740.0011 E.W./1–1245: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Peru ( White )1

43. For your personal and secret information the President of Chile has, after long and careful consideration, informed us that critical political conditions in Chile, where congressional elections will be held in March, precludes Chile’s taking the initiative at this time regarding the situation explained to you by Wright upon the occasion of his recent trip.2 Accordingly, it has been decided to proceed forthwith to inform Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Uruguay, and Paraguay of this situation.

I am sure that you have well in mind the instruction which Wright showed you, but to recapitulate, the principal points are:

A country may become a member of the United Nations only if it is at war with either Germany or Japan.
The time is approaching when the “Associated Nations” may find themselves in the painfully embarrassing position of being placed in a category apart from their sister republics who are United Nations. It is quite probable that certain of our allies who have suffered great loss of life and material damage will not agree to allow the “Associated Nations” to enter into the postwar discussions of the United Nations on an equal footing unless and until those “Associated Nations” have formally aligned themselves shoulder to shoulder with the nations engaged in this war. This does not mean that any further material contribution would have to be made by those nations to the prosecution of the war.
This Government has done and will continue to do what is feasible to gain admission to United Nations conferences on an equal footing for the “Associated Nations” irrespective of whether they regularize their status, but we are not sanguine that this will be possible in the light of the strong feeling which exists on the subject by nations which have been invaded or suffered greatly.
Quite aside from clarifying the position of Peru as regards the forthcoming meeting relating to an International Security Organization, this action should have an important practical and psychological effect on the earlier termination of the war and the nations concerned could well take pride in this.
The awkwardness of the position of the six American “Associated Nations” was manifest on January 1, when the French Ambassador here signed the Declaration by United Nations3 at a ceremony to which were invited only representatives of the United Nations. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that very soon will arise concretely the problem of what nations will be invited to the forthcoming United Nations Conference to consider the Dumbarton Oaks proposals.4
The “Associated Nations” are cooperating in the war, but are not in a formal state of war. A formula which could be used locally to formalize their status is: “The Lima and Panama declarations5 established the doctrine that aggression by a non-American power against an American power is an aggression against all; this aggression has occurred against several American republics; relations were broken; it is commonly recognized that although no formal state of war exists, the actions of the ‘Associated Nations’ have been such as to make their status just short of being at war; and there should be ample ground for formalizing their status by an appropriate action declaring that as of a certain date, present or past, the nation concerned is or has been in a state of war with, for example, Japan”.

You will realize that Peru’s reaction to this proposition is likely to be negative unless it is presented as a significant opportunity for Peru to improve its own position and at the same time to make a positive contribution not only to inter-American solidarity in the war but also to the building of an international security organization.

We feel that in all fairness to Peru we must recommend strongly that in its own interest Peru should take steps to regularize its status at the earliest possible moment. Please see either the President6 or the Foreign Minister7 as soon as possible and discuss this matter with him in secrecy and frankness. As soon as you have done this, please telegraph the Department.

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This matter is not being discussed with the Peruvian Ambassador here.8

  1. Repeated, mutatis mutandis, January 12, 3 p.m., to Ecuador as No. 39 and to Venezuela as No. 21.
  2. For the beginning of the mission to Chile, Peru, and other states of James H. Wright, Chief of the Division of North and West Coast Affairs, see despatch 1888, December 5, 1944, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, p. 691.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, p. 25.
  4. For documentation on the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, April 25–June 26, 1945, see vol. i, pp. 1 ff. For documentation on the Dumbarton Oaks Conversations, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, pp. 713 ff.
  5. For text of the Lima Declaration, see Report of the Delegation of the United States of America to the Eighth International Conference of American States, Lima, Peru, December 9–27, 1938 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1941), p. 189; for text of the Panama Declaration, see Resolution XIV of the Consultative Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics, September 23–October 3, 1939, at Panama, Department of State Bulletin, October 7, 1939, pp. 331–333.
  6. Manuel Prado y Ugarteche.
  7. Manuel C. Gallagher.
  8. Pedro Beltrán.