810.20 Defense/9–2045: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile ( Bowers )
770. Urtel 1192, Sept 20. In connection with, any conference with Chileans on possible ground mission Dept wishes to give you full background of situation concerning future transfers of military equipment.
Dept is proceeding with plans for implementation of staff conversations and has sent you under cover of secret circular instruction dated Sept 1147 policy document concerning future military cooperation mentioned in Dept’s 519, June 27. With end of Lend-Lease, however, only Surplus Property Act available for transfer of equipment approved as result of staff conversations until new legislation has been enacted by Congress. While it is expected that some material can be transferred under Surplus Property Act, legal complications will result in delay. Appears that full implementation of staff conversations therefore must await enactment by Congress of new legislation now being considered by State, War, and Navy Depts. Believe this draft of legislation is what Brett had in mind in his reference to “plan having Presidential approval pending in Congress”. No legislation, however, has yet been presented to President or Congress.
Because of situation described above, you will readily appreciate need for delicate handling of mission question which has apparently been linked to delivery of equipment. In any conversations with Chileans regarding mission please be sure that they are under no illusions as to situation regarding delivery of equipment. Should they request temporary mission, you should make sure that such an arrangement will not involve any commitment for deliveries which we shall not be able to fulfill because of uncertain factors mentioned previous paragraph.
Situation regarding equipment remains virtually as outlined in Dept’s 519, June 27, and does not warrant making promises to anyone as to amounts or dates of delivery.
[Following the cessation of hostilities with Japan, notification was sent to Embassies of countries receiving lend-lease aid that lend-lease operations were being terminated. For text of note, see circular telegram of October 6, page 256. The note to the Chilean Ambassador was dated September 28, 1945.]