The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile ( Bowers )
81. Your 65, January 12, 9 p.m. It is the Department’s understanding that the facts concerning the Grace Line Service contained in the telegram under reference are substantially correct. This interruption to the service has been brought about chiefly because of the necessity for removing vessels from service temporarily for the purpose of installing arms and degaussing equipment. It is understood that some Maritime Commission vessels have been diverted to this trade, principally to load copper. Unless further withdrawals of tonnage become necessary, it is expected that Grace Line Service should be back on a regular basis by March 1. Within the last few days, however, the Grace Line vessel Santa Elisa, which was southbound to the West Coast of South America, was damaged extensively in a collision and probably will not be available for service for some time.