Under Secretary’s Meetings, Lot 53 D 2501

Notes of the Under Secretary’s Meeting, Department of State, 10:15 a.m., October 10, 1951 2

UM N–405

[Here follow a list of those present (28) and discussion of matters unrelated to Venezuela.]

Venezuelan Loan

4. Mr. Miller stated that ARA and E are sending a memorandum3 to the Secretary asking that the Secretary call Secretary Sawyer4 regarding the proposed loan to Venezuela. This matter is coming up before the NAC today. The issue involved is raised by Treasury in that they maintain that Venezuela is a rich country and therefore should not get a loan from the Bank. Private investors have been canvassed and they are unwilling to make the loan. Mr. Miller stated that Venezuela’s dollar position should not affect the loan especially since they have not been the recipient of other Bank loans. Mr. Miller pointed out the inconsistency of Treasury’s position in that they are recommending against the loan because Venezuela’s financial situation is too stable, and, at the same time, they are recommending against loans for other countries because their financial position is too unstable.

5. Mr. Linder5 stated that NAC probably will take favorable action on the loan but he still felt that the Secretary should make a call to Mr. Sawyer. Mr. Linder’s information indicated that probably Treasury would recede from their present position. In response to a question by the Secretary, he added that it is very unlikely that Venezuela could get a commercial loan because insurance companies are the only [Page 1663] source for such loans and he doubted that they would make this loan.6

[Here follows further discussion of matters unrelated to the Venezuelan loan request.]

  1. Master file of records of meetings, documents, summaries, and agenda of the Under Secretary’s meetings for the years 1949–1952, as maintained and retired by the Executive Secretariat of the Department of State.
  2. The Under Secretary’s meeting convened on a weekly basis; it was customarily attended by the Deputy Under Secretaries of State, Assistant Secretaries of State, and office directors. Under Secretary Webb presided at these meetings.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Charles Sawyer, Secretary of Commerce.
  5. Harold F. Linder, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.
  6. On October 10, the NAC considered the proposed credit of $4,000,000 by the Export-Import Bank in favor of C. A. Venezolana de Cementos to assist in financing the external costs of expanding its cement plant at Pertigalete. In the minutes of the NAC meeting, C. Dillon Glendinning, Secretary of the NAC, is recorded as having stated in part that although there was unanimous agreement in the Staff Committee that the loan was sound, “some Staff members” had questioned whether the search for private financing in both Venezuela and the United States had been adequate. Mr. William McChesney Martin, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, is recorded to have remarked that alternative sources of funding had been sought, but none was found available. Thereupon, no further objections having been raised, the NAC recommended consideration of the credit by the Export-Import Bank (Department of State National Advisory Council Documents, Minutes of Meeting No. 183, October 10, 1951, Lot 60 D 137, Box 362). The Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank authorized the credit on October 11 (103–XMB/10–1251). For further information on this credit, see Export-Import Bank of Washington, Thirteenth Semiannual Report to Congress for the Period July-December 1951 (Washington, 1952), pp. 12, 17–18.