611.2531/371: Telegram

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

130. Your 168, October 1, 11 a.m. After further discussion with Gazitua this morning we still have some doubt as to how accurately the Chilean Government understands our position regarding the shipping conference question. In view of your 166, September 30, 2 p.m. and 167, September 30, 10 p.m., it is essential to be assured of mutual understanding on this point before we issue our announcement of trade agreement negotiations.

Accordingly please present the following statement in writing to the appropriate Chilean authorities with a view to obtaining such assurance:

“As the Chilean Embassy here states that it has informed its Government, there is no link whatsoever between the shipping conference matter and the announcement of trade agreement negotiations. Our position is that on the shipping matter we are strictly limited to the expression of informal interest to the Maritime Commission with a [Page 420] view to expediting the Commission’s consideration in accordance with its usual procedure. The Commission would be in a position to act only if the conference should reject the application. Since the Commission is an independent semi-judicial agency, the Department’s action would have to be strictly limited to urging upon the Commission the desirability of prompt and full consideration of the case; it would not be appropriate or helpful for the Department to exert pressure to influence the Maritime Commission’s ultimate decision.”

You may use the appropriate portions of Department’s 128, Oct. 1, 2 a.m. if necessary to explain Department’s position more fully. Please endeavor to clear this matter as speedily as possible since we must withhold our announcement until we receive a reply indicating full understanding of our position. We can release our announcement on very short notice, and as it is desired to do so tomorrow if at all possible, particularly in view of the announcement already made at Santiago, please telegraph or telephone immediately if you have been able to obtain such indication from the Chilean authorities.