710.Consultation (3)A/426: Telegram

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

948. For Duggan from Spaeth. Brazilian and Venezuelan members have questioned whether the country reports based on the consultative visits should be made available to the Argentine member. The reports include confidential data furnished to the Committee’s representatives by police and military officials as well as commentaries on the principal defects of the political defense systems of the countries visited. My colleagues fear that if the reports are made available to officials of the present Argentine Government, they will ultimately reach enemy hands. There is also good reason to believe that the Argentine Government desires to obtain information which will show that the Argentine political defense system is as good or better than that of other Republics.

The problem has been discussed with Guani who agrees that the documents should not be made available to the Argentine member and believes that the matter should be referred to the Governing Board of the Union for decision. He recognizes that this may raise the entire question of Argentine membership and states in the strongest possible terms that it is “unworkable and absurd” that the Argentine member should participate in the follow-up program, which is now the Committee’s principal task. This work involves the preparation and approval of communications to the Governments pointing out in detail discrepancies in their political defense structure and urging action pursuant to a policy that has been repudiated by the Argentine Government.

It will be recalled that for substantially the reasons expressed by Guani the Argentine member was not included on the delegations which made the consultative visits.

Guani is strongly of the opinion that we should not resort to any internal arrangement or subterfuge to keep the documents from the Argentine members. He does not therefore favor the appointment of a special subcommittee with exclusive access to the documents, a suggestion tentatively advanced by one of the members as an alternative to presenting the matter to the Union. The Department will recall that on all proposals affecting Argentine membership Guani has favored reference to the Union.

In order to keep the reports already prepared from the Argentine member and give the majority time in which to arrive at a final decision, the Brazilian member at today’s meeting referred to the confidential character of the materials which are being included in the [Page 31] country reports and proposed the appointment of a special subcommittee to recommend measures to insure the security of the documents. This motion was approved unanimously and Guani named the Brazilian, Venezuelan and American members to the subcommittee. In voting for the motion the Argentine member, of course, had no idea of its real purpose. It is understood that there will be no distribution until the subcommittee has reported.

It is my opinion that the documents in question should not be made available to the Argentine member and that the issue forcefully demonstrated the fundamental cleavage between Argentina and the rest of the continent.

The matter has not been discussed with the Chilean member.68

The Department’s instructions with respect to Guani’s proposal that the question be presented to the Union are respectfully requested. [Spaeth.]

  1. Alfredo Rodríguez MacIver.