The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile ( Bowers )
391. Your 493, October 2, 6 p.m. The text of the following proposed note has received the approval of the Navy Department. If you perceive no objection, you are authorized to deliver this note to the [Page 557] Chilean Foreign Office and request a written reply transmitting the Chilean Government’s acceptance of the contemplated arrangement.
“Excellency: I have the honor to inform you that I am in receipt of instructions from my Government stating that the Navy Department of the United States, owing to the presence of raiders in the Pacific Ocean, has expressed the opinion that it is urgently necessary to increase its patrol activities in that ocean. In order to carry out these duties effectively, the assistance of Your Excellency’s Government is requested in order that blanket permission may be granted to vessels of the United States Navy engaged in these patrol activities to enter the ports of Antofagasta and Valparaiso for the purpose of obtaining fuel and supplies. The commanders of these vessels would inform the consuls at Valparaiso and Antofagasta as far in advance of their arrival as possible for communication to the appropriate Chilean officials.
It is the intention of the naval authorities of the United States, in the event that this permission is obtained, to purchase fuel from local sources whenever a sufficient supply is available. It may, however, be necessary to transport oil in tank steamers to Antofagasta and Valparaiso. In such instances, it is hoped that Your Excellency’s Government will grant such fuel free entry and exemption from payment of charges other than a reasonable fee to the distributing agencies for storage and handling charges. It is also requested that the Navy Department of the United States may be permitted to arrange with the local distributing agencies to provide from existing storage sufficient space for 5,000 barrels at Valparaiso and 5,000 at Antofagasta into which the tankers may discharge their cargoes.
It is hoped that Your Excellency’s Government will, in the interest of Hemisphere defense, be good enough to accord favorable consideration to the request of the United States Naval authorities. My Government will be glad to grant reciprocal facilities to vessels of the Chilean Navy which might desire to utilize for similar purposes such ports on the Pacific coast of the United States as the naval officials of Your Excellency’s Government might designate.”
Please report by cable any comments which you may consider pertinent, and inform the Department promptly as soon as this exchange of notes has been effected.