835.00/2307: Telegram

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

266. It is no exaggeration to say that the accepted theory here among Argentines and foreigners alike is that Argentina broke relations as result of pressure from abroad. Naturally the United States is the unanimous choice among those who hold that theory. Very many also believe that the credit should be shared by Great Britain. The exact nature of the pressure varies with the individual theory but all agree it must have been immensely powerful. That this situation is viewed with alarm in those responsible circles is shown by fact Santos Gollan of La Prensa called at Embassy yesterday to urge that our Government take some action to disabuse people of the idea. I said I felt such action might more logically come from Argentine Government. However, I called later on Legal Counselor of Foreign Office and discussed the matter with him. I referred to our talk late Monday night (telegram 207, January 25, 4 p.m.) saying that it would appear to be more to his own Government’s interest than to mine to dispel this impression. I suggested that the best method would be to issue a statement setting forth as thoroughly as possible the details learned as a result of the Hellmuth arrest, including names of those implicated. Santos Muñoz confirmed his Government’s preoccupation with this widespread version of pressure and agreed that something ought to be done to quash it. He added, however, that unfortunately up to present the case his Government can make is not so complete and convincing as to justify in the public mind severance of relations and thus effectively put an end to other rumors. He felt, [Page 247] therefore, that it would be advisable to wait until more complete data are assembled. The Minister might, however, have other views and he would certainly bring my suggestion to his attention. (I have heard from another reliable source, however, that the real problem confronting the Government is not lack of material but too much of it in that the case is so far reaching and affects so many members of the Government they cannot afford to publish the details or if they do—as Gilbert has assured me they will—the report will require considerable “editing”).

At least in civilian circles it is noticeable that those who feel that Great Britain cooperated closely with United States in exerting alleged pressure manifest little or none of usual resentment so prevalent whenever the bogie of Yankee pressure has come up in past.