The Ambassador in Argentina (Armour) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 6.]
Sir: I have the honor to enclose a copy of a memorandum of a conversation between Dr. Ovidio Schiopetto of the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural Attaché of the Embassy, relating to the proposed corn marketing agreement between Argentina and the United States.[Page 502]
The proposals of the American Government relating to a corn marketing agreement were transmitted to the Foreign Office on September 20, 1940, but to date the Embassy has not received a written reply indicating the attitude of the Argentine Government towards these specific proposals. At no time has the Argentine Government taken the initiative in indicating a desire to discuss the suggested provisions of an agreement and the two conferences held with Dr. Schiopetto relating to the proposed agreement were sought by the Agricultural Attaché.
It will be recalled that on September 12, 1940, when the Argentine Government accepted the proposal of the United States to negotiate a corn marketing agreement, the acceptance was closely related to, if not motivated by, the desire of the Argentine Government to secure financial aid for the construction of a distillery which could utilize a portion of the Argentine corn surplus. The distillery project was apparently abandoned after a preliminary study and as indicated above the Argentine Government has evidenced no interest in the corn agreement since that time.
There are, undoubtedly, many abnormal marketing conditions at the present time which would make the operation of a corn marketing agreement extremely difficult but of more significance is the apparent indifference and lack of interest of the Argentine Government in the proposal. It will be noted that Dr. Schiopetto has expressed a personal opinion in favor of suspending the efforts, for the time being, to conclude an agreement. Under the circumstances, there seems to be little prospect of reaching an agreement and unless the Department perceives objections, I feel that efforts to conclude an agreement might be suspended for the time being.