710. F.B.A.C./217a: Telegram

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

319. Department’s 261, August 12, 7 p.m. The formula mentioned has not yet been approved by the Inter-American Committee, as the Chilean representative is not yet prepared to withdraw his objection.

The possibility exists, particularly in view of the fact that on August 28 we handed new trade agreement proposals embodying the formula [Page 605] to the Chilean Ambassador (instruction no. 691 of September 11),5 that the Chilean Government may believe that by abstaining from voting on the formula in the Committee, Chile will be placed in a special and more favorable position, vis-à-vis this Government, than Argentina, Brazil and other countries supporting the resolution, when the question of preferences to contiguous countries arises in trade-agreement discussions with the United States.

You are requested to discuss again with the appropriate officials the substance of the Department’s 261, and if you have reason to believe the Chilean Government is adopting an attitude such as that suggested above, you should emphasize that the formula represents the full extent to which this Government believes it can go, and that unless the Chilean Government’s representative on the Committee is authorized to refrain from objecting to the formula when it comes up for action before the Committee, it would naturally make it extremely difficult, and perhaps impossible, to work out a basis for the resumption of trade-agreement negotiations with this Government. It is hoped that instructions for a favorable vote on the formula will be sent to the Chilean representative before the next Committee meeting on September 18.6

  1. Not printed; this instruction transmitted to the Ambassador in Chile copies of the documents handed to the Chilean Ambassador on August 28.
  2. No record found in Department files of meeting on September 18 or of action on this formula at later meetings of the Committee in 1941.