The Ambassador in Argentina (Armour) to the Secretary of State
[Received 5:03 p.m.]
239. In analyzing the import requirements studies of the Central Bank it is noted that several Government departments are requesting large amounts of various materials heretofore not imported by them direct. Likewise the practice whereby Proclaimed List construction companies obtain government contracts at exceedingly low bids is of increasing concern, as this Embassy is convinced that these contracts are let in most if not all cases on the supposition if not tacit understanding that the Government itself will obtain from the United States the necessary raw materials delivering them in turn to the construction firms successful in obtaining government contracts.
In view of the policy expressed in the Department’s 151, February 4, 9 p.m.46 I believe the Argentine Government should be informed to the effect that no material can be allocated direct to government departments for work let or to be let on a contract basis but that rather it will be the responsibility of the individual contractor to obtain this material in his own name. In as much as the Argentine Central Bank is authorized to make both the import requirements studies and the recommendations of the Argentine Government as to the local distribution of materials allocated by the United States, I believe the Department may wish this point of view [Page 329]expressed to the Bank’s manager Prebisch rather than through formal channels.
I would appreciate early instructions on this point.