740.0011 EW/2–845: Telegram

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

199. Foreign Minister has just inquired whether any reply had been received to Embassy’s telegram of yesterday and he was informed that though no reply had yet reached the Embassy we were informed by Department by telephone that one was on the way. He said that he particularly wanted some indication when the United Nations Conference on World Security Organization mentioned in President Roosevelt’s letter would take place. He was informed that Embassy would get in touch with him immediately it had any information on subject from Department.

Fernández then stated he had just consulted President Ríos who had agreed to present to Congress a request for the declaration of war on Japan immediately Fernández returned from Mexico City since it was absolutely necessary for Fernández to defend this measure before Congress.

Fernández said that he was also telegraphing Mora74 concerning this matter asking for assurance that United Nations Conference would not be held before that time. Should it not be possible to obtain this assurance Fernández said he could not go to Mexico and gave for his reason that he might have to defend the Government’s policy before Congress. He indicated that should the Conference be held and Chile not be eligible he would be held responsible for neglect.

Fernández made no reference to his and Ríos’ proposal transmitted my telegram 194, February 7, 2 p.m. and there seems no doubt that he and Ríos have abandoned this. In this connection Pablo Ramírez75 [Page 766] told Embassy that he had strongly advised Fernández against this course and Ramírez was with the Foreign Minister during this afternoon’s conversation.

Needless to say I greatly prefer the straightforward solution of putting the matter up to Congress. I feel most strongly that the manifest advantages of making Chile one of the United Nations might well be taken into our calculations in considering the appropriate date for the above mentioned United Nations Conference.

In brief therefore Fernández’ policy has to be determined by the date of the Chilean elections and the date of the United Nations Conference. His proposed strategem reported in my above mentioned telegram No. 194 in which Department expressed its disapproval in its 122 of February 6, 5 [6] p.m. originated largely from the admonition of urgency contained in President Roosevelt’s letter. If therefore I can give Ríos and Fernández the definite assurance that Chilean Government will have possibility of pushing a declaration of war through Congress before United Nations Conference we will in all probability have solved our problem at one stroke.

  1. Marcial Mora, Chilean Ambassador in the United States.
  2. Official of the Chilean Ministry for Foreign Affairs.