740.0011 European War 1939/17844: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain ( Weddell )

696. Your 1098, December 23, 8 p.m. The Department approves your comments to the Chilean Ambassador.

Ambassador Bowers recently requested instructions from the Department with respect to the comments he should make in response to an inquiry from the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning the attitude of this Government toward a collective appeal to the Spanish Government. Ambassador Bowers was informed that the Department perceived no objection to this initiative on the part of Chile, but it was suggested to Ambassador Bowers that he might comment to the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs in a friendly way that it would seem advisable to give very careful thought to the matter before undertaking an appeal which, since it would involve only the Spanish-American Republics as distinct from the United States, Brazil and Haiti, might have an unfavorable effect on the concept of complete continental solidarity. The Department now understands, however, [Page 54] that all the American Republics except the United States are included in the Chilean Prime Minister’s initiative.

While the Department does not believe that this Government should consider participation in such an appeal or statement to the Spanish Government, you are authorized to inform your Chilean colleague that this Government is disposed, as always, to assist Spain in the solution of its economic problems, provided satisfactory assurances are given that such assistance will not be turned to the advantage of the Axis. You should point out however that in the present situation the first consideration in a question of economic supply must be the requirements of this country, its associates in the war, and this hemisphere.