The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Bolivia

No. 73

The Acting Secretary of State refers to the Embassy’s despatch no. 209 of April 8, 19482 concerning the Bolivian Replacement Program.

The Department appreciates the difficulties which have confronted the Embassy in its efforts to obtain compliance with the obligations which Bolivia undertook under the Final Act of the Mexico City Conference of 1945,3 and has taken cognizance of the excellent work done by the Embassy in this direction.

With regard to the request made by Señor Gutierrez4 for a statement of the specific charges against certain Bolivian firms, it should be noted that the Department’s interest in the Bolivian Replacement Program is at this time chiefly concerned with the following three firms:

  • Juan Elsner y Cia
  • Kyllman, Bauer y Cia
  • Zeller, Moser y Cia

In all three instances, the Department’s interest arises from the fact that these firms are regarded as being beneficially owned by Germans resident in Germany. Such ownership from Germany is in itself considered objectionable, even in the absence of inimical activities on the part of the firms or their personnel in Bolivia. On these points, the Department has no information other than that submitted to it by the Embassy during the past few years. In this connection, the Embassy [Page 347] is specifically referred to despatches no. 955 of June 5, 1945, no. 2141 of January 25, 1946, and no. 2396 of March 13, 1946.5

For the strictly confidential information of the Embassy at La Paz only, it may be noted that the Department has sought the concurrence of the British and French Governments to a proposal that the three governments disassociate themselves entirely from the programs of the various other American republics for the elimination of German external assets, except for making available to those countries without comment or recommendations any factual information which they may request.

The Department has not yet received any indication of the attitude of the British or French Governments toward this proposal, but will be content for the time being to see the Embassy relax its efforts with regard to the Bolivian Replacement Program. In accordance with the foregoing, there is of course no objection to the presentation to the Bolivian Government of information or evidence with regard to the beneficial German ownership of the three named firms, if such information or evidence is not already known to the Bolivians.

  1. Not printed.
  2. For the Final Act, see Report of the Delegation of the United States of America to the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, Mexico City, Mexico, February 21–March 8, 1945, p. 39; for documentation on this Conference, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. viii, pp. 1 ff.
  3. Arturo Gutierrez Tezanos Pinto, Minister of National Economy.
  4. Despatch 955 of June 5, 1945, not printed; for despatch 2141 of January 25, 1946 and memorandum of March 12, 1946, see Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. xi, pp. 404 and 406.