835.34/575a: Telegram

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

305. The tentative agreement which has been worked out by the Navy Department with the Argentine naval mission comprises a contingent agreement providing for cooperation between our two navies in the event that Argentina enters the war against the Axis. It also provides for the furnishing of matériel to the Argentine Navy over a period of years commencing with the year 1942. The furnishing of such matériel, of course, would be premised upon the signing of a Lend Lease Agreement.

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Our Navy Department is very anxious to avoid any breach of friendly relations with the Argentine Navy. It fears that if the contingent agreement depending upon the entrance of Argentina into the war is not signed the reaction would be so bad within the Argentine Navy as to create serious difficulties for our Navy. It is of course clearly understood that no agreement providing for the furnishing of matériel would be signed and obviously no Lend Lease agreement will be entered into so long as the present policy of the Argentine Government continues.

I am inclined to think that the point of view of the Navy Department deserves very careful consideration unless in your judgment the signing of any agreement by the Argentine mission in Washington with our Navy Department would be utilized in such a way by the Argentine Government as to discourage completely the opponents of its present policy.

The War Department is not in a position to furnish any material to the Argentine Army and that aspect of the question consequently is purely academic.

Please telegraph me your views and recommendations. Some decision will have to be reached next week.

For your personal and confidential information I have requested Caffery19 to talk this matter over with Aranha20 so that whatever decision we may make will be fully known beforehand by the Brazilian Government. I shall also inform the Uruguayan Foreign Minister21 before any action is taken.

  1. Jefferson Caffery, Ambassador in Brazil.
  2. Oswaldo Aranha, Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Alberto Guani.