740.31112 RP/9–2945: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Venezuela ( Corrigan )

660. Venezuelan Chargé87 called on me yesterday to inform me of intention of Venezuelan Government to issue a decree in near future cancelling certain provisions of decree 241, dated November 9, 1943, which is basic to our Proclaimed List and replacement policy. Copy of Venezuelan note88 being sent by transmittal slip. Provisions of decree relating to expropriation, liquidation, and forced sale of Axis firms against which such action has already been ordered reportedly would remain effective until completion of proceedings but other pro visions by which exercise of individual guarantees were restricted and all resolutions and other measures decreed or adopted in execution of decree 241 will be abrogated and nullified. It is presumed this would mean the release from control of all funds of Proclaimed List and other Axis nationals including possibly funds specially blocked.

Venezuelan Chargé was informed that while it was impossible without careful study to ascertain full import of proposed decree, Dept envisaged possible adverse effects upon program of liquidation of [Page 1439] Axis properties in view of fact that certain Axis properties would not be subject to adequate controls after issuance of this decree. Chargé was told Dept believed it highly desirable that proposed action be delayed until its effects on our PL89 policy can be studied thoroughly. He was also informed Dept concerned that Venezuelan Government may deprive itself of control of Axis nationals who may be considered dangerous to future security of hemisphere as envisaged in Resolution VII of Act of Chapultepec.90

It was suggested any discussions of proposed cancellation decree 241 might best be held in Caracas. Chargé stated he would immediately cable his Govt concerning above observations.

Dept presumes you have not been informed, and may be approached shortly by Venezuelan Govt to determine your attitude toward cancellation of pertinent parts of decree 241. Dept believes proposed action may prejudice PL and replacement program. Your comments urgently requested.

  1. Arturo Lares.
  2. Note of September 27, 1945, from the Venezuelan Chargé, not printed.
  3. Proclaimed List.
  4. Pan American Union, Final Act of the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, Mexico City, February–March, 1945 (Washington, 1945), p. 38.