810.20 Defense/713a: Telegram

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

65. I have given careful consideration to your letter of March 744 and have consulted the War Department.

The requests of the various American republics for assistance in obtaining armaments have been receiving the consideration of the Joint Advisory Board on American Republics, a committee of Army and Navy officers established for this purpose. This board has rendered a report recommending that Chile should obtain in the United States during the Fiscal Years 1941–4, armaments valued at 50 million dollars, of which 40 million is allotted to the Army and 10 million to the Navy. This sum is 10 million in excess of the figure suggested by Señor Pedregal45 during his recent visit to Washington and is based on the same list of materiel which Pedregal altered and reduced. It is not limited to anti-aircraft and coast defense equipment and includes matériel valued at about 5 million dollars which Mr. Pedregal was informed could probably be obtained this year if orders were placed promptly.

It is understood that a portion of the funds recently voted by Congress after the passage of the Lend-Lease bill46 may be made available to supply armaments to the American republics, although the technical details by which this would be accomplished have not yet been elaborated.

Although it is the considered policy of this Government to accord priority to the needs of Great Britain you may rest assured that every effort will be made to furnish Chile with the necessary military and naval equipment in accordance with the above-mentioned plan.

The War Department would much appreciate it if the Chilean Government would designate a representative in the United States with whom it could discuss these subjects. The resumption of staff conversations in Chile is discretionary with you.

  1. Not found in Department files.
  2. Guillermo del Pedregal, coordinator of Chile’s economic and financial controls; he became Minister of Finance in June.
  3. Act of March 11, 1941; 55 Stat. 31.