825.20/132: Telegram

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

197. The extreme importance of Chilean copper and of Bolivian tungsten and tin to the war effort of the United States and the associated powers indicates the necessity of taking all precautions within our power to protect the facilities for the mining and shipment of these strategic minerals. Having in mind the Department’s previous instructions on this subject and your numerous despatches, you are requested nevertheless to submit a full and detailed report by air mail on preventive measures already taken, embodying all information available to the Embassy and other officials in Chile; and, in your discretion, to request the FBI agents to make a careful personal investigation of conditions at the important mines and respective ports, transport facilities, and power supplies.

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Please likewise discuss the seriousness of this problem with the appropriate Chilean authorities, both from the standpoint of Chilean national economy and of continental defense.

In addition to the foregoing, please ascertain what measures of protection are being taken by the companies themselves, through additional trusted watchmen and guards, examination of personnel, etc.

Further reports on this important matter are desired at frequent intervals or when developments warrant, by telegraph when necessary.