The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile (Bowers)
262. With reference to the telephone conversation between Smith27 and Brooks28 on April 3, an instruction to you had been prepared on the question of publicity for the substance of the letters exchanged at Mexico regarding the synthetic nitrogen plants, but it had not yet left the Department. It was discovered on April 2, however, that the United Press had learned of the letters, was about to issue a news story, and it was therefore necessary to move rapidly.
You will receive shortly a copy of the press release issued here.29
You should take advantage of your discussion of this matter with the Chilean authorities to point out that this Government considers [Page 797] that the Chilean interpretation of the letter from the Secretary, as set forth in the final paragraph in the words “as an effective security for the stability of the nitrate industry”, appears to read into the Secretary’s letter more than was intended.30 Concisely, that letter was intended to recognize that a serious problem might result for the Chilean nitrate industry if certain conditions developed in the operation and disposal of the government synthetic nitrogen plants in this country. We were therefore prepared to consult with the Chilean Government regarding such a possible problem with a view to working out a solution. It did not follow, however, that any solution which might be worked out would of itself necessarily result in the creation of “an effective security for the stability of the nitrate industry”. This clarification is not intended, of course, to alter the intention orginally expressed in the Secretary’s letter.
If you deem it advisable, you may incorporate the substance of the foregoing in a memorandum to the Foreign Minister.