835.50/1–1144: Telegram

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

58. Personal for the Ambassador. The President and I have given careful consideration to the suggestions contained in your telegram no. 60 of January 8, 1 p.m.,1 and other messages concerning the Argentine situation. We now contemplate taking the following steps as soon as possible, preferably within the next week:

I intend to issue a statement pointing out emphatically that the Argentine Government has not only failed to live up to any of her inter-American commitments but that all the other American Republics have done so and, had they pursued the same course which has allowed Argentina to enrich herself, all of us would now be enslaved by the Nazis. Moreover since the June Revolution Argentina has become a refuge and an asylum for Nazi agents and officials of the Argentine Government have even gone so far as to encourage the overthrow of a pro-United Nations Government.2 I express my distress at the situation and indicate the feeling of all of us interested in the cause of the United Nations that the Bolivian situation constitutes a danger signal. In closing I state that because of the gravity of the situation you are being directed to return for consultation.
Simultaneously an executive order will be released including Argentina among the countries subject to freezing by the Treasury.
Studies are being initiated immediately with the British Embassy and the Combined Boards2a here to ascertain what purchases if any of Argentine products may be curtailed or foregone.
We believe that the British Government may find it possible to issue a statement simultaneously and along parallel lines to ours and likewise recall the British Ambassador for consultation.
Aranha3 is being informed in detail of our proposed action and it is hoped that Brazil will cooperate.
The American Republics will be informed of our plans prior to their initiation.

Steps 1 and 2 are to be carried out independently of the studies mentioned in provision 3.

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I would appreciate it if you would promptly inform me as to what you think the results may be of the contemplated action both as regards the Argentine Government and those people who are friendly to us.

If you have suggestions as to the timing of these steps I would appreciate them and whether they might complicate any possible governmental reorganizations such as mentioned in your telegram no. 28, January 5, 4 p.m.4

  1. Not printed. The Ambassador’s telegram was concerned largely with what commodities could be effectively embargoed from Argentina (835.50/133).
  2. For correspondence concerning the overthrow of the Bolivian Government, see pp. 427 ff.
  3. For a list of the Combined Boards on which the United States was represented, see Department of State Bulletin, January 16, 1943, p. 67.
  4. Oswaldo Aranha, Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  5. Not printed.