The Ambassador in Chile (Bowers) to the Secretary of State
[Received 9:20 p.m.]
493. For the Under Secretary. Rossetti informed me this afternoon that our request for permission for our war vessels to enter Chilean ports without previous notice for refueling and supplies had been discussed with the heads of the army and navy who are favorable but who ask that our tankers transfer fuel to storage tanks in these ports and that our vessels refuel from them rather than directly from our tankers. This to prevent possible attacks from political opposition on charge ports being used as naval bases. It is asked too that the agreement be made bilateral, not that any Chilean ships will avail themselves of the privilege to be extended our vessels, but also to meet political criticism in the event the agreement becomes public. He wants the agreement to be confidential between the two Governments. He will ask the President for his approval tonight.