810.20 Defense/1–1145: Telegram

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

38. In connection with the military and naval staff conversations scheduled to begin in Chile about January 15, I hope you will take the opportunity, when you meet with General Brett2 and the other officers before conversations begin, to impress upon them the important political significance of the conversations in Chile and the delicate political situation existing there in which the army plays an important role. Furthermore, although it has been clearly stated in instructions and discussions concerning the staff conversations, I think it would be well for you to emphasize the preliminary nature of these conversations and to reiterate the importance in view of the information referred to above of our carefully avoiding any direct or implied commitment during these exploratory talks of any sort in regard to the size or equipment of the Chilean armed forces. This is a point which has often been repeated but bears repetition again so that it may be constantly in the minds of those participating.

  1. Lt. Gen. George H. Brett, Commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command.