File No. 862.85/172

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile ( Shea)

[Telegram]

The Government of the United States intends to assign to the trade between the United States and Chile to bring nitrates from [Page 1262] Chile to this country some of the German ships formerly laid up in United States ports, but now taken over and operated by the United States Shipping Board.

While Chilean Government has informally assured you that it would grant full protection to former German merchant ships as reported your telegram July 17, the Government of the United States considers it advisable before sending these other German merchantmen to Chile to obtain a formal agreement from the Chilean Government that it will recognize such ships as public ships of the United States and protect them from seizure or interference either by individuals or by the courts while in Chilean ports and that they will be immediately released without bail in case a civil court takes jurisdiction of a libel against any of them.

You are instructed to procure if possible such a formal agreement and cable it to Department.

Lansing