740.00112A European War, 1939/6000: Telegram

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

64. Department’s circular telegram December 6, 9 p.m. Control of importations from the United States by cloaks was carefully discussed with the Ravndal Mission42 and this Embassy is also of the opinion that only by careful control both here and in Washington may shipment [Page 326]be prevented from reaching undesirable hands. For example, Armco International was recently advised that several firms not their customers are arbitrarily using Armco’s name as supplier and enlisting support of Argentine Embassy to obtain high priority rating.

As it would be exceedingly difficult if not impossible to prevent delivery to consignee of shipments which may have already left the United States it would appear that a thorough check made prior to the embarkation would be more practicable. If the Department were to reinstate the system of individual license and were to forward daily to the Embassy an airmail list of all requests for export license for Argentina, listing the firm making the request, the consignee and the material concerned, it would be possible for this Embassy to determine each doubtful case and to advise by cable or airmail whether or not in our opinion the transaction is bona fide and whether the license should be issued. This system would supplant that now in effect of sending a special cable on each suspicious case and it is believed that it would provide a thorough control such as is not now possible under general license and occasional cables.

  1. Christian M. Ravndal, Assistant Chief of the Division of the American Republics, was instructed on November 19, 1941, to discuss with the American Missions in South America policies and procedures relating to export control, priorities, the freezing of foreign funds, and the Proclaimed List.