740.0011 European War 1939/1244: Telegram

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

149. Your circular December 18, 4 p.m. I saw Guani at 1 o’clock. He received the Argentine counter-draft late last night. He told me that he was not in agreement with the latter part of the final paragraph. This would mean that a belligerent vessel which defended a merchant vessel within the zone of security against an attack by another belligerent vessel could not supply itself or repair-damages thereafter in American ports. This he considers unjust. It would mean that the Exeter, which was defending the Formose, could not be received in the port of Montevideo. He stated that Uruguayan public opinion would never accept this.

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He appreciates the urgency of a declaration and prefers the last paragraph of our original draft. He said that he would study the matter at once to see if he could find a formula to reconcile the Argentine counterdraft with his objection thereto. He will speak with Cantilo by telephone and advise me later.