824.2544/8–2950: Telegram

The Ambassador in Bolivia (Florman) to the Secretary of State


105. Re Deptel 51, August 26 [25] and Deptel 53, August 28.1 Was received today by Foreign Minister and presented Department’s views. Foreign Minister was sympathetic and appeared confident that its [sic] August 11 tin decree has the full support of the UN at Lake Success, He said that the Bolivian Government would not enact [Page 754] decrees or pass law that would be contrary to recognized principles as practiced by democratic peace loving nations individually and the UN specifically. He also said that the Bolivian Government has every intention to cooperate and go along with the US and that the Government cut Italy’s requisition for tin in half so that the US may have more tin.

When I brought out that the US will be deprived of its required tin needs owing to curtailed production account of August 11 decree Foreign Minister phoned President at Palace. Foreign Minister then told me that although all phases of the mining industry were carefully studied, including profits to miners and increased production prior to the enactment of the August 11 decree which the Government intended to rigidly enforce, he is now pleased to advise me if it should be found necessary, the decree will be made flexible so that the US will not be deprived of its tin needs.2

It is my opinion that the Bolivian Government would never have taken the responsibility to issue that decree of August 11 if it had not been promoted, encouraged and assured by the UN mission to do so.3

  1. Telegram 53, not printed, but see footnote 1, telegram 51, supra.
  2. In telegram 115 from La Paz, September 6, 1950, Ambassador Florman stated: “I was received in audience today by President Urriolagoitia at palace for hour discussing tin and am especially pleased to report August 11 tin decree is now a dead duck and Presidential palace door is wide open.” The Ambassador added that mine representatives were expected to meet with the President. (824.2544/9–650)
  3. In a memorandum of conversation dated September 1, Mr. King related in part that Dr. Keenleyside had denied to himself, Mr. Atwood, and Fletcher Warren, Director of the Office of South American Affairs, that members of the UN Mission recommended the steps embodied in the decree of August 11. (398.00–TA/9–150)