740.00112A European War 1939/13634

The American Embassy in Chile to the Chilean Ministry for Foreign Affairs 47


It has recently come to the attention of the United States Embassy that on four separate occasions the Compañía de Petróleos de Chile has been ordered by the competent Chilean authorities to deliver petroleum [Page 103] products to firms specified on the “Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals”.

Order No. 206 dated May 15, 1942, from the Departmento de Industrias Fabriles, Ministerio de Fomento, directed delivery of 5000 liters of gasoline to the Sociedad Manufacturera de Cueros, Caucho y Tejidos or Peñaflor. This concern is the manufacturing branch of the Bata Shoe Company, which is controlled from German-occupied territory and which has been blacklisted wherever its branches are to be found. This is also the firm which initiated negotiations with the United States Embassy in Santiago looking toward its removal from the Proclaimed List, and which discontinued these negotiations which lasted over a period of about two months for reasons unknown to the United States Embassy.

On May 22, 1942, an order was issued by the Comité Nacional de Distribución de Petróleo to deliver 150 liters of Diesel Oil monthly to Air France, a firm controlled from German-occupied territory, although this line is not operating at the present time nor is there any likelihood of its operating in the near future.

On May 29, 1942, the Directión de Abastecimiento de Petróleo, Comisión Racionadora de Gasolina, issued an order to Copec48 to deliver 120 liters of gasoline monthly to Erwin Storandt, a person who did not hesitate to admit to a member of the staff of the United States Embassy that he was a member of one of the blocks (Block No. 4) of the Nazi party in Santiago.

Order No. 62, dated May 26, 1942, from the Dirección de Abastecimiento de Petróleo, Comisión Racionadora de Gasolina, directed Copec to deliver 500 liters of gasoline monthly to Siemens-Schuckert, a concern which is known to have engaged in anti-neutral and National-Socialist activity in Chile.

The United States Government views such orders with deep concern, especially when they involve essential materials such as petroleum, an adequate supply of which for Chile represents a problem and sacrifice of United States and British interests. It is hoped that the Chilean Government will perceive the desirability to make the Proclaimed List Policy completely effective, as the continuance of compulsion to deliver such essential raw materials to local firms on the Proclaimed List without prior consultative cooperation will seriously undermine one of the important elements of hemisphere defense. It is believed that if local control is not instituted in Chile over Axis and other undesirable interests, at least affirmative action which amounts to support of Proclaimed List firms should be avoided.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in Chile in his despatch No. 3650, June 19; received June 29.
  2. Compañía de Petróleos de Chile.