832.30/89: Telegram

The Ambassador in Argentina (Riddle) to the Secretary of State


75. Our naval mission to Brazil has aroused much feeling in Government circles. The Minister of the Marine states that he is bewildered by the official character of the mission and says that he is forced to regard it in the nature of an alliance and wonders what the position of the mission would be if Brazil were at war. The impression would be different if the officers had received leave of absence and had made private contracts. He says further that when one country is singled out for our favors, the aim of Pan American solidarity is defeated. As our action seems to be an expression of ill will toward Argentina, he is deeply wounded, for he has always been a sincere friend of the United States and has been instrumental in recent years in placing most orders for Argentine dreadnaughts and naval armament in the United States. Le Breton also expresses his astonishment and regret. It is the high official character of the proceeding which particularly rankles. It is desirable to convince the Argentine Government that no political significance attaches to the mission and that it is not different from similar missions that England, France and Germany have often furnished to smaller countries in past years.