833.51/900: Telegram

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

50. Your telegram no. 83, May 26, 6 p.m. Under existing legislation the Export-Import Bank is prohibited from making loans “for the purchase of any articles, except aircraft exclusively for commercial purposes, listed as arms, ammunition or implements of war by the President in accordance with the Neutrality Act of 1939”. If Guani16 presses you for a reply, it will therefore be necessary for you to inform him that under existing law the facilities of the Export-Import Bank could not be utilized. However, for your confidential information, the question of the policy that should be pursued by this [Page 9]Government in connection with the desire of certain of the other American governments to increase their armament for defense purposes is being taken up with the President. You will be informed immediately if there should be any change in policy decided upon.

The joint resolution introduced at the instance of the Department last year “to authorize the Secretaries of War and Navy to assist the governments of the American Republics to increase their military and naval establishments and for other purposes” has recently gone to the President for signature; it is limited however to “coast defense and anti-aircraft matériel and ammunition therefor” and naval vessels and armament therefor. No credit transactions are authorized thereunder.

  1. Alberto Guani, Uruguayan Minister for Foreign Affairs.