740.0011 European War 1939/33120

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Argentine Chargé d’Affaires38 called at his request merely to pay his respects promptly after the action of his Government in breaking relations with the Axis powers. He talked as though he were greatly relieved at this development saying that he felt satisfied that his Government would go through entirely with the task of housecleaning, adding however that this recent action was not taken without terrific controversy within the Government, and that his Government might be delayed somewhat in dealing with one phase or another of the program, but that he felt that it would in due course work out all right. I expressed unusual satisfaction at the developments in the Argentine Government and said that I was most pleased to learn from the Chargé [Page 244] himself what our Ambassador had been told in Buenos Aires to the effect that there would be a complete housecleaning. I then added that, of course, if the important phases should be too long delayed, the reaction in this country toward the Argentine Government would be highly unfavorable especially in view of the fact that his Government has been known to be pro-Axis in many vital respects. The Chargé said he realized that and repeated his belief that the Government would go through with a housecleaning program. I again stressed the extreme importance of making the housecleaning thorough and as expeditiously as at all possible so as not to be misunderstood in this and in other Allied countries. He said he appreciated this view.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Rodolfo García Arias.