740.00116 E.W./9–2944: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State

8155. Afternoon press announced that Argentine Ambassador in London56 had delivered note to ForOf57 stating that in no case would Argentina extend asylum to war criminals. We asked ForOf for a copy of the Argentine Ambassador’s communication. It is in the form of a memorandum, dated September 25, and reads as follows:

“Some publications in Great Britain and other countries appear to be endeavoring to show the possibility of Axis leaders seeking refuge in Argentina.

It is unacceptable that such comments should have been given credence in habitually well informed circles. To show the inconsistency of these statements it should suffice to point out the improbability of traversing an ocean dominated and controlled by the naval forces of the United Nations. Notwithstanding, the Argentine Embassy wishes to convey to His Majesty’s Government that the Argentine Government, ratifying previous declarations, has defined its position in this connection in the following terms:

Firstly, in no event will persons accused of war crimes be allowed in Argentine territory.

Secondly, neither will they be allowed to create capital deposits or acquire property of any kind.

The Argentine Government has the right to claim that these declarations shall be accepted as bona fide, as in justice this has been the case regarding the intentions of other countries which by their neutrality and geographical proximity would appear to be more easily accessible as places of refuge.

In reiterating these declarations the Argentine Government formulates a new and categorical affirmation of its position in the sphere of international politics, based on the self-determination of nations and on traditional bonds of friendship.

Finally, the Argentine Government reaffirms that, as hitherto, it will continue to offer loyally its collaboration and support to all measures seeking mutual respect and harmony.”

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We were told at the ForOf that this memorandum was presented on September 26 and that a copy of it had been embodied in a telegram to the British Embassy at Washington, but that there had been, due to the great volume of work, delay in getting it cleared for transmission to Washington. We were told further that it was not known by Foreign Office whether this memorandum had been made public by the Argentine Government in whole or in part.58

  1. Miguel Angel Cárcano.
  2. Foreign Office.
  3. Published in La Prensa, September 29, 1944.