825.248/223: Telegram

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

98. From the President.

“I have given the most careful personal consideration to the Chilean military and naval situation as described in your various communications to the Secretary of State. I fully appreciate the necessity for doing everything possible to enable Chile to resist attack from any of the Axis countries. Considerations both of hemisphere defense and of the importance to our own war effort of Chilean strategic materials make this obvious.

The materials listed in the telegram transmitted to you on January 21 by the Department of State were made available at my orders after consultation with General Marshall.19 You appreciate, I am confident, that the demand for war matériel for actual war use is very great, not only by our own Army and Navy but by the nations now fighting with us day and night. Production is increasing rapidly, however, and more materials will be forwarded to Chile just as soon as they become available.

It would be inexcusable to disregard the possibility of a Japanese hit-and-run attack on Chile. On the other hand, it would be equally inexcusable to suppose that any Japanese plan for such an attack [Page 7] would be in any way affected by the particular state of Chile’s diplomatic or other relations with Japan at the time. Therefore, I hope that the ‘full Chilean cooperation’ mentioned in your telegram 13620 will be immediately forthcoming, since it will be a most valuable contribution to the placing of both our countries in the best possible position to meet all eventualities. Signed Franklin D. Roosevelt”

  1. Gen. George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, United States Army.
  2. January 22, 9 p.m., p. 5.