Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of the American Republics (Bonsal)1

I had lunch yesterday with the Uruguayan Ambassador.2 In the course of the conversation he again brought up the question of Lend-Lease materials3 for Uruguay. He has consistently taken the position that Uruguay has been neglected by us in this respect. In view of the present circumstances and potential developments, he brought up a new argument. He said that Montevideo is very vulnerable to attack from Buenos Aires and that a successful assault on the Uruguayan Capital could under present conditions be carried out by a very small “commando” group.

I would appreciate guidance as to whether we should take this matter up with the War Department and whether a special Lend-Lease shipment could legally be made to Uruguay in order to ward off attack from her powerful neighbor.4

Philip W. Bonsal
  1. Addressed to the Secretary of State and to Assistant Secretary Adolf A. Berle, Jr.
  2. Juan Carlos Blanco.
  3. For a note on the Lend-Lease Agreement between the United States and Uruguay, signed January 13, 1942, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. vi, p. 703.
  4. A marginal note on the original reads: “I think Uruguay’s position should be strengthened. A. A. B[erle].”