145. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Chile (Korry) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson) and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

1. Our reporting of last few days attempts make clear convictions shared unanimously by all elements this mission that Allende is practically assured of presidency. It is my conviction that we must now move rapidly to construct a policy which will effectively deal with that fact. I therefore repeat with sense of urgency my request for authorization of consultation in Washington beginning early next week.

2. At meeting with U.S. businessmen this morning I was pressed hard for indications of U.S. policy line. Making clear that my remarks were personal, I said that Allende is undoubtedly a sincere and honest man who believes his formula for Chile’s future will bring greatest good to greatest number. I added that of course we do not share his values and perceptions, but we, as they, are prepared to conduct relations on a pragmatic basis with due regard for mutual interests. All 30 businessmen present agreed with this approach. Dow Chemical and [Page 352] GM reps asked specifically if we had taken any actions which might be considered provocative by Allende forces. I said no and took occasion to explain decision hold in abeyance certain programs as matter of prudence until it could be determined what Allende administration’s policies may be in that respect.

3. Generalities along these lines will very soon have to be replaced by specific decisions on entire range of U.S. activities and responses. I have also previously explained pressing need to make contact with Allende and begin what we hope will be negotiating process before November 4. This requires in my judgment previous consultations and meeting of the minds in Washington.

4. In this regard, we are distressed to note what appears to be failure in Washington consider individual agency problems in overall policy context. Thus, joint State/Defense message on AFTAC (State 163730)2 is reasonable enough on the specific subject but does not directly address the AFTAC problem in terms of a coordinated approach weighing total of U.S. priorities, assets and liabilities. I believe that once we have clear understanding on overall policy these problems can be handled in more efficient and intelligent manner.

5. We will shortly be coming in with USAID planning recommendations regarding future of our AID program and presence here. Not surprisingly, there are differences within the mission on question of what initial USAID posture should be. Again, I believe now is time to thrash out matter in Washington.

6. It is not accidental in my view that today for the first time there is no mention in the U.P. press of CIA or other USG reps (even though this mention has neither been excessive since September 4 nor perturbing to me). I think Allende is alert to my general posture. I believe further that were I with your permission to transmit back to him through his official “envoy” to me, Senator Hugo Miranda, that I wish to consult with my Government and that I count on the same degree of understanding that Allende displayed when I wrote in late July to him and the other two candidates that I would promptly have assurances we could accept from Allende. I am confident too that Frei, whom I would also have to inform, would buttress my tactic. In sum, I am persuaded that we need not fear any reaction against the U.S. if I were to leave and I am convinced that to protect U.S. interests in Chile and the President’s policies elsewhere that Washington consultation is now indispensable.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Chile–ITTCIA 1963–1977, Lot 81D121, Documents Requested by the Department of Justice, 1970–1977. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only.
  2. Not found.