Memorandum by the General Manager of the Nicaro Nickel Company (Dufour) to the Cuban President (Grau)36


The Nicaro Nickel Company built and has operated the plant at Lengua de Pájaro with funds furnished by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, as part of the program of National Defense of the Government of the United States of America.37

With the end of the war, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation nevertheless continued to finance the operation of the plant, thus giving time to the Nicaro Nickel Company to study the economic feasibility of operating it for its own account, but in accordance with instructions received from the offices of the Metals Reserve Company of the said Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the operation of the plant must be terminated. The Nicaro Nickel Company, on the other hand, after having studied all the possibilities, has decided that it would be absolutely uneconomic to undertake operation of the plant on its own account.

The cessation of operations should take place as soon as possible as stocks of materials are exhausted, approximately January 15, 1947. In the meantime, all non-essential work will be discontinued immediately. For the purpose indicated, the personnel will be discharged gradually, in accordance with the plan, in order that the final termination of operations might take place in the manner and at the time aforementioned.38

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We regret to have to inform the Government of Cuba of the foregoing, but we are compelled by circumstances to do so and at the same time we request the good offices of the President of the Republic with the Ministry of Labor and other agencies of the Government in order to enable the termination of operations and the closing of the plant to be effected as normally as possible.

Maurice Dufour
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department in despatch 2503, November 27, 1946, from Havana. According to this despatch, the memorandum was handed to President Grau on November 21 by a delegation from the Nicaro Nickel Company, in accordance with arrangements for the interview which had been made by the Embassy, in order to inform him of the decision to close the Nicaro plant on or about January 15, 1947 (837.504/11–2746).
  2. See memorandum of August 3, 1942 (concerning the fourth report of the American Technical Mission in Cuba), which mentioned a $20 million Reconstruction Finance Corporation advance for the development of nickel deposits, Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. vi, p. 301.
  3. The responsible agencies of the United States Government later decided to terminate operations of the plant under Government auspices on March 31, 1947. The assets of the plant were declared to the War Assets Administration as surplus for disposal under the provisions of the Surplus Property Act of 1944. (837.6359/3–1947)