Alessandri just didn't feel he wanted to take our package to Congress, so in about 1962 we threw in the sponge and figured there was no need to talk any more about it. Chilean President Jorge Alessandri Swent: You must have been terribly disappointed. Haldeman: Yes, very disappointed. When I had to leave the country, I had to leave so quickly that I didn't have time to go into the files. I don't know where that report was. I know somebody in the Copper Corporation has it in the government, but I can't get my hands on it. In 1962 the government was scrounging for money. They had problems with the copper price fluctuations- -every thing. Of course, no new investments. I became aware of the fact that now Mr. Allende is gaining more ground politically on the fact that they should take over copper. Well, we hadn't done anything for the government, but it wasn't because we didn't want to; we just couldn't. The political pressures were coming, and I could see the handwriting on the wall. I talked to Mr. Michaelson. I said, "Mike, time is limited. Like Gypsy Rose Lee, you have to find a gimmick to stay alive."
Haldeman: At this time Mr. Ibanez, who was a businessman, one of the chaps I invited to lunch from time to timethe coffee you had today is Nescafe; he started the Nescafe business in Chile. A landowner, a very charming person. He founded these Almac stores, a chain that you see everywhere. Today the poor fellow is a vegetable in bed on his farm. He must be eighty-plus. He called me over to his office one day and said, "Bob, I want to give you a little personal advice. Time is running out. As you know, you are a foreign company, and the political pressures are on. You people in copper are just too important to the nation's economy. When the price of copper goes down and there's too much inventory on the market, New York--both your companies- decide they're going to have to cut back production," which they did at one time when I was in the mine. I was the general superintendent in '52, and Mr. Stannard came down. Our prices were at rock-bottom; we were getting along with practically no profit at all. He said he couldn't see much future for the world business of copper, and they were on the borderline of deciding to shut down the mine, the whole property. That was at a tuxedo dinner at the Teniente Club.
The El Teniente Club still stands at the ghost town of Sewell. Almost all other
traces of the American compound behind it were destroyed, apparently as a result
of the communist desire (they were in charge at the time) to wipe out any traces