800.6363/745: Telegram

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

745. When you communicate to the Chilean Government the substance of Department’s circular telegram of this date,49 you should at the same time give that government the following information relating to the points raised in your despatch no. 3549 of June 9.50 Chile’s contribution to the United Nations war effort by furnishing copper, nitrates, et cetera is appreciated and is recognized by exempting [Page 105] from the rationed category and furnishing in full the oil supplies which are necessary for the production of those war essential materials. Emphasis should be placed upon the fact that approximately 85 percent of Chile’s total oil requirements is for services classified as war essential, exclusive of oil demands for bunkering allied navies which does not contribute directly to the national economy of Chile. This means in effect that a 50 percent reduction in Chile’s rationable civilian consumption corresponds to only 7½ percent of her total national demand based upon 1941. This is a very moderate burden for Chile to bear in comparison with the other oil importing republics. In these circumstances this Government does not view with favor any proposal to divert any available tanker tonnage from less fortunate neighboring republics for the purpose of still further improving Chile’s relative situation.

It should also be pointed out that during the first 5 months of 1942 Chile’s gasoline consumption has been 10 percent higher than during the same period of 1941.

  1. Not printed; the Department observed a lack of realism on the part of the American Republics in their oil consumption policies and indicated that less than half of the 1941 rate of consumption for civilian needs would be available (800.6363/775a).
  2. Not printed.