810.20 Defense/1–1545: Telegram

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

64. (1) This morning accompanied Brett and party on protocol call on Foreign Minister3 and Defense Minister4 both of whom were most cordial and received the General as an old friend. By request Brett and I met with Fernández and Carrasco at 3:30 this afternoon. Atmosphere cordial and promising. The evident purpose of this meeting was to give the Ministers an opportunity to set forth with [Page 734] reasons their fears of possible attack from Bolivia and Peru with aid or inspiration of Argentina. Carrasco told Brett of Perón’s6 bold statement to Chilean Military Attaché in Buenos Aires that Argentina must have a Pacific port from Chile, amicably or ultimately through conflict. This reported at time of the interview to Department.

In the conversation with Ministers Brett handled himself excellently, though nothing was asked by the Ministers and clear purpose was to contribute toward creation of an atmosphere. Both Ministers insisted that Chile wishes to strengthen and broaden her relations with the United States, and cited her request for American naval mission7 after twice refusing offer from England.

(2) At 5:30 meeting of all who are to take part in the discussions and do the actual work [took place?] at the Ministry of Defense. Fernández did not attend. I opened with very brief formal statement, and Brett followed with an explanation of the agenda which was distributed among the Chileans participating in the conversations. The Defense Minister expressed his appreciation of the visit, spoke in the strongest terms of the importance to Chile of close relations with us. He then named the officers to take part in the discussion, land, air and sea, and the real work will begin at meeting tomorrow at 9:15. Brett and Smith8 pleased with the very cordial atmosphere and much encouraged.

(3) Wright’s letter9 mentioned in your No. 45 January 12, 7 p.m.10 dated the 5th did not arrive until this afternoon.

  1. Joaquín Fernández Fernández.
  2. Gen. Arnaldo Carrasco Carrasco.
  3. Juan D. Peron, Argentine Vice President and Minister of War.
  4. For previous reference to this mission, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, p. 696, footnote 75.
  5. Brig. Gen. Luther S. Smith, of the Caribbean Defense Command.
  6. Letter from James H. Wright, Chief of the Division of North and West Coast Affairs, not printed.
  7. Not printed.