800.014 Antarctic/321

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

No. 66

Sir: Reference is made to your despatch no. 189 of December 4, 19398 transmitting the text and a translation of a letter addressed to you on November 28 by Professor Humberto Barrera Valdebenito of the University of Chile, in which he requests that consideration be given to permitting him to accompany the party of the United States Antarctic Service now en route to conduct certain investigations and surveys in the Antarctic regions.

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Before replying to Professor Barrera, you are requested to inform appropriate officials of the Chilean Government orally and informally for their confidential information, as follows:

This Government recently received a request from the Argentine Government that two Argentine naval officers be attached to the present party of The United States Antarctic Service, with a view to the development of the Argentine meteorological service. The Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs was informed that as arrangements for housing and victualing the members of The United States Antarctic Service who are to remain on the ice through the Southern winter have been calculated to such a fine point, it would not now be practicable to make the necessary adjustments for the inclusion of additional personnel in the ice parties, much to the regret of this Government. It was stated, however, that this Government would be very glad to arrange for two Argentine naval officers to join either the U. S. S. Bear or the U. S. M. S. North Star at Valparaiso about the middle of February for the voyage to East Base and return as guests of this Government. The Argentine Government was requested, in the event this suggestion was agreeable to it, to inform this Government of the names and rank of the naval officers selected. No reply has as yet been received from the Argentine Government.

You should inform the Chilean officials that this Government would be pleased to make similar arrangements for one or two representatives of the Chilean Government, in the event the Chilean Government is interested in sending them on either of the two ships mentioned.

You may mention to the Chilean officials concerned that you have received the mentioned communication from Professor Barrera and that you propose to inform him that the investigations and surveys to be undertaken in the Antarctic regions under the command of Admiral Byrd are now under the authority and responsibility of an agency of this Government, known as The United States Antarctic Service, so that participation by a Chilean citizen in the investigations and surveys would be subject to arrangements between the Government of Chile and this Government. You may then suggest that, if the Chilean officials perceive no objection, you could inform Professor Barrera that it has been necessary to restrict the ice parties for the reasons mentioned but that you have discussed the matter of possible Chilean representation on the voyages of the U. S. S. Bear and the U. S. M. S. North Star to East Base and return and that he might take up this matter with such official as may be indicated to you.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
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