740.00118 European War 1939/172

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

No. 1240

Sir: With reference to my telegram No. 82 of March 5, 12 midnight [11 p.m.]4 I have the honor to enclose a copy and translation of the confidential memorandum4 handed to the First Secretary by the Chief of the Diplomatic Section of the Foreign Office, in which it is stated that the proposed appointment of a United States Naval Observer at Punta Arenas would not be acceptable to the Chilean Government.

It may be explained that in the absence of Dr. Bianchi5 at the time of the receipt of the Department’s Telegram No. 26 of February 8, 1 [6] p.m., the matter was taken up confidentially with the Chief of the Diplomatic Section, who said he would obtain an informal expression of opinion from the appropriate authorities. The statement contained in the Embassy’s Telegram No. 61 of February 19, 6 p.m.,4 to the effect that there would be no objection to the contemplated assignment, was conveyed orally by the Chief of the Diplomatic Section, who stated that he had taken it up with the Ministry of National Defense. Subsequently the Ministry of National Defense decided it did not desire to have a Naval Observer assigned, as indicated in the confidential Foreign Office memorandum transmitted herewith.

[Page 554]

In my opinion the Chilean Government may be in fact somewhat less emphatic in its objections than the memorandum would imply, and if sufficient information could be supplied to enable the presentation of a clearer picture of the observer’s proposed activities, an assent might be obtainable.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Ellis O. Briggs

First Secretary of Embassy
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Manuel Bianchi, Chilean Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  4. Not printed.