835.5151/1347: Telegram

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

1101. The following is the text in translation of a memorandum dated October 7 received from the Minister for Foreign Affairs in reply to the Embassy’s memorandum of September 8,96 in regard to the over-all purchasing program.


The Argentine Government received with the greatest interest the memorandum of September 8, last, in which the Embassy (of the United States) in coincidence with a similar memorandum from the British Embassy of September 9 [3?] last, offers on behalf of its Government to purchase or to guarantee the purchase of certain Argentine products during the period of one year, and it (the Argentine Government) hopes to reach in a short time an agreement with the Government of the United States and the British Government which will permit it to carry out as soon as possible a full program of exports to those countries, in accordance with the suggestions contained in the notes of the United States and the United Kingdom.
[Here follow paragraphs 2 to 6, inclusive, dealing with the problem of blocked pounds resulting from transactions between Argentina and countries in the sterling bloc.]
As regards the purchasing plan in itself, the Argentine Government takes note of the fact that, as a whole, the offers refer to minerals, glycerine, hides and skins, wool and quebracho, the exportable surplus of which would be purchased by the United States according to the terms of the memorandum of July 2, 1941, and the British Government would be disposed to purchase, subject to an arrangement of price and navigation requirements, the maximum proportion of the production of meats and animal fat, as well as considerable quantities of wheat, dried eggs, fertilizers, casein, et cetera, foreseeing that these purchases together with those of the British Empire of hides and quebracho, would amount to a total sum of from 42 to 44 millions of pounds sterling. This offer is subject to the commitment of the Argentine Government to limit the exportation of products to the nations of the United Kingdom, to the United States of America and to other American Republics which have established a system of export control.
The Argentine Government takes pleasure in expressing the satisfaction with which it views the purpose inspiring the offers presented, since these offers have been extended in the hope of arriving at a favorable solution of the problem affecting international trade between the Argentine Republic, and the United States of America, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and, prompted by the definite purpose of full collaboration towards the successful issue of the negotiation which is to start, it considers indispensable to submit to the Embassy of the United States and the British Embassy, certain points the importance of which is of exceptional nature in Argentine economy.
In the first place the Argentine Government wishes that the possibility be considered of extending the list of purchases proposed by the United States and Great Britain to include other products which, such as linseed, butter, canned meats, pork products, et cetera, can be sold and [to?] countries making the offers, and which are of extraordinary interest to the Argentine producers and Argentine economy.
The Argentine Government understands perfectly the security implied by the guarantee to purchase offered by the Government of the United States for hides and skins, wool and extract of quebracho but it takes the liberty to point out that this measure does not signify a substantial improvement with regard to the present situation. As a matter of fact the products mentioned have, for the moment—and [Page 378] this situation will probably remain unchanged—a relatively easy and remunerative market.
As the plan refers to comprehensive operation and enjoining certain limitations to the possibilities of our exportation, the Argentine Government is forced to take into account the interests of other branches of Argentine agricultural and livestock production. Mention has already been made of the sacrifices which it has been necessary to make [to] maintain the activity of a wide portion of rural classes which form the most solid and stable nucleus of the social organization of the republic. It is quite aware of the almost unsurmountable difficulty which exists for taking into consideration the totality of Argentine agricultural products, but it also believes that it is possible to find solutions which will permit the maintenance of its (economic structure).
Another point which causes concern to the Argentine Government is the British proposal which subjects the scope of the plan to new requirements. The Argentine Government realizes the difficulty deriving from the problem but it considers that in order to meet the aims of this negotiation, goods could be purchased in accordance with commitments to be agreed upon, letting it be understood that if difficulties arise in navigation the goods will remain deposited pending the possibility of their transportation.
In conclusion the Argentine Government is disposed to establish a control of exports in the manner requested by the Governments of the United States and Great Britain, save for small quantities which are exported to countries which in turn supply Argentina with the goods necessary to maintain the equilibrium of Argentine economy, thus avoiding an undue raise in prices.

In short, the Argentine Government is disposed to study with the representatives of the Governments of the United States and of Great Britain all the problems set forth and it hopes that an understanding of the requirements of each one of the parties will permit the rapid conclusion of an agreement taking into account reciprocally the national interests involved.[”]

  1. Ante, p. 374.