811.20 Defense (M) Argentina/244

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

No. 5593

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s circular telegram of May 18, midnight, 1942,21 in which the position of our Government was explained regarding rubber contracts in other Latin American countries, as well as the policy to be followed in making available to the other American republics their essential needs of rubber and rubber products.

The substance of this telegram, as instructed, was communicated to the Argentine Government by Embassy note No. 750, dated May 21, 1942. By note signed by the Minister of Foreign Relations and Worship, dated June 18, 1942, but which was not despatched from the Ministry until June 25, 1942, the Argentine Government acknowledges receipt of the Embassy’s note No. 750 and advises that the Argentine Government is anxious to immediately initiate conversations with this Embassy for the purpose of arriving at a “modus vivendi” with respect to the future supply of crude rubber for Argentina. For that purpose they have designated Dr. Raúl E. Arrarás Vergara delegate of the Ministry of Agriculture on the Rubber Distribution Committee (see voluntary report No. 940 of March 31, 194222) as the person who is authorized to treat with the Embassy on the subject of crude rubber. The announced purpose is to reach an agreement, satisfactory to the essential needs of the Argentine for rubber during the present emergency, including those which contribute to the provision of foodstuffs and supplies to the United States.

Informally the Embassy has, on several occasions, discussed rubber in general with Dr. Vergara and other members of the Rubber Distribution Committee. This information has been supplied the Department by despatches Nos. 4339 of March 6, 1942 and 4935 of May 4, 1942.23 Dr. Vergara has consistently intimated that the United [Page 316]States should advise Argentina of the amount of rubber that it can guarantee for this market. The Embassy’s position, lacking further instructions, has been that until Argentina is willing to present a complete picture, including rubber stocks, consumption by articles produced, restrictions now in effect, and those definitely provided for the future, with the dates on which they will be made effective, that there would be little use in our proposal to our Government in Washington that a fixed amount of rubber be set aside. The Embassy has frankly expressed to Dr. Vergara and others of the Rubber Distribution Commission that they cannot expect any rubber whatsoever from the United States or from the countries with whom the United States has purchase contracts until Argentina has actually placed into effect restrictions proportionately equal in their importance to those already in force in the United States.

Early instructions from the Department as to any further position the Embassy should take would be greatly appreciated.

Copies of the original Spanish and of the English translation of the note received are enclosed.27

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Thomas L. Hughes

Commercial Attaché
  1. Printed in vol. vi , section under Colombia entitled “Negotiation of agreement between the Rubber Reserve Company and Colombia …”
  2. Not printed.
  3. Neither printed.
  4. Not printed.