710.Consultation (3)A/50: Telegram

The Ambassador in Uruguay (Dawson) to the Secretary of State

341. For Chapin from Spaeth. No. 8. Reference Embassy’s No. 327, my No. 7, April 29. The proposal of the Brazilian member for reports by Axis nationals received a full discussion on the merits in Monday’s meeting. The Argentine member, who was clearly acting on instructions, declared that he would support the recommendation only if it were submitted to the Conference of Police and Judicial Authorities.7 Argentina based its argument on the untenable jurisdictional point that the Committee’s powers are subordinate to the powers of the Conference. Chilean member who was also acting on instructions said that he would have to abstain from voting because Chile has already adopted registration laws. The registration law of Chile is general in character and of course is not aimed directly at Axis nationals in the manner of the Brazilian proposal.

All of the other members (who are apparently authorized to vote without reference back to their respective Governments) supported the Brazilian proposal on its merits and vigorously opposed the narrow jurisdictional point raised by Argentina. The discussion emphasized that the system of reporting would afford friendly enemy aliens an opportunity to establish their word in addition to inducing disclosure by unfriendly groups.

Because of the sharp fundamental difference of opinion thus developed it is probable that I shall be required to participate in a [Page 77][apparent omission] on the matter prior to the Department’s receipt of the full text of the Brazilian proposal. Because I believe that the proposal is fundamentally sound, and because it would be extremely unwise to give an impression of doubt with regard to the first serious disagreement on a matter of principle, I intend to vote affirmatively. If it is possible to do so with apparent good cause, I shall try to defer the vote. [Spaeth.]

  1. See pp. 48 ff.