824.51/8–2147: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Bolivia


A–217. Your despatch no. 1320, May 7, 1947.53 Referring to Foreign Office note of April 28, 194753 requesting opinion this government on extending $30 million credit and technical assistance in the La Paz–Beni Railway construction project the following is for your information and use at your discretion in replying to the note.

In the absence of a formal application accompanied by complete [Page 357] technical details, the Eximbank has no comment, since it is the Bank’s policy not to give preliminary or informal indications or opinions that it will give favorable consideration to loan applications.

The Department does not desire to encourage the filing of an application with the Eximbank, and does not now look with favor upon US public financing of this project because: (1) since organization of World Bank which has the function of long-range development financing, Eximbank applications are generally confined to exporter’s credits or to the financing of purchases in U.S. incident to projects which may be considered of short- or medium-term nature; (2) there does not appear to be real economic justification commensurate with the expense involved; and (3) the U.S. Railway Mission (headed by James A. Dehlsen, 1942–46) recommended against its construction.

However, should Bolivia find ways and means to go ahead with this project and then realize a need of technical assistance, this government will give consideration to such requests as Bolivia may make respecting such needs.

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