800.6363/455: Telegram

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

480. Department’s circular of August 30, 5 p.m. In recent meetings I have suggested to the Foreign Minister the advisability of early Chilean action in the matter of the oil pool. Yesterday afternoon Rossetti10 informed me that he had sent detailed instructions to the Chilean Embassy at Washington regarding Chile’s point of view on the proposal. He was somewhat vague as to the details of the Chilean proposal but his argument seemed to be that Chile would be willing, if necessary, to impose a cut on the nitrate and copper companies but that since these industries were of prime importance to our defense effort, we would have to see that the cuts were restored. In short, Chile would suffer little or no reduction in oil supply.

In regard to my question as to the delay in setting up a national oil pool committee, he said that a petroleum committee had already been formed by the Chilean Government. (Note: The Chilean Government did set up two petroleum committees by a decree of August 30 but neither of these conform to our proposal as petroleum suppliers are not represented therein.)

Rossetti was not inclined to discuss the matter thoroughly nor did I insist as I feel that the best procedure would be for the Department to give a very categorical exposé of the situation to Michels,11 informing me of its communication which I shall repeat to the Foreign Minister.

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  1. Juan B. Rossetti, Chilean Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Rodolfo Michels, Chliean Ambassador in the United States.