740.0011 E.W./2–445: Telegram

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

118. Because of security considerations, it is unfortunate that your no. 169 of February 4, 9 p.m., was not sent in secret code.

You should by now have received the Department’s instruction no. 4697 of January 26, transmitting a letter from President Roosevelt for delivery by you to President Ríos. Similar letters were sent to the Presidents of Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay. You will have seen from the press that Ecuador has declared the existence of a state of war with Japan. Ecuador decided to take this step before the receipt of President Roosevelt’s letter.

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The Department does not wish to have this matter thrown into the Mexico City discussions. For your information and for communication in secret to Fernández several other of the American republics appear to be on the point of taking action similar to the step taken by Ecuador.

In reply to press inquiries the Department has consistently replied that it has “no comment” to make on the Herald Tribwie story. We are not admitting the existence of the letters.