810.20 Defense/1096: Telegram

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

511. The Department has withdrawn the memorandum4 referred to in the last paragraph of the Department’s 476 of July 25, 7 p.m., since Espil5 stated he would not like to transmit it to his Government. His explanation was that he was certain that the Argentine Government would jump to the conclusion that the obtaining of military and naval equipment was contingent upon an outcome satisfactory to the United States of the staff conversations.

The Ambassador was unequivocally informed that the discussions re acquisition of matériel under the Lend-Lease Act and the staff conversations were not linked together, but parallel negotiations that might best take place simultaneously. The suggestion that the same officers who were coming to Washington to carry on the detailed discussions for the acquisition of matériel under the Lend-Lease Act also engage in staff conversations arose from the view that this was a practical procedure that would advance both questions rapidly.

In the absence of corroboratory information from you, the Department wonders whether Espil has accurately reflected the view the Argentine Government would have taken in this matter had it been consulted by him. However, if you have found that the Argentine Government is of the opinion that holding staff conversations in Washington coincidentally with negotiations for matériel would make it appear that Argentina was undertaking “political commitments” in connection with its purchase of military and naval equipment, you may advise the Argentine Government that this Government would be disposed to renew the staff conversations in Buenos Aires instead of in Washington, if that should be the desire of the Argentine Government. It is of course highly important that the staff conversations should be renewed as soon as practicable.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Felipe A. Espil, Argentine Ambassador in the United States.