810.20 Defense/9–2045: Telegram

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

1192. Yesterday morning General Brett had 2-hour conference with Carrasco, Minister Defense who has been stumbling point in matter of ground mission and in end Brett’s handling of matter appeared to satisfy objections of Minister whose attitude throughout was friendly. These as previously reported were based on ground that with ending of lend-lease, mission would be crippled by lack of certain equipment he thinks necessary. Without making any commitments Brett explained a plan having President’s approval was pending in Congress which might meet actual necessities. He urged Chile ask for temporary ground mission which could be made permanent so preliminary organization work could go ahead. Brett convinced that Minister had talked among other Army officers with such assurance about demanding material before acceptance of mission he is now seeking way of retreat without losing face. However, other officers of military hierarchy all strongly favorable to mission.

Last night at President’s dinner Brett, who sat between Carrasco and me, told me at table that a moment before Carrasco had whispered to him, “I think that matter we were discussing about ground mission will be speedily worked out to your satisfaction.”

First of week I shall see both President and Fernandez and shall reiterate Brett’s arguments to Carrasco. I suspect between conference in morning and dinner in evening, Carrasco reported to President and found him favorable to Brett suggestion.

Brett was received here with real enthusiasm by Army officers and public and was cheered by crowds in street riding in my car from military review yesterday afternoon. May I suggest his displacement in less than a month is untimely during these negotiations because of his popularity with Army men in South America?