740.0011 EW/1–2945: Telegram
The Ambassador in Uruguay (Dawson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:30 p.m.]
73. I discussed this morning with President subject matter of Department’s instruction 2326, January 11 and my telegram 71, January 27.14
President said he considers Uruguay de facto at war with Axis and in principle would be disposed to formalize existing situation by entering into state of war against Germany and Japan but that difficulty lies in finding decorous manner of justifying such action at this stage of war. He pointed out that congressional approval would be indispensable. He suggested as possible procedure an agreement for collective action by six countries or at least several of them which might be reached at Mexico City.15 He asked me to see Serrato again before cabling Department.
I found Serrato in agreement with President’s position. Serrato advanced further suggestion that at Mexico City 14 American countries which are at war and have adhered to United Nations Declaration might join in recommending that six remaining republics make themselves eligible for adherence in furtherance of hemispheric solidarity. Although prepared to join in collective action Serrato emphasized that he considers it impossible for Uruguay to take action alone in absence of some new development of a nature to justify a declaration of war.
In my conversation with President latter said he would talk with directors of two or three friendly newspapers with regard to preparing public opinion through articles to effect that question of adhering to United Nations Declaration may be raised by some country at Mexico City. Considering this premature and perhaps contra-productive I suggested postponement pending word from Department as to possible further developments and plans. I should appreciate Department’s views as to (1) possibility of collective action at Mexico City and (2) any other procedure or formulae which may have been suggested.