740.0011 European War 1939/1210: Telegram

The Minister in Uruguay (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

139. My 136, December 16, 6 p.m.29 In my conversation with Guani last night (my number 138, December 16, 10 p.m.) I asked if he could give me a reply concerning the Department’s draft statement. He said that he had had no time to consider it and that in the meantime Cantilo had communicated with him and proposed a counterdraft. Cantilo felt that our draft did not go far enough: he wanted to mention not only the recent incidents but also the British sinking of various German merchant vessels which had left South American ports for Europe. Cantilo also wanted the decision to read that henceforth belligerent warships would not be allowed to take refuge in ports of the American Republics. Guani said he was heartily in favor of this last point, and asked my opinion.

I said that I thought the essential thing was to get out a preliminary protest without delay. After this was done the point about belligerent warships, and any other pertinent questions, could be dealt with in the consultation mentioned in our draft. Guani said he was inclined to agree but was so harried by the Germans and the British on the Graf Spee business that he could not find time to consider the question carefully: he would try to do so and give me a definite answer as soon as possible.

I believe that anything that Argentina, Brazil and we agree upon will be satisfactory to Guani.

  1. Not printed.