825.85/176: Telegram

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

531. Your 892, May 13, 9 p.m. As the War Department has recommended to the War Shipping Administration that they proceed with the negotiations of the three motor vessels in view of their usefulness as troop carriers, the Department is informing the War Shipping Administration that it has no objection to the continuance of these negotiations.

It is contemplated that an offer will be made for the vessels at $2,000,000 each, as well as offering four vessels for charter to CSAV in accordance with the second alternative in the Department’s 469, May 3. The offer is subject to the conclusion of a satisfactory agreement between the two governments with regard to post-war replacement, along the lines of that outlined in the Department’s 496, May 11.

The Department has also recommended to WSA that a press release be issued when the deal is concluded, the release to emphasize the fact that negotiations for acquisition of these vessels were undertaken (a) in the spirit of full cooperation in the war effort (b) as a further means of insuring the defense of the hemisphere, and (c) with adequate consideration for present and future Chilean maritime interests.

The Chilean Government may wish to issue a press release along these lines at the same time. These vessels are urgently needed in connection with our war effort and the Department is convinced that Chilean maritime interests are adequately safeguarded in the present proposal.

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Please discuss this with the appropriate Chilean officials in order that they may appreciate the important considerations involved in our offer. For your information, CSAV representatives here, as well as Chilean Embassy, have during the past few days shown great eagerness to complete this sale.