811.20 (D) E.D.B./1760: Telegram

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

1486. Embassy’s telegram No. 1441, September 5, 7 p.m. Foreign Office reply to note of August 20 merely states that Embassy will be [Page 67] informed shortly of plan for regulating supplies of copper for national industries which has been prepared by Ministry Commerce and that Chilean Ambassador at Washington has telegraphed that within a month Board of Economic Warfare will send expert to Chile to study distribution of copper to South American countries. All [Also?] referred to Embassy’s suggestion that pending an agreement Embassy be consulted before acceptance orders by American producers or issuance export permits is considered.

From discussions with Minister of Commerce it seems clear that the regulations referred to will not go beyond the establishment of specifications covering the products which fabricators must make in order to obtain supplies of bar copper. The purport of the regulations will be to ensure work for local plants by requiring more than elementary fabrication.

While there is continued threat that new legislation will be introduced eliminating all possible doubt as to the obligation copper producers to deliver whatever quantity local industries desire and particularly of other acute problems concerning nitrate price and petroleum supplies, it does not appear desirable to force the issue at this time. With Embassy’s consent Anaconda will, therefore, indicate its willingness to accept Government approved orders for a second month up to maximum of 1500 tons. This it agreed to on August 19 for 1 month but orders received have fallen short by 300 tons and it appears doubtful whether maximum quantity will be [apparent omission].

As Embassy cannot act effectively without definite advice regarding sending of expert please telegraph urgently whether this will [be] done.