Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Cabot) to the Under Secretary of State (Smith)1



  • Chilean Copper Purchase


The Chilean Government has shown us, and is prepared to introduce immediately after Congress reconvenes on March 2, a more or less satisfactory bill regarding the American copper companies operating in Chile. Ambassador Beaulac and Anaconda now strongly recommend that we make the purchase of 100,000 tons of copper as provided by the DMB decision of last August. Kennecott is unenthusiastic but state that they will not oppose a decision to purchase.

Recognizing that there is a possibility that the Chileans will walk out on us if we purchase before the bill is enacted, I nevertheless am inclined to agree that the time has come to make the purchase. We must remember that the Chileans have steadily felt that we were employing pressure tactics and it is Beaulac’s opinion that further delay is more likely to defeat our purpose than to accomplish it. At worst we will have a reasonably useful, marketable commodity at the market price.

[Page 740]


That you sign the attached letter (Tab A),2 which Mr. Woodward will prepare in my absence, recommending to Mr. Flemming the purchase of this copper.

  1. Drafted by Assistant Secretary Cabot; concurred in by Assistant Secretary Waugh and Assistant Secretary-designate Holland.
  2. No attachment was found with the source text; for the referenced letter, sent under date of Mar. 1, 1954, see infra.