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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. The United Nations; the Western Hemisphere
(1951)

Guatemala,   pp. 1415-1453 PDF (16.4 MB)


Page 1449


This was dangerous and expanded facilities were therefore necessary.
Some time ago the Company had placed an order with the General
Electric Company for a large power generator, a hydraulic turbin,
and other needed equipment but there had been indications recently
that the order was being held up by the Office of International Trade
of the Department of Commerce. Mr. Koppelmann stated that the
purpose of his visit was to try to find out what the exact status was of
the equipment on order as far as the United States Government was
concerned.
  Mr. Mann, after reviewing the situation in Guatemala regarding
communist penetration and the attitude of the Guatemalan Govern-
ment toward the United States, especially toward United States
business interests, outlined in general terms what the United States
Government was endeavoring to do to cope with this problem. He
stressed that the cooperation of private business was necessary if our
policy was to be successful. In the long run, he said, it was the hope of
the Department that, if the experiment in Guatemala should be suc-
cessful, it would have a salutary effect on the way in which all countries
in Latin America, not only Guatemala, treated United States business
interests. He said that some or all United States companies doing busi-
ness in Guatemala might have to suffer somewhat because of our
present policy but he said that it was the Department's belief that in
the long run United States interests in Latin America generally would
benefit.
  With regard to the specific matter at hand, i.e., the equipment which
Mr. Koppelmann's company needed for expansion, a defense order,
which in effect meant priority assistance., was necessary. The Depart-
ment's opinion had been asked by the OIT and, because of the prevail-
ing situation in Guatemala, the needs of the defense effort and those of
countries more friendly to the United States, the Department had not
been able to recommend to the OIT that priority assistance be granted
for expansion of power facilities in Guatemala. Mr. Mann said that he
realized that while this might make it difficult for the company, it
would also have an adverse effect on Guatemala and the Guatemalan
economy.
  Mr. Koppelmann stated that he understood the position of the
Department and of the United States Government but of course re-
gretted that his company's plans for expansion had to suffer. He said
it would be helpful, in the probable event that the Company were
attacked if there were power failures, to have some sort of a letter from
the Department which would indicate that the company had tried to
obtain the necessary equipment but had not been able to get it because
of the defense effort. Mr. Mann said that the authority for approving
or denying applications for priority assistance lay with the OIT and
the National Production Authority and not with the Department but
GUATEMALA
1449


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