611.3531/507: Telegram

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

158. La Prensa today carries special press despatch by Heath indicating the possibility that negotiations may begin soon on a commercial agreement with Argentina.

The Argentine attitude of the moment seems more favorable toward giving us better treatment than it has been for some time and I note signs of a willingness to do more provided they have some assurances of a trade agreement being negotiated in the near future.

A few days ago the Under Secretary of Finance and the head of the Exchange Control Board2 suggested to the Embassy that it might be possible to come to some verbal arrangement whereby Argentina would in fact—if not [?]—grant official exchange to [?] our exports to Argentina for a period of say 6 months with the understanding that trade treaty negotiations begin before that time had elapsed. In case negotiations should not begin then the Argentines would revert to the status quo ante. A suggestion along similar lines was made on June 15 also by the Under Secretary, and formed a part of the Embassy’s telegram 88, June 16, 3 p.m.3

I should appreciate any comment from the Department particularly on the likelihood of negotiations beginning.

Were the Embassy accordingly to assure the Argentines that trade negotiations would begin shortly or within some specific period, I feel that we should be able to secure better exchange treatment, if not entire relief from the present discrimination. And if possible a strong intimation of our hope would be helpful.

  1. Alfredo Louro.
  2. Post, p. 243.