710. Consultation 4/9–947

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

No. 15,612

Sir: I have the honor to report that upon the return to Santiago of the Chilean delegation to the Rio Conference on September 6 an official declaration was released to the press. It said a general statement was being issued to the public even before the full report was presented to the President of the Republic28 in view of the fact the President had been in close touch with the delegation throughout the Conference. The exclusive purpose of the Conference, it declared, was to sign a treaty giving the Act of Chapultepec29 permanent form. This treaty, however, is not a treaty of alliance, hut an agreement of mutual defense against war and aggression. The Chilean delegation was particularly careful that this treaty should not prejudice the United Nations Organization, and has the satisfaction of declaring that its provisions “strengthened to the utmost the world organization.”

After giving a brief outline of the treaty, the declaration states that, “the features of our constitutional system on the employment of armed force, right of passage, etc., have been fully protected and are in no Way affected.” At the same time, it had been clearly established that “none of the obligations implied in the treaty should be interpreted in the sense of justifying an armament policy, but, on the contrary, the objective sought was maintenance of peace and security.” It likewise pointed out that the final act of the Conference30 contained [Page 80] a special reservation of the Chilean delegation in the sense that the security zone along the “coasts corresponding to our country do not recognize the existence of colonies or possessions of European countries, and that the legitimate rights of Chile over the Antarctic territories of the Republic are maintained intact.”

The Chilean delegation, it said, was the first to express the connection between economic and political solidarity, insisting on the necessity of establishing this additional system. It felt, however, that the Rio Conference was not the appropriate time to discuss economic problems, but that they should be considered in the immediate future. The Chilean delegation had the satisfaction of being supported in this point of view by all Latin American countries, and the United States delegation, through President Truman and Secretary Marshall, agreed on the desirability of establishing continental economic collaboration. Through the initiative of Chile, Mexico, and Colombia it was resolved to call a special conference during the second semester of next year to discuss inter-American economic cooperation without prejudicing what may be accomplished at the Bogotá Conference.31

It concluded that the Chilean delegation, one of the smallest in size, had the great satisfaction of having contributed towards the success of the Conference by acting as a mediator of conflicting opinions. The President of the Republic’s instructions had thus been fulfilled in a spirit of collaboration and good faith.

Respectfully yours,

Claude G. Bowers
  1. Gabriel González Videla.
  2. Department of State, Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1543, or 60 Stat (pt 2) 1831.
  3. Report of the Delegation of the United States of America, Appendix 1, pt 1, p. 45.
  4. Relative to this Conference, see bracketed note, p. 94.