825.00 Revolutions/30: Telegram
The Ambassador in Chile ( Culbertson ) to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received 2:45 p.m.]
109. I conferred this morning at his request with General Vergara. He said that Chile felt no shame over what had happened in its Navy since he believed that it was a result of an international movement [Page 913] against social order. He spoke frankly saying that Chile at the present time has not a Navy. He stated that the submarine boats from the South had not joined the ships at Coquimbo and although at the present time he does not know their exact whereabouts he hopes that they will return under his control today. He believes that the ships at Coquimbo are no longer counting on submarine boats. These ships are now moving north and the airships have instructions to follow and maintain contact. The situation in northern ports under control of the Government and instructions have been sent to deny ships supplies and food. The General, who has just returned from Europe where he had an opportunity to observe communistic activities, spoke of imminent danger of social war and describing Chile’s problem as continental rather than local, stated that he desired support from the United States, especially because of its moral effect, in the following respects:
- He wishes us to furnish immediately war materials especially bombs and tear gas materials. I called the attention of the General to time required to get material here. Nevertheless, he desires our cooperation in an effort to deliver this war material to Chile from the Canal as soon as possible.
- The General wishes to announce tomorrow that the Chilean Government is negotiating with the American Government for the purchase and for immediate delivery of two or more submarine boats in order to reorganize the Navy. In the opinion of the General this step is at present primarily valuable because of its moral effect and he said that purchase would probably never be consummated.
The General emphasized that intervention was not being requested in any form but that since a government of the best elements in Chile is now in control it desires the moral support of the United States and our effective cooperation.
I told the General that I would submit the matter informally to my Government and if a favorable reply were received I would expect the request from his Government to be put in writing by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. He has an understanding with Foreign Minister on this point. I should appreciate a reply today.