The Under Secretary of State to the Secretary of War ( Patterson )


My Dear Mr. Secretary: The Embassy of the United States in Santiago, Chile, has informed me that the Chilean Air Force Chief of Staff recently had a conversation with our Military Air Attaché, in which the former displayed interest in the establishment of a joint United States-Chilean air base in the Magallanes area of Southern Chile. The files of the Department of State show previous correspondence with the Departments of War and Navy on the general subject of a base in this area.

It will be recalled that when previously consulted, the War and Navy Departments were of the opinion that while it might be desirable to obtain rights to establish a base in the Magallanes area when and if needed, there was then no immediate need for such a base. Unless the views set forth in the War Department’s letter of April 19, 194550 have changed to the extent that a definite need for such a base has now developed, it is the intention of the Department to inform the Embassy at Santiago that it is not advisable to entertain discussions with the Chilean Government concerning the acquisition of a base.

An identical letter has been sent to the Secretary of the Navy.

Sincerely yours,

Robert Lovett
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