740.00112A European War 1939/2556a: Telegram

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

356. From the Under Secretary. The Chilean Ambassador17a called to see me this morning to convey to me instructions he had received from his Foreign Minister. These instructions implied that the recent inclusion of additional names on the Chilean Black List involved some form of unwarranted interference by the United States in the domestic affairs of Chile in derogation of Chilean sovereignty. I said to the Ambassador that I was surprised at his reporting a message of this character inasmuch as when the Black List was originally published it had been made entirely clear by this Government and by its representatives that the proclamation by the President of the Black List had resulted from the fact that many individuals and firms throughout the Americas had been availing themselves of the financial and commercial connections which they had in the United States in order to undertake activities directed against the [Page 295] United States and directed as well against inter-American solidarity and against the best interests of all of the American Republics at a very critical moment in the history of the world when frank and full cooperation between all of the American Republics is imperative and at a moment when all obstacles to cooperation should be eliminated. I reiterated various other reasons already made clear and said that I did not agree for a moment that the action taken by this Government warranted an interpretation that such action constituted interference in the domestic concerns of the other American Republics.

I added that, inasmuch as the Ambassador and I had always spoken with the utmost frankness regarding all questions involving the interests of our two countries, I had recently received reports which I trusted were unfounded that the Chilean Government was endeavoring to secure the support of other American governments to a protest to the United States against the Black List. (For your strictly confidential information, a report to this effect has just come from the Embassy in Rio de Janeiro.)18

In conclusion I said that all of our missions have standing instructions to report immediately to the Department of State if they believe that the inclusion of any names in the Black List is unjustified or if they feel that any names should be eliminated from the Black List, and that consequently I assumed that if the Foreign Minister possessed reasons which made him believe that the addition of the new names to which he referred was unjust or due to erroneous information, he would at once communicate his reasons for requesting the exclusion of such names to your Embassy.

I shall keep you informed of any further evidence the Department may receive indicating that the Chilean Government is in fact trying to pave the way for a joint protest against the Black List, but in the meantime I believe it would be helpful for you to have a conversation with the Foreign Minister at an early moment and ascertain what his real reasons may be for the instructions he has sent to Ambassador Michels. [Welles.]

  1. Rodolfo Michels.
  2. Telegram No. 1392, September 29, 1941, not printed.