Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt 1

766. As you see our point about getting a new meat contract with Argentina,2 for which I am thankful, we are moving ahead with these difficult negotations and I hope that they won’t be upset. To present the Colonels with anything they can construe as a triumph of diplomacy is neither desired nor intended by us.

In my speech on August 2nd I made reference to Argentina,3 which I hope you liked. From all accounts the Argentines did not. I hope [Page 164] we can agree on tactics, since we seem to be in accord on objectives. Until we discuss with you what we think the situation requires, we will neither recognize the Argentine Government nor permit our Ambassador4 to return. Our views have been passed to our Embassy, which has given them to your State Department.5 An opportunity for both of us to examine a common policy and the Argentines a chance to mend their ways, which under the glare of public indictment they can never do, seems to be in order. For that reason, now that we have said in public just what we think of the present Argentina Government, I do most earnestly hope that you will ignore the Colonels for a good many weeks.

  1. Channel of transmission not indicated, but presumably sent via London through military channels. The White House Map Room sent a copy of this message to Hull for his information on August 23, 1944.
  2. Roosevelt had told Churchill on July 22, 1944, that the United States would do nothing to prevent the British from getting a new contract for Argentine meat. See Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, p. 333.
  3. For the text of Churchill’s statement concerning Argentina in the House of Commons, August 2, 1944, see ibid., pp. 337338.
  4. Sir David Kelly.
  5. See Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, pp. 338340.