733.35/12: Telegram

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

55. At weekly diplomatic reception this afternoon Minister for Foreign Affairs1 told me he had received intimation that Uruguay would probably break relations with Argentina on the grounds that the Uruguayan warship sent to Buenos Aires for the July 9th celebrations had been kept under close surveillance by Argentine authorities. I have just confirmed that Uruguay has now broken off diplomatic relations.

The Minister explained to me at length that a considerable number of Argentine political refugees were making Uruguay a base for active propaganda against the Justo Government among them being Toranzo an ex-general in the Argentine Army. Shortly before the Uruguayan ship left Montevideo Toranzo went on board and was received with honors. Believing this action was taken without the knowledge of Uruguayan President, the Argentine Ambassador in Montevideo was instructed to bring the matter to the attention of the Uruguayan President. He found that President knew of it. Minister for Foreign Affairs gave me to understand that Toranzo may have been transferred to another vessel or have left the ship in a motor boat.

Despite this action of the Uruguayan Navy the Minister said the officers of the ship were well received, invited to and attended all functions in connection with anniversary celebration.

Minister for Foreign [Affairs] said that if Uruguay should break off diplomatic relations it would be because she feared an energetic protest would be made by Argentina against the action above outlined in receiving on board with honors and sailing with Toranzo, [Page 317] a fugitive from military justice in Argentina because of his conspiracies against the Provisional Government (see my despatch 1131, March 5, 1931).2

  1. Dr. Carlos Saavedra Lamas.
  2. Not printed.