810.24/12–845: Telegram

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

1528. For the President, the Secretary and Braden.48 In amplification mytel 1517, December 5,49 I am informed that Admiral Mayfield50 during conference with Admiral Merino, head of Navy here, complains that Chilean Navy Mission in Washington is unable make any progress regarding certain equipment asked and deemed necessary here; that morale of Chilean Navy is suffering in consequence from lack of material “particularly modern ships”; that Chile desires adopt US standards; that England continues to offer ships, material and training for personnel; and that pressure from Government and other sources makes his position very difficult, especially since so little progress is being made toward obtaining desired training and material from US.

Mytel 1523, December 6.51 It appears too that British Naval Attaché in Chile at request of Chilean Navy has cabled England to inquire if recently acquired Canadian frigates can be re-equipped with radar, sound gear, and guns by purchase from England or Canada.

It has been explained to Merino drafts of proposed legislation making possible furnishing material are in course of preparation but this information has been given him over long period. I cannot say too emphatically that our missions from no fault of their own are losing confidence and prestige.

  1. Spruille Braden, Assistant Secretary of State.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Rear Adm. Irving H. Mayfield, Chief of United States Naval Mission to Chile.
  4. Not printed; the Ambassador confirmed press reports that Chile had obtained five corvettes from Canada (825.30/12–645).