740.00111 A.R./1018: Telegram

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

117. Department’s telegram 65, April 24, 5 p.m. This afternoon I handed the Minister for Foreign Affairs an aide-mémoire embodying our Government’s reply.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs explained that his Government did not insist upon the term “non-belligerency” but that he and President Ortiz still feel that some procedure along the lines they proposed might have a beneficial effect. However, he appeared to have nothing concrete to suggest. He added that he would immediately communicate our reply to the President and let me know what their future course of action would be. He told me that this morning he and the President had already discussed the matter with the Brazilian Ambassador.89 The Brazilian Ambassador confirms this. He states that in an interview yesterday with Doctor Ortiz, at which Cantilo was present, Ortiz outlined the plan to him along the same lines as it had been presented to me. The President requested him to proceed personally to Rio de Janeiro to lay the matter before his Government. Rodríguez Alves told the President that he felt reasonably sure his Government would not be disposed to accept such a radical proposal [Page 755] but he does not feel he can well refuse to comply with the request to go to Rio de Janeiro in view of Ortiz’ insistence. The Ambassador feels there must be something more behind the idea than appears on the surface and thinks the President is frankly disturbed by the internal situation resulting from the active propaganda carried on by foreign belligerent countries particularly the Germans who, at the same time through their Embassy are attempting to dictate to the Argentine Government what they consider to be Argentina’s duty as a [neutral?].

The Brazilian Ambassador intends to submit to Doctor Ortiz a memorandum of what he understands his proposal to be in order to have something definite to present to his Government. He tells me that on arrival in Rio on April 29 he will either see our Ambassador or suggest to Doctor Aranha that he keep Caffery informed of the Brazilian attitude. It is suggested that the Department may wish to have Ambassador Caffery advised of our position. If desired I can furnish him with background including aide-mémoire by telegraph or air mail.

  1. José de Paula Rodríguez Alves.