825.5151/314: Telegram

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

40. On the 15th instant Edward Crowley, representative of General Motors, was defintely refused by Señor Urrejola, Vice President of the Exchange Control Commission, exchange permits of any kind for automobiles and chassis against documents. These vehicles which have already passed the customs have an approximate value of $20,000. Urrejola also stated that no matter what Crowley was told by this Embassy Chile is economically unable to absorb any further automobiles and that consequently no further exchange of any nature will be granted for this purpose. Crowley states that General Motors has some 38 additional units now en route to Chile and that more are expected to be shipped today.

The manager of the National City Bank states this morning that Urrejola has informed the bank that no further exchange of any sort will be authorized for the importation of automobiles and radios until further notice.

I protested on the 14th instant to Dr. Cruchaga against the serious condition arising from the arbitrary and confusing management of the Exchange Control Commission but as Acting Minister of Hacienda he seems unable to bring about a change of Urrejola’s methods. I suggested that the Department bring the situation to the attention of the Chilean Ambassador in Washington on the ground that American commerce with Chile is being seriously affected by the attitude of the Exchange Control Commission here.