The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)
998. Urtel 710, Jan. 21. Embassy Santiago reported Jan 1718 that British Ambassador to Chile apparently received no instructions from [Page 564] London regarding reported activities of Levenson, Vickers representative, to sell armaments to Chile. Levenson reported intending offer Chileans destroyers, frigates, submarines. Acheson has discussed this with Forrestal.
Please again take up with FonOff saying Dept views activities such as those of Levenson in Chile as matter of high concern to both Govts in view purpose of both to prevent arms race Latin America. (Your 13285 Dec 1919.) You should request Brit Govt prevent any Levenson deal with Chile or other Latin American country until Brit and US can go further into matter of limiting arms traffic. Instructions to Brit Emb Chile are urgently needed to that end.
For your info, and in your discretion, you may inform Brit Govt, that during the war US incurred certain obligations to provide some arms to other American republics and that Dept has reluctantly agreed to make limited amounts of surplus ground force equipment and aircraft available to some of those countries. We have kept such transfers to a minimum and we are holding to that point with view to working out satisfactory way effectively to limit arms traffic in future.
Please repeat your reply to Santiago. Dept will discuss matter with Brit Emb Washington.20
Repeated to Santiago.