641.1115/41: Telegram

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

161. Department’s en clair No. 79, May 27. The local press this morning announces that an arrangement has been made with Italy whereby that country will purchase 350,000 metric tons of Argentine corn to be shipped prior to the end of the year at prices governing at the times of shipment. It is reported further in the press that Italy has a debtor balance with Argentina of 100,000,000 lira and that with the arrangement now concluded the Argentine Government will grant necessary authorizations for the resumption of imports from Italy. Of potentially greater importance, it is announced that negotiations are proceeding with Great Britain for the exchange of 3,000,000 metric tons of corn for an equivalent value of coal from Cardiff.

The press states that the corn available from the last crop, after providing for internal needs, amounts to 7,941,606 metric tons.

I do not know whether the Department will feel that the above information changes the situation so far as the position outlined in telegram No. 79 is concerned. As a precautionary measure in bringing the contents of the Department’s telegram under reference to the attention of the Foreign Minister, I shall confine myself to a recital of the facts surrounding our arrangements with the British Government and await further instructions before taking up the matter of a corn agreement between the United States and Argentina.