740.0011 Pacific War/1049: Telegram

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

582. From the Under Secretary. Your 752, December 13, 4 p.m. Please inform Rossetti that I am most sympathetic with the situation which confronts him personally as well as his Government. However, both the President of the United States and this Government have given so many unequivocal assurances of an intention to come to the assistance of any nation of the Western Hemisphere which may be the victim of foreign aggression that it does not seem desirable to supplement those assurances with a secret protocol of the type described by Rossetti. The existence of such a protocol in the case of Chile alone would obviously be incompatible with the system of continental solidarity. Nor would it seem appropriate to sign such a protocol with Chile when no such special and individual agreements exist in the case of those nations which have unhesitatingly declared war upon the Axis powers.34

However, you are authorized to deliver to Rossetti a signed communication reiterating the specific promise of military assistance to Chile which is contained in the record of the staff conversations between Chilean and United States officers, a copy of which is on file in your Embassy (see Tab B entitled “United States Promise of Assistance to Chile”). This communication may obviously be dated at any time which will suit Rossetti’s convenience provided of course it is not prior to the date of the staff conversations.

Please assure Rossetti that the very great strategic importance of Chile from the point of view not only of hemispheric defense as a whole but also from that of the maintenance of United States defense industries is fully appreciated here. [Welles.]

  1. For tabulations of declarations of war by belligerent countries, see Department of State Bulletin, December 20, 1941, p. 551; ibid., February 7, 1942, p. 143; and ibid., November 20, 1943, p. 349.