740.0011 EW/2–745: Telegram

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

127. Personal from Rockefeller. Please tell the President and Fernández how gratified we are that President Ríos contemplates having Fernández proceed to Washington on February 11 to sign the United Nations Declaration. It is most important, however, that you immediately tell the President that, while we are very eager to have Fernández come here as planned and to have him sign the Declaration, this would only be possible if Chile were in a position prior to the signature to address to this Government a formal communication stating that Chile is “at war”. As you point out in your telegram 194, Wright made this clear on many occasions while he was in Santiago and it has been repeated in subsequent telegrams. Our Chilean friends must understand that the United States is simply the depository for the United Nations Declaration and that as such we cannot admit any nation to signature without conformity to rules based on the wording of the document itself. It is indispensable that we have a clearcut statement before any country may sign. It would be impossible to have an ad referendum signature as suggested by Fernández.

For your own background, we are much pleased at the progress which has been made in Chilean thinking in the last 2 or 3 days. It is earnestly hoped that, after you present this matter again in its [Page 765] proper perspective, our Chilean friends will see their way clear to make themselves eligible for signature.

For your confidential information, President Roosevelt’s letter purposely did not mention a declaration of war as such action could only come on Chile’s own initiative. It was already clear, however, that when he spoke of membership in the United Nations this presupposes a state of war.

We do not yet know when the conference on world security organization will be held but we earnestly hope that it can take place as soon as possible after the Mexico City conference. [Rockefeller.]