo Horizonte and São Paulo and the mining schools in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Ouro Preto. It is the unanimous opinion of the United States delegates that these excursions were of the utmost value in promoting friendships with the representatives of all the other countries in attendance as well as furnishing a valuable impression of the character of the country, its economy and its people.
It is my considered opinion that the Congress was an outstanding success, particularly in providing the forum for a friendly exchange of knowledge and viewpoints on technical subjects. I believe also that it tended to promote basic contacts among technicians and mining personnel which will go far to implement the expansion of the mining industry in the Americas. The magnitude and variety of the subjects discussed in the various commissions can be judged by the fact that 172 papers were presented, reviewed and recommended for publication in the annals of the Congress.
It would not be fitting to omit reference to the magnificent hospitality afforded the visiting delegates by their Brazilian hosts. The provision of Two Million Cruzeiros (One Hundred Thousand Dollars) for the sponsorship of the Congress by the Brazilian Government through Decree-law No. 8.748 of January 21, 1946, made possible economical rates for transportation and lodging without which many delegates might have been severely handicapped during their attendance at the meetings and on the excursions. It was quite evident that representatives of the other countries were as greatly impressed with the hospitality of Brazil as were the United States personnel.