800.20235/389: Telegram

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

218. From Berle.36 Department has received a copy of British memorandum approved by British Foreign Office containing nine names and, except for [one] there is no objection to your taking the action suggested in the final paragraph of your 325, February 3d, 9 pm, to include information concerning the Deglane and Fernández cases. However, until ample evidence has been furnished that the Argentine Government is sincere in its efforts to destroy Axis influence, this Government is not disposed to make available whatever additional information it may have. The … case was developed exclusively by this Government and is one of the cases which definitely should not be made available to the Argentine Government at this time, even in the British memorandum.

In taking the action referred to, Department desires, unless you perceive specific objection thereto, that you at the same time take the action [Page 383] set forth in the last two paragraphs of Department’s 198, February 2d, 11 p.m.

The Department has received information to the effect that the British authorities in Buenos Aires have also compiled a list containing the names of 30537 Axis agents. In the event this report is accurate you are specifically instructed to request the British Embassy to delete certain names which will be recommended by the Legal Attaché after he has had an opportunity to review the complete list which has been prepared for submission to the Argentine Government by the British.

The Department does not agree with the view expressed by your British colleague that certain suggestions might be more readily accepted if made by them.

With reference to the British offer to keep us fully informed and to act in our behalf if their man is accepted, you are instructed to lend your full support to the establishment of a liaison between the Legal Attaché’s office and the proper Argentine Government office handling counter-espionage matters so that the pattern established in the other American republics will not be altered.

In the event the Embassy feels that it is not justified in taking the initiative in supplying the Argentine Government with supplemental information on Axis activities in Argentina, then any additional information which the Embassy may have concerning the individuals mentioned in the British memorandum and second paragraph of your telegram 325 of February 3 should be made available to the British for inclusion in or supplemental to the memorandum prepared by the British. It should be made clear to the Argentine Government that the presentation of the information is a joint American-British operation.

You are also authorized to include supplemental information regarding the clandestine radio stations as suggested in your 329, February 4, 4 pm.38 As a matter of information the clandestine circuit in question was in operation as late as February 2 at which time the transmitter in Argentina sent three messages consisting of 196 groups during the 22 minutes it was on the air.

Legal Attaché Crosby will receive shortly a copy of memorandum prepared by Bureau containing 65 underlined names which is much more impressive than British list of 9 and may be presented to the Argentine Government along with other material. [Berle.]

  1. Adolf A. Berle, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State.
  2. A marginal notation reads: “This information was later corrected to read ‘20’ names, not 305.…”
  3. Not printed.