825.5045/6–1547: Telegram

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

restricted
us urgent

484. Political committee Communist Party published statement yesterday placing responsibility of bus strike disturbances of June 12, in which four persons killed, on armed forces, govt and President of Republic. Last night President Gonzalez Videla gave to press forceful declaration asserting that disturbances were perpetrated by persons armed by Communist Party and constituted part of a preconceived plan to alter public order. In condemning Communist attempt to place responsibility on govt, he states that “they are mistaken if they believe that President of the Republic can be used as an instrument of their designs”. He promises that he will “fulfill national program and will give laborers and employees betterment they ask for; will never use public force to restrict constitutional and social rights of people; and will not permit that Communist Party with its treacherous demagogy pretend exclusive representation of the working classes of Chile”.

President’s declaration enthusiastically received by all sectors except Communists who today publish statement that it will be studied by political committee and reply issued at later date. Communist organ on other hand publishes front page direct attack on govt, listing raises in foodstuffs and utilities as well as failure to create copper monopoly, delivery of exchange to Yankee bankers to pay foreign debt, North American control of Magallanes petroleum, Yankee control of Chilean steel industry, repression of public liberties, and definitive abandonment of national program.

Bus strike continues but almost normal service maintained by govt with police and armed guards. Situation calm. Communists are trying to organize general strike for June 23.

I suggest situation set forth above be taken into consideration in connection with Chile’s request for coal stockpile for use in its struggle to combat Communism.

Bowers