Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of North and West Coast Affairs (Espy)

Participants: Ambassador Don Ricardo Martinez Vargas
Mr. Ellis O. Briggs, Director Office of ARA
Mr. James Espy, NWC
Mr. Raul Diez de Medina, Minister Counselor, Bolivian Emb.

During their meeting this afternoon, Mr. Briggs, Director of ARA, handed to the Bolivian Ambassador a copy of Mr. Espy’s memorandum dated June 5, 1947.89 Subject—Embassy residence, La Paz.

Mr. Briggs stated that in offering to accept a part of the payment of the Lend-Lease account in bolivianos, we had in mind using some of the funds for the purchase of the Embassy residence at La Paz and possibly of other government properties in Bolivia. Mr. Briggs stressed that we were immediately concerned in keeping a “roof over our Ambassador’s head.”

Ambassador Vargas commented that this had been the first time that he had learned that we might be willing to receive part of the Bolivian Lend-Lease indebtedness in bolivianos. He said he thought this was a very interesting proposal. The Ambassador then informed Mr. Briggs that he would immediately telegraph his Government informing it of the substance of the memorandum and requesting that most prompt action be taken.

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