835.85/89: Telegram

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

2345. Embassy’s despatch No. 7243, November 6.82 Stewart asked Bohan83 and Gantenbein84 and Simon of the British Embassy85 to call this morning and showed them a contract which had been approved by the Argentine authorities covering the purchase of the three Lloyd Argentina ships. Iterman and his Company have now [Page 427] agreed to accept payment in blocked form and the contract provides that all payments will be blocked except approximately 540,000 pesos to be repaid to the Merchant Marine for repairs and other expenses recently incurred and 15,000 pesos to be paid to the Argentine Government for taxes.

As in the case of the Danish ships the blocked funds will be released upon the “cessation of hostilities or the concluding of an armistice which will permit the aforementioned vessels to navigate freely”. Upon being requested to do so, Stewart agreed to endeavor to have this clause changed to provide as in the Inter-American ship plan and in the case of the Italian ships for blocking until the end of war. This modification would of course be advantageous in the event of reparations after the war. Stewart has promised to furnish the Embassy with a copy of the contract in time for forwarding in the airmail pouch Monday.

He said that he did not know the present status of the Delfino matter and indicated that this was now being handled exclusively in the Foreign Office. The Embassy will discuss the subject there the first part of next week.

Stewart said that the Esmeralda was on its way to Argentina and presumably the list of contemplated payments will be submitted to the Embassy within the next few days.

Regarding the payment to the Italian Government for coal and supplies, he reiterated that these funds were being blocked and indicated that the blockade would be in the form provided for in the contract covering the Italian ships.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Merwin L. Bohan, Counselor of Embassy for Economic Affairs.
  3. James W. Gantenbein, Second Secretary of Embassy.
  4. Walter Simon, Financial Adviser and First Secretary of the British Embassy.