The Ambassador in Chile (Bowers) to the Secretary of State
[Received 4:53 p.m.]
863. Mytel 809, September 6; urtel 460, September 18.46 Chief Chilean Naval Staff has again inquired concerning proposal to pay in five annual installments for minor vessels and auxiliary vessels of interim program offered Chile and listed Deptel 206, April 12.
Twenty months have elapsed since Naval Staff conversations and above-mentioned offer ships is virtually only step we have taken toward implementing those conversations. Chile has bought Canadian corvettes and has been offered British cruisers. Over Chilean protest, we withdrew Chief US Naval Mission before expiration his contract. Chile is anxious get combatant vessels and we have offered none. Now Chile wants accept our offer of minor and auxiliary vessels and has available money to pay for those vessels without further recourse to Chilean Congress at price we have asked provided we accept five annual payments.
I believe it is clearly in interest of US Govt to accept Chilean offer and close deal now before Gonzalez Videla takes office47 in November since that will no doubt entail changes in naval personnel and many other important problems must necessarily arise at that time.