275. Memorandum of Conversation1

SUBJECT

  • The Secretary’s Second Meeting with the Mission of President-Elect Frei of Chile

PARTICIPANTS

  • The Secretary
  • Mr. Mann, Assistant Secretary, ARA
  • Mr. Solomon, Deputy Assistant Secretary, ARA
  • Senator Radomiro Tomic, Member, Chilean Delegation
  • Sergio Molina, Member, Chilean Delegation
  • Gabriel Valdes, Member, Chilean Delegation
  • Jose Pinera, Member, Chilean Delegation
  • Jose Zabala, Director, CORFO, New York
  • Mr. Dentzer, Director, Bolivian-Chilean Affairs, ARA

The Secretary asked whether the delegation was satisfied with its discussions in Washington.2 Senator Tomic responded, expressing his satisfaction. Mr. Mann also expressed satisfaction with the talks.

In response to Secretary Rusk’s question about the next step in negotiations, Mr. Solomon indicated that a mission would be sent to Santiago as soon as possible after Frei’s inauguration to pursue these discussions further in conjunction with the Embassy and AID mission there.

The Secretary asked about the European portion of the delegation’s trip. Mr. Valdes indicated the results of the trip were good, that the Europeans were interested in Chile, and that the Europeans were interested to know what the U.S. would do, especially on the question of debt rescheduling. Mr. Mann affirmed U.S. willingness to attempt to work out arrangements with the European creditor nations which would be in line with Chilean hopes.

Senator Tomic spoke of the importance of U.S. assistance to Chile in the spirit of inter-American solidarity, and emphasized that the Frei government wished to show achievement to the people before it [Page 603]requested of them the full sacrifice that Chilean development would require. The Secretary assured him that the U.S. would keep in close touch with Senator Frei’s advisers in the period leading up to the November 18 budget presentation to the Congress by the Chilean Minister of Finance, an event mentioned by the Chileans earlier as a date by which they hoped to have a clear picture of the amount of U.S. aid in 1965. Secretary Rusk also indicated his hope that efforts by the Chilean people would be called for at that time, and Senator Tomic assured him that this would be the case. Mr. Mann indicated he was willing to go along with the Frei government in postponing some of the sacrifices necessary so long as an earnest start was made now. He indicated to the Chilean mission that the Frei government would get at least what the Alessandri government received in terms of U.S. aid and added that he hoped circumstances would support even more aid. He stated the U.S. could not make any commitment now, however, and Tomic indicated he understood why this was the case.

Secretary Rusk inquired about agricultural imports into Chile, which he was informed ran about $125 million dollars a year. The Secretary stressed the importance of cutting back on this use of foreign exchange.

Senator Tomic asked for a special message from President Johnson to Frei on the occasion of the inauguration, and the Secretary indicated such a message would be sent.

The Secretary concluded the meeting by expressing his hope that the delegation has been satisfied with its mission to Washington. Senator Tomic indicated they were indeed satisfied and that they understood why the United States could not go further at this time, even though the Chileans might like to have a commitment. The Secretary assured Senator Tomic that the United States would move promptly in pursuing this subject and stressed again the two points mentioned in his previous interview with the delegation, the need for using foreign aid on a sound basis to build lasting achievements and the need to use funds committed on a timely and current basis. Senator Tomic assured the Secretary that Chile would do its part in carrying out the responsibilities of its partnership with the United States if the U.S. did likewise. He expressed the hope that Chile would be independent of U.S. assistance at the end of Frei’s six years in office. Mr. Mann assured Senator Tomic that the U.S. was willing to help Chile or any friendly nation that sincerely tried to help its people and sought to put its own house in order.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL CHILE–US. Confidential. Drafted by Dentzer and approved in S on November 23. The time of the meeting is taken from Rusk’s Appointment Book. (Johnson Library) The memorandum is part II of II; part I recorded Rusk’s initial meeting with the Chilean delegation on October 14. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL CHILE–US)
  2. In addition to meetings with Rusk and Mann, the delegation met with Dungan, AID Administrator Bell, EXIM Bank President Linder, and representatives of CIAP, IDB, IBRD, and IMF. (Telegram 331 to Santiago, October 17; ibid., POL 7 Chile)