Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Latin American Affairs (Duggan)

Mr. Raymond E. Cox, First Secretary of the Embassy at Buenos Aires, telephoned at ten o’clock today to inquire whether the Department had drafted a reply to his telegrams 170 and 171 of August 21. I told him that a telegram had been drafted and signed stating that inasmuch as no request for assistance from any American company had been received, either by the Department or the Embassy, it was not considered advisable to take action similar to that of the British Ambassador.

Mr. Cox stated that he would of course follow the Department’s instructions, but then went on to say that the time accorded to the Standard Oil Company for withdrawing its reservation had been extremely short—only forty eight hours; that the representatives of the company in Buenos Aires had immediately communicated with the head offices in New York but had not yet received instructions. He said he felt confident that a request for a brief extension of time in order to permit the company to present its observations would be greatly appreciated by the company and would in no way impair the relations of other American oil companies with the Government.

I authorized Mr. Cox orally to request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs a brief extension of the time limit set for the acceptance by the oil companies of the marketing plan. I said, however, that I thought care should be taken not to give the impression that this Government considered the action of the Argentine authorities in any sense an ultimatum. I said that a confirmatory telegram would be [Page 192] sent immediately. Mr. Cox repeated the instructions and said he would follow them carefully.

Laurence Duggan