740.0011 EW/2–1145: Telegram

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

109. I communicated yesterday to Serrato contents your 64, February 919 and have just seen Amézaga to apprise him of situation as outlined in your 66, February 10.20 Copy of Colombian communication was handed to both.21

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Amézaga is staying in town to devote personal attention to matter and reports good progress in talks with leaders of friendly parties. He does not want Uruguay to be last country to adhere but states that constitution precludes even declaration of state of belligerency without prior congressional action. Amézaga speculated as to whether Chilean and Peruvian Governments contemplate declaring state of belligerency without prior congressional approval. I should appreciate prompt information on this point.

With reference to Department’s statement in its 66 that it is presumed President intends to await congressional approval I trust Department appreciates position in which Amézaga finds himself. Under constitution only Congress can declare war. Congress is in recess and during summer months and particularly February most Congressmen are in country. Congress is badly divided and second strongest party is violently opposed to government and anti-US in attitude. It would be undesirable and probably dangerous to submit matter to Congress without reasonable assurance of presence of favorable majority.

In circumstances Amézaga would seem to have no alternative but to await session scheduled for February 19 unless Uruguay could be permitted to sign United Nations Declaration on basis of a declaration by Executive of its desire to adhere and its intention to recommend that Congress declare war or state of belligerency. If Uruguay could be permitted to sign on February 14 on this or some similar basis please instruct me immediately. While I am not sure that Amézaga would consider this procedure advisable in local political situation nevertheless I feel that he should be apprised of possibility if it exists with view to affording Uruguay opportunity to participate in February 14 ceremony.22

  1. Not printed; it indicated that Peru intended to take action similar to that of Colombia in declaring a state of belligerency and thereby qualify to sign the United Nations Declaration.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For documentation on the entry of Colombia into a state of belligerency with. Germany and adherence to the United Nations Declaration, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. vi, pp. 1 ff.
  4. For an account of the ceremony of adherence to the United Nations Declaration on February 14, 1945, see Department of State Bulletin, February 18, 1945, pp. 231–237.