825.85/193: Telegram

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

1227. Foreign Minister, who has been ill, this morning stated that the Ministry for National Defense had objected to the sale of the three motor vessels on the grounds that in case of trouble with Peru or Bolivia troop transports would be lacking. Fernández believes, however, he has overridden the Defense Minister’s84 objections and latter will now take position that there is no objection to sale from standpoint of defense. If this transpires then he said the sale would [Page 882] have to be approved by the Senate in secret session. When it was pointed out that thiswouldmean further delay Fernandez implied he would hurry the Senate approval.

I fully understand that the sales agreement should not be postponed until vessels are ready for delivery but obviously it cannot be signed before the agreement between Governments is concluded. Vial CSAV states Huneeus has reported that WSA apparently unwilling permit inspection turbine of first unit covered by charter party. WSA reported to have stated it will charter first unit to others unless contracts signed today. Suggest such action be delayed unless WSA is ready to abandon the whole deal. Reference Embassy’s 1218, July 7.86

  1. Gen. Oscar Escudero.
  2. Not printed.