611.3531/1563: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Argentina (Tuck)

180. Your 333, August 7, 7 p.m., and 339, August 10, 1 p.m. Please inform the Foreign Office that the Department considers it undesirable at this juncture to send any official mission to Buenos Aires, and has not given any indication to the press that such a mission was proceeding to Buenos Aires. A similar statement will be made to the Argentine Embassy in Washington. (Confidential: The Department understands that the press received the report from the Argentine Embassy in Washington.)

At Habana Irigoyen and other members of the Argentine delegation discussed the Argentine economic situation in great detail with members of the United States delegation, and emphasized the desirability of a mission proceeding to Buenos Aires to take up a number of economic matters. Irigoyen indicated that such a mission should discuss a trade agreement, monetary arrangements, possible purchases by the United States of wool and hides, Export-Import Bank credits for development purposes, and a corn agreement. Mr. Irigoyen indicated that he felt it would be desirable if the mission included officials of the Treasury and Agriculture Departments.

It is the Department’s opinion that it would be impossible at this time to discuss a trade agreement, and that unfavorable publicity might arise out of the visit to Buenos Aires of Hawkins who is closely identified with trade agreements, and officials of the Department of Agriculture. At the same time the Treasury Department has indicated that any discussions which the Argentines wish to initiate on monetary matters should be carried on in Washington. The Department feels, therefore, that it would be unwise to send a formal mission to Buenos Aires at this time, and that the remaining items of Argentine-American [Page 474]economic cooperation can be arranged through normal channels.

For your confidential information, steps are being taken rapidly with the Defense Council and the Federal Loan Administrator looking towards the purchase for defense purposes of Argentine wool and perhaps hides. Please inform the Department regarding the present available stocks of these commodities, and the state of Argentine markets for wool and hides. Suggestions for a corn agreement also will be transmitted to you for discussion with the Argentines in the near future.

Mr. Warren Lee Pierson, President of the Export-Import Bank, is sailing from the United States on September 6 for a trip which will take him to Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. He should arrive in Buenos Aires during the latter part of September. Mr. Pierson will take this opportunity to discuss details of the present credit to the Central Bank, and, since it is hoped that legislation amplifying the Export-Import Bank’s operations will have been enacted by that time, will be in a position to discuss further credits for development projects. It is possible that Mr. Pierson may also be authorized to discuss definite arrangements on the wool and hides matters, if they have not been negotiated before his arrival. It is suggested that you inform the Foreign Office of Mr. Pierson’s proposed visit, and indicate that it is an alternative to the Hawkins mission. At the present time, however, it would appear desirable that no publicity be issued regarding Mr. Pierson’s proposed visit.

Further information regarding the possible form of monetary and exchange discussions with the Treasury will be sent to you shortly.

Welles