611.3331/361a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Uruguay (Chapin)

54. 1. Public announcement of intention to negotiate a trade agreement with Argentina seems possible in the near future.16 It would again seem desirable to undertake negotiations with Uruguay concurrently, and you are requested to ascertain as soon as possible whether, in the event that a satisfactory basis for undertaking negotiations with Argentina is reached, the Uruguayan Government would be disposed to undertake the negotiation of a trade agreement generally along the lines of that contemplated in 1939.17

2. You should state that the list of products in respect of which we would be prepared to consider granting concessions to Uruguay, to be published with the public announcement of intention to negotiate, would include those with respect to which we offered concessions during the previous negotiations. However, we would be prepared to consider the possibility of adding to the published list other products of major interest to Uruguay which the Uruguayan Government might wish to propose.

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3. While we would desire that the general provisions be basically similar to those proposed by us during the previous negotiations, account would be taken of abnormal circumstances arising from the war.

4. In communicating the foregoing to the Foreign Office, you should state that an early reply would be greatly appreciated. You should also emphasize that it is essential that there be no publicity whatever in the matter prior to public announcement.

5. The Uruguayan Minister18 here is being informed of the foregoing.

6. It is suggested that you communicate discreetly with the Embassy at Buenos Aires in order to obtain additional information regarding the discussions now in progress with the Argentine Government.

7. For your background information, we are also instructing the Legation at Asunción to ascertain whether the Paraguayan Government would be disposed to undertake the negotiation of a trade agreement at this time.

  1. See vol. vi, section under Argentina entitled “Reciprocal trade agreement between the United States and Argentina, signed October 14, 1941.”
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1939, vol. v, pp. 786 ff.
  3. José Richling.