740.0011 European War 1939/1199: Telegram

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

229. My telegram No. 227, December 16, 10 a.m.22 Saw Ortega23 1:00 o’clock following his conference with President. He gives absolute approval to our position; agrees that expeditious action important; and consents to the announcement of the provisional statement by the President of Panama. He favors investigation and further action by the Committee named for the purpose at Panama Conference and thinks this an essential part of agreement there. He is sending me a formal note in reply this afternoon.

He sat down and wrote the following for me:

“With regard to the invitation of the United States we accept it, on the basis of making a preventive declaration to manifest to the belligerents the desirability of respecting the principles of America, in order to avoid a later formal (legal) declaration which could be regarded at given moment through the contingencies of belligerency as contrary to instructions one or the other of the warring nations.”

2. He understands only United States and Mexico are maintaining a patrol in support of the neutrality. He realizes other nations not in position effectively to do so but suggests that some patrol by each nation would be tangible evidence of each one’s sincerity in the Declaration of Panama. Would appreciate our views.

3. He expressed much concern over report reaching him that Chile’s failure to join in an all-American denunciation of action in Finland24 was critically received in Washington. With evident sincerity and feeling he said with emphasis that Chile’s action was in absolute conformity with the clear declaration made at Panama. Chile wishes to go with her fellow American Republics but cannot reconcile a denunciation of one warring party in Europe with the declaration at Panama that our purpose is to keep out of the quarrels of Europe.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Abraham Ortega, Chilean Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  3. See section entitled “Proposed collective protest by the American Republics against the Soviet invasion of Finland”, pp. 128 ff.