710 Consultation (4)/12–544: Telegram

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

1217. ReEmb’s 1888, December 5, 8 p.m. When you see Fernández at Viña del Mar, please take pains to emphasize to him that this Government does not wish him to misunderstand our reasons for bringing this matter to his attention. We are not doing so for any selfish motives of our own. It was merely that we felt it incumbent upon us as the good friend of Chile to inform him of recent important developments affecting the interests of the Republic of Chile. Obviously the question of whether or not Chile should take any action in the premises is one solely and entirely for the determination of the Chilean authorities.

We shall, of course, continue to take the position that the contributions of Chile to the war effort entitle her to a seat in conferences on post-war matters.

Please convey to Fernández our view that this subject is a most delicate one, and suggest to him that, while you recognize that under Chile’s democratic institutions the declaration of a state of war would have to be approved by the Senate, you believe that it would be advisable to limit discussions of this question to the smallest possible group until he has given it the most careful consideration in all its aspects.

You should in any case endeavor to dissuade Fernández from discussing the subject outside a limited group until after Wright’s departure.