825.30 Missions/1–946

The Ambassador in Chile (Bowers) to the Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs (Braden)


My Dear Spruille: I have just received the report of the conversation between Commander Mclntyre, Chilean Naval Attaché, and Mr. Wells2 regarding the feeling here concerning our Naval Mission. I can only say that Commander Mclntyre has reflected very accurately the effect of our failure to carry out what we think is our obligation to the Naval Mission. It is as described.

As I have reported to the Department frequently our prestige is involved in the success of these Missions and it is too bad that nothing can be done to contribute to their success. It is especially bad, as I have pointed out, because we made an earnest effort to get the Mission when the English were pressing the Chilean Government to accept a Mission of theirs. It is unfortunate after they turned down the British to accept ours that we are unable to furnish them the slight equipment necessary to make it a success. I have pointed this out before but I notice that Commander Mclntyre makes the point that the “United States had nothing more than political reasons for urging a mission upon Chile, and was not too concerned about advancing Chile’s naval efficiency.” You wrote me recently that you would write more fully about the case of the Missions. I can assure you that they are vitally important.

I am afraid that at the conclusion of the contract made for the Aviation Mission, it may not be renewed unless that Mission is able to get what it has asked for as necessary and, in that event, I should not be surprised to see the British or some other Mission in its place.

With best regards [etc.]

Claude G. Bowers
  1. Milton K. Wells, Assistant Chief of the Division of North and West Coast Affairs.