810.20 Defense/1–2945: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile (Bowers)
113. For your personal and secret information, the figures cited in your 128, January 29, 5 p.m. substantially correspond with the Department’s records. However, all these planes are basic or advanced trainers, in each category of which Chile has received more than twice the number received by Peru. (Peru has likewise evidenced concern at the number of Lend-Lease planes supplied Chile, and Colombia, among other countries, has complained about being neglected in the matter of Lend-Lease.)
You will appreciate the importance of discouraging a tendency on the part of Chile or any other American republic to invoke real or imagined disequilibriums in appealing for increased Lend-Lease or [Page 740] other assistance in obtaining matériel. While the Department has studiously avoided striking comparisons and Lend-Lease figures are obviously confidential, you may in strictest confidence tell Fernandez that while the exact figures are secret, Chile has received far more planes than Peru.
Lend-Lease equipment has been supplied to promote hemisphere defense from aggression and no government should expect to receive such equipment to strengthen its position vis-à-vis its neighbors. The staff conversations were not intended to go beyond the purport of the basic instructions, and the Department considers it most unfortunate if the Chilean Government has gained the impression that one of the objectives is to correct disequilibrium in Lend-Lease deliveries.