The Ambassador in Argentina ( Armour ) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 22—12:05 a.m.]
244. Referring to Department’s circular telegram of June 17, 10 a.m., the following is a translation of the note just received from the Foreign Office in reply to my note reported in the Embassy’s telegram No. 240, June 19, 9 p.m.20
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Note No. 227 of the 18th instant by which Your Excellency in the name of your Government points out the prospects the war between France and Germany presents and the consequences that the peace now in consideration may hold with respect to the disposition of French colonies and possessions in this continent. Your Excellency in referring to the policy of the United States not to recognize as valid nor consent to the transfer of American territories from a European state to another that is not American cites the resolution to this effect adopted by the Panama Conference which contemplated the consultation of the American countries in the event that a situation of this sort should endanger the security of the continent and asks accordingly in the name of the Government of the United States if the Argentine Government does not consider that the time for such consultation has arisen.
In reply I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the Argentine Government, in accordance with its often repeated willingness to keep within the framework of continental solidarity, so happily affirmed at the Conferences at Buenos Aires, Lima and Panama, agrees in principle to the new meeting which is proposed and does not have any objection to the place suggested, the city of Habana.
Nevertheless, in view of the special interests which the Republic must take into consideration, because of its own policy necessitated by its geographical position, this Government desires to consider beforehand the program of the conference, the work of which it is desirable to see in advance in a definite and delimited form.
As to questions of sovereignty expressly contemplated in the proposal in question, it may be pointed out that the Argentine Government, [Page 193] which maintains as inalienable the rights of this country over the Falkland Islands,21 cannot but continue in this definite position, without admitting that that part of the territory, of essential interest to the national defense, be the object of any deliberation within the plan contemplated by the proposal.
Likewise, I must inform Your Excellency that, because of distance and attention to the previous study which the program necessitates, this Government would only be in a position to attend the conference after the 15th of next July.
I take this opportunity, et cetera.