The Ambassador in Chile (Culbertson) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 2.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to this Embassy’s despatch No. 1288 of October 26, 19321 reporting conversations which we had at that time concerning various issues affecting American interests arising through exchange control regulations and enclosing a copy of a memorandum dated October 24, 1932, which was left with the Foreign Office and which set forth our position on these problems.
Under the new Government far from being settled many of the old difficulties have been aggravated or raised in a new form and the vigorous nationalistic policy which the Alessandri Government has pursued since its inauguration2 has brought new and perhaps even more serious threats against our interests. In addition to the problems arising through exchange control difficulties with which we have been grappling for months two important new issues have developed since the inauguration of Alessandri. These are the attitude which has been adopted toward the nitrate situation3 and the apparent intention of the Government to effect the cancelation of the gold surcharge clause of the concession-contract of the electric company through ministerial decree.… I felt the problem should be approached first by a direct conversation with the Executive followed by subsequent contacts with other appropriate branches of the Government. My interview with the President is reported in my despatch No. 1365 of January 25, 1933.4 As experience has shown that the numerous complicated issues arising from exchange control regulations can be most effectively dealt with by leaving a memorandum with the Foreign Office prior to discussions or elaborations of the [Page 104] points at issue, such a memorandum (copy enclosed) was prepared and handed by me to Señor Cruchaga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, on January 24. The Minister did not enter into a discussion of the memorandum but promised that the points would be thoroughly gone into. He did make the suggestion, however, that I discuss these questions with Señor Ross, the Minister of Hacienda, and implied that something constructive would come out of such a discussion. To-day I had an interview with Ross and, among other questions, took up the problems arising through exchange control difficulties. A copy of a memorandum covering this phase of my interview is enclosed.
It will be noted that among the various points dealt with in the memorandum, articles 8, 9, and 10 treat of the French Compensation Agreement5 and that the intention of the American Government to request that equivalent treatment be granted to American commerce is reaffirmed. Supplementing the conversations which I have recently had at the Department on this subject there is enclosed a copy of the Note addressed to the Chilean Government by this Embassy on November 9, 1932, and which embodied in formal form our request for equivalent treatment.
- Not printed.↩
- For correspondence regarding the revolutions in Chile in 1932, see Foreign Relations, 1932, vol. v, pp. 430 ff.↩
- For correspondence regarding the nitrate situation, see pp. 154 ff.↩
- Not printed; but see telegram No. 19, January 31, 7 p.m., p. 159.↩
- For text of the agreement, signed November 11, 1932, see F. Illanes, Nuestros Tratados de Comercio, p. 70.↩
- Not attached to file copy.↩
- Enclosure 3, p. 111.↩
- Mr. Cruchaga, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, was also present.↩
- Not printed.↩