740.33112A/1–1945: Airgram

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

A–30. Reference Embassy’s despatch no. 5312, January 18, 1945,72 transmitting fourth memorandum prepared by Ezequiel D. Salinas of Embassy staff concerning efforts to induce Uruguayan Government to take more adequate control measures and particularly measures for elimination of spearhead Axis firms:

Although Embassy is pushing matter vigorously and in spite of excellent work being done by Salinas, we are not optimistic with regard to likelihood of satisfactory action by Uruguayan Government at any [Page 1388] early date. As Department knows, Uruguay’s performance as respects implementation of economic defense program outlined in Rio Resolutions and Washington Recommendations73 has from the outset left much to be desired, and record of both Baldomir74 and Amézaga75 Administrations indicates consistent hesitation if not reluctance to proceed vigorously against Axis firms. In fairness to both Administrations it should be pointed out that (save for brief period during which Baldomir dispensed with Congress) Executive has had to contend with very substantial Congressional opposition and, as set forth in Salinas’ memorandum, present situation as explained by Serrato and his advisers is that Government is in favor of implementation which we desire but is still studying how best to present matter to Congress in order to overcome anticipated opposition to necessary legislation. Furthermore Government’s attitude is and will no doubt continue to be influenced by President’s extremely legalistic and cautious approach.

Also as set forth in Salinas’ memorandum, Serrato76 is now thinking along line that some action may be taken at Mexico City Conference77 which would strengthen Government’s hand in submitting any bill to Congress. Judging by remarks made to me by both the President and Serrato I infer that they feel that best way of effecting program would be through further inter-American commitments which could be immediately presented to Congress as obligating Uruguay to take the action in question. Reference is made to Salinas’ memorandum for further details as well as Government’s reasons for preferring to base request for legislation on new commitments rather than on Rio Resolutions or Washington Recommendations.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Resolutions of the Third Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics, held at Rio de Janeiro, January 15–28, 1942, Department of State Bulletin, February 7, 1942, pp. 117 ff.; recommendations of the Inter-American Conference on Systems of Economic and Financial Control, Washington, June 30–July 10, 1942, Pan American Union, Final Act, For documentation on these Conferences, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. v, pp. 6 ff. and pp. 58 ff., respectively.
  3. Gen. Alfredo Baldomir, President of Uruguay, 1938–43.
  4. Juan José Amézaga, President of Uruguay, 1943–46.
  5. José Serrato, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  6. For documentation on the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, Mexico City, February–March, 1945, see pp. 1 ff.