740.0011 E.W./2–945: Telegram

The Ambassador in Uruguay ( Dawson ) to the Secretary of State

106. My 102, February 8. While not discussed again at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, I learn that question of declaration of war was taken up at a meeting earlier in the week but before receipt of [Page 1369] your 53, February 6,18 stressing urgency. President tells me that he is consulting advisers and leaders of friendly parties and finds them generally well-disposed but desirous that matter be presented to Congress as one in which Government is going along with other countries in similar position. …

In conversation early this afternoon Serrato impressed me as being inclined to stress difficulty of presenting matter in dignified way and doubtful as to attitude of Chile, Peru, and Venezuela with which countries he is apparently in consultation. Furthermore although I have repeatedly and clearly explained to him reasons set forth by Department, Serrato said he would find helpful more detailed information concerning developments which make action so urgent.

I thereupon saw the President who assured me again that Uruguay will take desired action. He said that he would prefer to act along; with Chile, Peru, and Venezuela but that Uruguay will act alone if necessary. This, of course, is contingent on congressional approval. It is highly improbable that matter will be submitted to Congress before February 19 when special session has been called to consider budget. With carnival week intervening, it is extremely doubtful if necessary majority could be obtained if date were to be advanced.

This evening Diairo carries article stating it is reliably informed that declaration of war by Uruguay on Germany and Japan is imminent and that President and Foreign Office are studying matter. Article connects proposed declaration with alleged effort to assure participation in peace conference of an American bloc favored “although not urged” by United States with view to counterbalancing Russian demand for separate votes for individual Soviet Republics.

Dawson
  1. See footnote 17, p. 1368.