859.85/587: Telegram

The Chargé in Uruguay (Chapin) to the Secretary of State

152. My telegram No. 151, April 10, 5 p.m.4 The Minister of Foreign Affairs handed me last night a note quoting the text of the telegram he addressed to the Chairman of the Inter-American Financial [Page 187] and Economic Advisory Committee in Washington. In the note he requests me to inform my Government of the purposes sought by his Ministry in this matter, and suggests that in order to arrive at an early solution procedures be shortened as much as possible.

Although the Spanish text of the Minister’s telegram has undoubtedly already been made available to the Department in accordance with Guani’s specific request I transmit herewith for the Department’s information an English translation made in this Legation:

Montevideo, April 11, 1941.

Mr. Chargé des Affaires:

I have the honor to inform you that yesterday this Ministry addressed to the Chairman of the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee with seat in Washington, the following telegram:

“In view of present circumstances, the Government of Uruguay presents to the committee the following question, on which it requests a reply as soon as may be possible;

That, in accordance with subparagraph (D) of article No. II, resolution 4, on economic co-operation of the consultative meeting held in Panama in 1939,5 and as an effective measure for carrying out mutual co-operation with a view to lessening or neutralizing any disturbance which might be caused to the commerce of the American Republics, and to maintain trade intercourse among them, the committee consider whether merchant vessels stationed, as a result of the war, in the American ports, might be utilized by the respective countries by virtue of a resolution which might be considered to have a continental scope.

The measure proposed is based on the fact that the increasing rate of destruction of the means of maritime transportation by the belligerents has created a very grave problem for the fundamental right of this continent to preserve the trade which is [essential ?]to its normal existence. This inquiry thus envisages a concordant decision in the sense of utilizing the said vessels for navigation between the ports of America for the protection of American commercial interchange. It would be understood, at the same time, that the payments of rentals, compensations or any other indemnifications, would be a matter for agreement by the interested countries upon the termination of war, if this is considered most convenient or advisable.

I present to you Mr. Chairman the assurances of my highest consideration. Signed Alberto Guani.”

  1. Not printed.
  2. See Report of the Delegate of the United States of America to the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics, Held at Panamá, September 28–October 3, 1939 (Washington, Government Printing office, 1940), pp. 50 ff. The numbering of Resolutions differs in the Spanish and English texts, and Resolution 4 referred to in Guani’s note is numbered III in the English text.