The President of Chile (Ríos) to President Roosevelt
Distinguished Mr. President: I have read with particular interest your recent letter, to which I now make reply and in which Your [Page 769] Excellency suggests to me the suitability of consideration being given, as soon as possible, to a decision on Chile’s part to become a signatory to the Declaration by the United Nations dated January 1, 1942.
In the said letter Your Excellency is good enough to mention the appreciation and value which have been given to the contributions and measures adopted by the Government of Chile, into which the latter Government has translated its positive desire for collaboration with the cause of the United Nations. Your Excellency also emphasizes the transcendental steps that are to be taken to formulate a definitive Charter of the world security organization, an objective in the attainment of which the United Nations are the symbol of coordination and the juridical basis of the progress and common action of peace-loving Nations, both in the conduct of the war and in the organization of the peace.
The Government and people of Chile are in full accord with Your Excellency’s views, and I have the honor and pleasure of making this known in my reply.
Your Excellency will be good enough to recall that the Government of Chile, beginning January 20, 1943—that is, since it decided upon the severance of its diplomatic, consular and commercial relations with the Axis countries, has maintained a position of loyal and complete identity of purpose and action with the United Nations; it has adopted all the defensive and economic measures of a State at war, and for that very reason I consider my country to have been in a state of belligerency with the Axis countries since that date.77
I appreciate, with the gratitude of my Government and of my people, the timely and appropriate suggestion which you have made to me. I esteem and value it as one coming from your extraordinary experience of the world situation, from the reiterated friendship which you have at all times been good enough to show for Chile and its Government, and from your unqualified adherence to the cause of the Democracies and the future of the dignity, peace and progress of the Nations which have chosen to serve that cause.
The exceptional circumstances of the present hour have induced me, with the unanimous approval of my Council of Ministers, to declare the state of belligerency existing between Chile and Japan and to obtain for such Declaration the sanction of the National Congress as required by our Political Constitution.
In conformity with this decision, the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Chile has today formulated a public declaration which the national press will insert in its columns tomorrow. Likewise, as a measure subsequent to the said constitutional declaration of the President of the Republic, our Ambassador at Washington has been instructed [Page 770] and authorized to sign, in behalf of Chile, the Declaration by the United Nations of January 1, 1942.78
I renew to Your Excellency the expression of my gratitude for the special and noble interest contained in your consideration for Chilean Democracy, and for the favorable concepts of your kind letter; I likewise reiterate to Your Excellency my fervent wishes for the early and definitive success of the Arms of the United Nations.
With the expression [etc.]
- For documentation on United States interest in a breach of diplomatic relations between Chile and the Axis, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. v, pp. 795 ff.↩
- For text of notes exchanged on February 12 and 14, 1945, between the Chilean Ambassador and the Acting Secretary of State, on the occasion of Chile’s adherence to the United Nations Declaration, see Department of State Bulletin, February 18, 1945, p. 231.↩