800.8830/2213: Telegram

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

432. My 386, February 17 [18], 4 p.m.70 Definite policy toward assisting Argentine press in obtaining newsprint must be reached at once as by end of March perhaps one-half Argentine newspapers will be forced to close down if non-arrival Argentine ships from Sweden continues and no additional shipping space is obtainable for importation of newsprint from Canada and United States.

Embassy believes that Argentine press is important factor in supporting Allied cause and as such merits every possible assistance. Therefore strongly recommend that a ship for one trip be allocated to carry newsprint equitably distributed for Argentine newspapers in greatest need. If such an allocation cannot be made immediately, [Page 408] Embassy urges that adequate amount of space be granted for newsprint for Argentine press aboard United Nations controlled vessels now carrying goods to Uruguay and Brazil.

It is obvious at present time that Argentine Government will do as little as possible for pro-Allied press here and will do that little subject only to the understanding that the favor be repaid by a pro-Government stand on internal as well as foreign affairs.

In this connection the forthcoming visit of Argentine newspapermen will undoubtedly be utilized by them to bring newsprint issue to a head.

Another consideration is that if no steps are taken to aid the Argentine press and many newspapers are forced to close, the work of the Coordinator’s representative71 here will be greatly handicapped.

Prompt decision essential to meet this critical situation. If shipment not made before March 15, newspapers will begin to close shortly thereafter.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Alfred W. Wells of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs.