File No. 800.88/194

The Chargé in Argentina ( Robbins) to the Secretary of State


Your September 30, 4 p.m. I called this afternoon upon the Minister of Foreign Affairs and presented to him the contents of the Department’s cable.

The Minister almost immediately authorized me to say that with the exception of the three national transports, Pampa, Chaco, and Guardia Nacional the Argentine Government has at present no means of caring for Argentine commerce with the United States. He added that the Government is endeavoring to purchase or charter three of the interned German vessels here. (There are, I understand, ten in all.) All appear to be damaged or in bad repair, and he explained that only three would be of use and then after undergoing serious repairs which would take the better part of a year.

He also stated that the Government was en pourparlers with the Chilean Government for the acquisition of these [three?] ships in Chile but that the condition of these ships was much worse than that of the ships here.

It is my firm conviction that the Argentine Republic will be entirely dependent on foreign shipping for her trade with the United States (except for the three national transports referred to) for the greater part of the year at least and that the possibility of repairing such ships as she may acquire is very unlikely.