862.20225/620: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Uruguay (Dawson)

657. Please call upon Dr. Guani immediately and lay before him the following considerations.

It is becoming increasingly evident that Axis interests and those reactionary elements in Chile who are making every effort to prevent any change in Chilean policy have prevented Chilean public opinion and even the great majority of the members of the Chilean Congress from having the slightest knowledge of the serious nature of the Axis subversive activities which have been going on for so long a time in Chile. Chilean public opinion has no conception of the dangers to Chile’s own interests created by these activities nor the vital dangers to the defense interests of the entire Hemisphere which the continuation of these activities constitutes.

It therefore seems essential that the true facts as set forth in the secret memorandum handed to the former Chilean Foreign Minister by [Page 101]the American Ambassador in Santiago on June 30 last be made public.34

Owing to present conditions, if the United States Government itself makes this document public, the extreme nationalists and the Axis interests in Chile will undoubtedly attempt to create the impression that this is an effort on the part of the United States Government to bring pressure to bear upon the Government of Chile and for that reason this Government feels it undesirable, at least at this time, for it to release this information to the press.

This Government believes however that the subject matter involved is precisely the kind of problem with which the Committee on Political Defense, under the able and effective chairmanship of Dr. Guani, is called upon to deal. It believes that the danger inherent in the situation which continues in both Chile and Argentina is an increasingly serious danger to all of the other American Republics and that Dr. Guani will coincide with the belief of this Government that the Committee, an Inter-American defense organization created for this purpose, should make it possible for the people of the entire Hemisphere now to have full knowledge of the details involved in Axis activities in all the American Republics and the serious menace resulting therefrom to the security of the Hemisphere.

Please suggest therefore to Dr. Guani the desirability of his making public, in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee on Political Defense, not later than Wednesday, November 4, the full text of the secret memorandum of June 30 which is now in his possession and which Dr. Guani has already undoubtedly read. This Government does not know whether Dr. Guani will consider it necessary to submit this question for the formal consideration of the full membership of the Committee, but it would seem that Dr. Guani, as Chairman of the Committee, would be entirely warranted in taking that action without the necessity of any formal approval by the other members of the Committee.

In either case, you may say to him, and so inform Spaeth, that the latter is authorized to transmit this document to Dr. Guani for the official cognizance of the latter in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee.

You may inform Dr. Guani, for his confidential information, that a similar detailed document covering Axis activities in Argentina35 is being officially communicated to the Argentine Foreign Minister in the immediate future and that, should Dr. Guani approve, a copy of this document would be later given to Dr. Guani for similar publication.

Please cable as soon as possible what the views of Dr. Guani may be.

  1. For summary, see p. 225.
  2. For a draft of this document, see p. 218.