810.20 Defense/2–845

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

No. 4726

The Acting Secretary of State quotes for the confidential information of the Embassy, a memorandum of conversation between Commander Donald McIntyre, Chilean informal Delegate to the Inter-American Defense Board and Colonel Edward H. Porter, United States Army Coordinator of the Board.

  • “1. In a conversation with Commander McIntyre of Chile on the evening of 26 January 1945 at his home, the commander brought up the subject of standardization of Navy material for the hemisphere. He was very anxious to make it plain that in his opinion the greatest obstacle to standardization would be the question of cost, stating that it would cost 100% more to purchase a ship from the United States than it would to purchase one from Great Britain. He stated that the United States was sending a Naval Mission to Chile and that this was a major change in Chilean policy inasmuch as there had been a Naval Mission from Great Britain in Chile ‘on and off’ for a hundred years. Commander McIntyre was of the opinion that this mission would fail unless some means were found to sell United States ships to Chile at a price no higher than that of the British market. He stated quite frankly that the British were actively endeavoring to hold onto their business in supplying the Chileans with ships and that his British friends here had talked to him at some length on the subject. He said that he had replied by telling them that the hemisphere had become a unit; and that now Chile was tied more closely to the United States than to Great Britain. He stated that the distances between the countries involved made this more natural.”
  • “2. He seemed most anxious that the United States Naval Mission to Chile should be a success, apparently due to a sincere desire for closer Chilean collaboration with the United States and standardization of naval equipment in the hemisphere.”
  • “3. The commander was very forceful in his statement of the situation and expressed the wish that high United States Officers should be informed of it.”