800.20235/388a: Telegram

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

198. With reference to your telephone conversation with Duggan30 on January 31, the Department feels that possibly the Argentine Government is particularly anxious to find out how much we know concerning espionage activities in that country. The security agencies of this Government are extremely reluctant to submit additional evidence on espionage to the Argentine Government at this time feeling such action would inevitably reveal highly confidential methods by which information has been obtained. The continued presence in the Argentine Government of individuals who have been outspokenly pro-Nazi serves as another reason for withholding this information.

When appropriate action has been taken on information heretofore submitted to the Argentine Government, including the November 1942 memorandum, this Government will be prepared promptly to submit further evidence of an extremely serious nature.

You may in your discretion remind the officials with whom you speak that preliminary guarantees of the wholehearted desire of the Argentine Government to cooperate fully in this matter may be furnished by the immediate internment of all German and Japanese officials accredited to Argentina, by the enforcement of such internment until they are actually repatriated, by the expeditious adoption of further measures for the internment of German and Japanese non-official residents, and by the immediate and rigorous control of any travel within the country on the part of all Germans and Japanese.

With regard to the cessation of all communications advantageous to the Axis, directly or indirectly, the Department feels most strongly that Transradio’s31 attempt to obtain a modified decree (Your 263, January 28, 8 p.m.)32 should be nipped in the bud.33

  1. Laurence Duggan, Director, Office of American Republic Affairs.
  2. Transradio Internacional Argentina, a company controlled by a consortium composed of 15 percent American interest, 25 percent English, 25 percent French, 25 percent German, and 10 percent Italian.
  3. Not printed; the company sought permission to maintain radio contact with non-Axis territories (835.74/162).
  4. For correspondence on efforts to prevent communication between Argentina and the Axis countries through commercial wireless companies, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. v, pp. 512 ff.