The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Argentina ( Tuck )17
442. Your 673, July 3, 6 p.m. Although the Department is gratified to learn that steps are being taken towards placing into service the foreign registry ships, it views with some apprehension the fact that the Argentine Government’s efforts are being apparently directed solely towards the acquisition of such ships by purchase. United States interests have had a lengthy experience in negotiations with [Page 201] the owners of German, Italian and other vessels in United States ports and these negotiations, which it is true have been complicated by certain other issues, have resulted only in months of delay with no definitive arrangements. As you know, the United States Government is finally taking direct and unilateral steps towards placing the vessels into service.18
One great obstacle to the acquisition of such foreign registry vessels will undoubtedly be found in the insistence of the British Government on the blocking until the end of the war of transfer of any funds in connection with the purchase or other placing into service of the vessels. (Department’s circular telegram of June 24, noon.)
The substance of the above has been communicated to the Argentine Ambassador in Washington, and it is suggested that in your discretion you inform informally the authorities of the nation to which you are accredited.