835.24/277: Telegram

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

201. For Under Secretary. Minister of Marine10 informed me yesterday he is much encouraged with progress of negotiations of Argentine Military Naval Commission now in United States. Minister of War11 also informed me that two officers of the mission are now here discussing question and intend to return shortly to Washington.

In view of policy outlined by you in conversations at Rio with which as you know I am heartily in accord—in fact my visit to Rio was for the purpose of recommending such policy—I hope the occasion will be taken to implement it as soon as possible. In my talk with Minister of War and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs I have already made it clear that American countries which have already declared war against or broken relations with Axis Powers will be first to receive available war material but I think you will agree this would have more effect if coming from Washington either through Argentine Ambassador or General Lapez and Admiral Sueyro. (Of course you have already made this clear in your talks with Ruiz Guiñazú of [at] Rio.

My understanding is that any loan to Argentina is out of the question for the present; also that requests for priority on essential materials will not receive support of State Department.

So far as over-all purchasing program is concerned I feel that for the present at least no further steps should be taken to consummate agreement (announcement would presumably be misinterpreted in United States and also weaken our position here). This would not necessarily mean that private buying here of products we require would not continue although I gathered from conversations in Rio that efforts would be made to increase purchases in Brazil, Uruguay and other countries of such products as are available there. Williams12 left Rio de Janeiro with impression that negotiations on purchase program for which he had secured favorable terms in Washington should be continued but on my advice he has held negotiations in abeyance pending further instructions.

At your convenience I should appreciate word as to whether my understanding as set forth above represents policy we intend to pursue.

  1. Adm. Mario Fincati.
  2. Gen. Juan N. Tonazzi.
  3. Thomas J. Williams acted as agent for the Metals Reserve Company, a buying agency of the Federal Loan Agency.