Memorandum by the Adviser on Political Relations (Duggan) to the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

Mr. Welles: Captain Spears, while entirely courteous, firmly informed me that he and his associates were under written instructions to sign ad referendum an agreement with the Argentine Commission. Unless new instructions are issued he and his colleagues must comply with existing instructions.

Captain Spears, moreover, made it abundantly clear that he and the other military and naval officers making up the United States delegation are most anxious to carry through as originally planned with the Argentine delegation and sign a written document as to what each Government would undertake to do under certain conditions. One of these conditions would be the facilities offered by Argentina in the event of stoppage of communications through the Panama Canal. Moreover, the Argentine Naval authorities have been on good terms with the United States Naval authorities for many years so that the Navy Department would prefer to have the onus for the failure of the agreement to be approved rest upon either the Department or the President.

The War Department concurs in these views.

Both Departments advise me that they have canvassed this whole question apart from the Liaison meeting and feel very strongly that the rather friendly relationships which have been built up and which may prove useful in the future should not be jeopardized as a result of action taken by them. They would like, therefore, to carry through, sign the agreement, present it to higher authorities including the higher authorities in their own departments who would then inform the Argentine Government of our inability to furnish the armament agreed upon.

If, therefore, there is to be any change in the lines along which the War and Navy Departments are working I think it will have to come in the form of instructions issued by General Marshall and Admiral Stark, particularly since the line now being followed was confirmed at the last meeting of the Liaison Committee.

Laurence Duggan