835.73/96: Telegram

The Ambassador in Argentina (Stimson) to the Acting Secretary of State

Confidential. My December 10, 4 p.m. 1918, and Department’s January 14, 7 p.m. The Minister for Foreign Affairs informed me this morning that the British Minister was continuing to make active and formal protests against the action of the Argentine Government in granting the Central and South American Telegraph Company the concession of August 1, 1918 to lay a cable from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, on the ground that it was in conflict with the monopoly of the Western Telegraph Company. He requested my opinion in the matter, in particular as to the questions of law involved. I replied that I believed a monopoly such as that of the Western Telegraph Company to be contrary to the Argentine Constitution, but that even if it were not so this concession to the American company did not in terms conflict with the monopoly of the Western Telegraph Company, which was in substance a concession to lay cables to Europe only. I added that the matter had been thoroughly investigated and that the decree authorizing the concession has been released by the President only after a favorable decision had been rendered by the Attorney General, and that the company’s cables were ready to be shipped, that work on the land lines was already in progress and that I believed the time had passed for the British Government to set forth any objection.