Memorandum of Conversation, by the Ambassador in Panama (Hines)

At the suggestion of the Acting Secretary, Mr. Clayton, at 4:45 p.m. I called to see Mr. Ness5 and discuss with him and his two assistants the matter of an application for a loan which it is expected the Republic of Panama will make in the near future.

We went over the economic situation in Panama and I explained to Mr. Ness what in my judgment the important factors were in relation to the necessity of the loan and the advisability of our giving most careful consideration to Panama’s request. I indicated that the President had requested authority of the Assembly to make two loans; one for $5,000,000 locally and one for $25,000,000 from the Export-Import Bank or other agency approved by the State Department.

The purpose of the loan is to complete Panama’s portion of the Inter-American Highway, materials needed for the completion of the International Airport, the building of roads within the Republic and materials used in the construction of additional schools which Panama considers badly needed. Mr. Ness advised me that when the Comptroller General of the Republic of Panama was in Washington approximately a month ago that he indicated to Mr. Obarrio the detail necessary to properly present an application to the bank. Mr. Ness also made certain suggestions relative to the application which I will make available to the Comptroller General at the proper time.

No commitments relative to making the loan were made by either Mr. Ness or his assistants and I advised him that my conversation with him relative to the loan was solely to be in a better position to give advice to the President of Panama or members of his cabinet when the subject comes up.

Frank T. Hines
  1. Norman L. Ness, chief economist of the Export-Import Bank.