800.85/479d: Telegram

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

968. On November 14 the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee adopted a resolution26 recommending the establishment of a commission to be dependent from [upon?] the Advisory Committee to be composed of representatives of the maritime authorities of those American republics which have taken over or are in a position to take over ships immobilized in their ports. There will also be represented on the commission a member of the Inter-American Committee who will represent the interests of those nations having no ships. The proposed commission is based on the principles and will carry out the functions contained in paragraphs 1 and 3 of the August 28 plan for the effective use of immobilized ships. There is no question of abdication of sovereignty in the operation of the proposed commission. It will, however, provide a useful channel for the solution of operating difficulties which are occurring frequently. Decisions of the commission will not be by vote but rather by full discussion.

Although the commission will eventually be composed of representatives of eleven countries, it is obvious that no effective work can be done until Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and of course the United States have appointed their representatives. In the case of the United States a member of the Maritime Commission will be the representative; his authority in shipping matters is extremely broad and it is hoped that the other countries will be able to appoint members with authority approaching this level. The problem in Argentina is complicated by the fact that the Government plans to operate the sixteen Italian ships, while the Mihanovich Line controls other merchant vessels. Obviously it would be to the advantage of all concerned to have someone appointed from Argentina who will be able effectively to represent both of these interests, and you are requested to urge the Argentine Government to make such an appointment.

The work of the commission will consist primarily in advising on the distribution among those represented of the available cargoes, both northbound and southbound. In as much as some of these cargoes are less desirable than others and some are more urgently needed, the commission will have to decide on an operating level how these problems are to be met. As you know, some discontent has already arisen as a result of the fixing of two of the ex-Italian vessels for sugar from [Page 206] Peru to New York. This is a type of problem which will be avoided by the establishment of the new commission.

  1. For text of resolution, see Department of State Bulletin, November 22, 1941, p. 403.