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

No. 4958

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 4837, November 2, 1942,7 informing the Department of the action taken by the Embassy with a view to obtaining the publication of a supplementary decree modifying decree No. 3192 of September 1, establishing control over American currency.

There is enclosed herewith translation of the new decree7 which has been prepared by the Ministry of Hacienda with the cooperation of the Banco Central, embodying the suggestions submitted by the Embassy. This decree effects the following changes in the present situation: (1) The limit on the amount of American currency which can be carried by travelers entering or leaving Chile is reduced from $250 to $50; (2) persons possessing American currency must deliver it to the Banco Central within 15 days; (3) travelers arriving in Chile [Page 139] must declare the amount of American currency they hold and deliver any amount in excess of $50 to the customs authorities who will forward it to the Banco Central.

The text of the new decree was supplied to the Embassy by the Subsecretary of Hacienda8 who stated that although it had already been signed it could still be modified if necessary. After careful study it has been suggested by the Embassy that it would be desirable to broaden Article 2 which now refers only to persons “domiciled or resident in Chile” and to state that persons possessing American currency in Chile must deliver it to the Banco Central within 15 days. This would make the provision in question applicable to persons in other countries who might have currency in Chile in safe deposit boxes or otherwise. An attempt was made to have a shorter period than 15 days fixed but it was explained that this would not be possible on account of the extreme length of the country and the considerable time which might be required for the transit of currency from distant points such as Punta Arenas to Santiago.

In the second paragraph of Article 3 which now refers only to the establishment of regulations for the sale of American currency by travelers it has been suggested that the words “or purchase” be added since it is desirable to cover buying as well as selling operations. The Embassy is asking the Consejo Nacional to consult with it in the drafting of the regulations in question.

Assurances have been given by the Subsecretary of Hacienda that the Embassy’s suggestions will be embodied in the final text of the decree before it is promulgated.

Respectfully yours,

Claude G. Bowers
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Francisco Jorquera.