The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina (Armour)
701. Your 962, September 13, 1 p.m. Department consulted War and Navy Departments on the subjects to be discussed at contemplated staff conversations to be held in Washington. The latter have transmitted to Department the following proposed agenda.
An endeavor should be made to reach an agreement on the action each would take under the following conditions: (a) in the event that the United States and Argentina should be associates in a war against [Page 328] the same enemy, and (b) in the event that one country should remain a non-belligerent and the other should engage in war.
Under the first alternative mentioned above, the purpose would be (1) to decide upon the best methods of cooperation between the armed forces of Argentina and the United States; (2) to coordinate plans for such cooperation; (3) to reach agreements concerning the nature and methods of military cooperation between the two nations which would comprise the allocation of existing areas of responsibility, the principal lines of military strategy which both countries should adopt, and the strength of the armed forces which each nation may be able to supply. In addition, it would be necessary to determine suitable command arrangements, both as to the unity of command in the field and supreme military control in the event of joint operations either tactical or strategical.
The object of the second alternative would be to decide what action for the defense of the hemisphere each country might take within the limits of its own policy. This discussion would involve such a question as action with reference to sea and air patrols to protect legitimate commerce in the South Atlantic.
The text of the former staff conversations should be examined and modified as far as may be necessary to include the foregoing program. The contemplated agreement would be broader in scope than the one which would have been concluded had the earlier conversations been successful. In addition, it is believed that the representatives, both military and naval of both countries, should be officers with sufficient authority, experience and rank to set forth the point of view of their respective branch of the armed forces, and make decisions of a military character.
Any agreements which these officers may reach will be subject of course to confirmation by the governments of each republic and by the chiefs of staff of their respective military and naval forces.
The basic agreement to which you refer in your telegram 962 relates to the acquisition of military equipment and not to the subject of cooperation between the military forces of both countries.