Trumbull – Dear Conquistadores (1) – Response From American Consul – April 16, 1939

This letter from Grandpa quotes a response from the American Consul in Venezuela regarding Grandpa’s barage of letters to Officials in Venezuela about the fact that his sons had not been paid by Inter-America, Inc. since they began working for them late in 1938.


April 16, 1939

Dear Conquistadores:

If no news is good news I have received good news from both of you this week.  Probably tomorrow will make up the deficiency, but as Ced, Helen and I will start from here in the little Willys about 6 A. M. to drive down to New York for the purpose of being on hand when Ted’s boat docks, it may be we will be delayed a few more hours in hearing the latest S. A.  Bulletins.

However, here is one for you — a quotation from a letter just received from Stewart W. McMillin, American Consul at Venezuela, as follows:

“Reference is made to your letter of April 3rd, in regard to your two sons, employed by Intermerica, Inc.

“I have talked this morning with your son Alfred.  He says that Daniel is still in camp at work.  Alfred is waiting payment here, but seems to have been promised a new job with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, and expects to go to the oil fields near Pariaguan within a few days.  He has promised to write you very soon.  (Note by Editor: if he got a definite promise out of Lad he is doing very well)

“The matter of payment of American employees of the Interamerica Co. here is one which I have talked over earnestly and concisely with Mr. Maxudian, president of the company, lately in Caracas.  He left today for New York, however, a well-known lawyer here, Dr. Travieso Paul, is the man empowered to receive from the Ministry of Public Works, payments made on behalf of the company.  He informed me that about $6,500 should be received today (letter was dated April 10th) and some $9000 U. S. currency the end of the week and that arrangements have been made to pay proportionately on outstanding bills.  This, I am told, would take care of all salaries up to the end of December last.

The lawyer advises that subsequent payments on this contract, which are said to be worth $200,000 in all, should bring salary payments up to date within another two months. That, of course, one cannot say definitely, and I believe that both of your sons are rather pessimistic about full and final payment.

“However, I feel that, irrespective of the company president’s real desire in the matter, he realizes by this time that he must pay the men in the field as promptly as possible, and I am inclined to feel that if the men will hold together and go on with the work, this will ensure the continuation of payment by the government and that before the end of Spring they should all be fully paid.

“I Hope you will communicate with us from time to time.  I expect to place the whole matter before our State Department soon and should prefer to have the official there in possession of the circumstances before you communicate with them.

“Just as I had finished this letter, a man from the Carora camp came in.  He says that Saturday evening, the 8th, he saw your son Daniel and that he was well and contented.  Some money had just reached the camp and been distributed.”

Tomorrow I will be posting the rest of this letter. 

Judy Guion


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