The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile (Bowers)
1039. Department is impressed with the facts and arguments summarized in Embassy’s A–91 of August 25 which analyze Chile’s requirements for oil and is making unremitting efforts to maintain oil supplies to Chile, as to the other American republics, at a level which will avoid basic disruption of internal economy. The fact is that demands on tanker transportation for direct war services leave this Department as well as other agencies of this Government which are concerned in maintaining civilian supplies with a limited and possibly even a further decreasing total tonnage which can be divided among the republics but which cannot be increased. You should make clear to the Government of Chile that it is in no sense a lack of “consideration to the effect upon Chile” on the part of this Government, but the nonexistence of sufficient tankers that compels Chile along with the other oil importing republics to accommodate consumption to the possibilities of supply.
While it regrets the obvious necessity for this conclusion the Department feels that the only realistic viewpoint is the one that recognizes the lack of tankers as a physical fact and it is the opinion of the Department that nothing can be gained by representing to Chile that any improvement in the oil supply situation can be expected in the near future.