825.85/164: Telegram

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

663. Butrick51 yesterday brought up with Jaramillo52 question of Copiapo, Imperial, Aconcagua. Jaramillo said President Ríos against transaction but indicated a definite proposal would be entertained on a basis of a charter to Chile of equivalent ton hours of serviceable vessels not needing constant repair. Ton hours would mean larger tonnage for Chile based on comparison of speeds of Chilean and substitute vessels. Jaramillo requested detailed offer from American Government for consideration.

Today Butrick spoke with Vial53 who indicated desire to sell three vessels outright retaining funds in the United States for purchase of [Page 865] standard United States type passenger vessels after the war. He said that he would be satisfied to charter equivalent tonnage which would have to serve under sole orders Chilean Line as latter must retain its income from clients and succulent position and prestige in American trade.

He said that Chilean Government would probably ask for more than equivalent tonnage which demand not to be taken too seriously.

The ton hours tonnage request fails to recognize that fast ships are slowed down to convoy speed and voyage.

Vial apparently anxious sell vessels perhaps fearing either requisition ships or prohibition transfer Chilean funds abroad. Suggest Department press matter through Huneeus54 on basis above information.

  1. Richard P. Butrick, Counselor of Embassy for Economic Affairs.
  2. Rodolfo Jaramillo, Minister of Economy.
  3. Carlos Vial, President of Cia. Sud Americana de Vapores.
  4. Agustín Huneeus, general manager, Chilean Line.