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

198. Your 100, August 17, 4 p.m. Recently the Inspector General of the Navy41 and the Minister of National Defense have talked with me at length of their desire to purchase these three destroyers from the United States. The Minister said that Uruguay had absolutely no effective naval units for patrol or defense purposes and that if expected to cooperate in the system of continental defense it was essential for Uruguay to acquire these vessels. I mentioned this conversation yesterday to Manini Rios, interim Minister of Foreign Affairs. He said that he wished to support this plea wholeheartedly, adding that it was difficult to understand why, if the United States could furnish Britain 50 destroyers, it could not make three available to Uruguay.

I, of course, appreciate the difficulties in the way of complying with the Uruguayan Government’s request. Nevertheless I feel that I must [Page 167]point out that few things could be calculated to create more good will with the Uruguayan Government and its armed forces than our finding a way to make available to Uruguay, at nominal cost, at least one or two destroyers.

Wilson
  1. Rear Adm. Gustavo A. Schroder.