740.33112 RP/11–2345: Airgram

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

A–387. The Congressional special session scheduled for November 21 (see despatch 6610, November 15, 194599) to consider replacement bill (see despatches 6151, August 1, 194599 and 6194, August 10, 19451) was canceled at last moment. Reasons: In committee meeting November 20, Herreristas aggressively raised question of unconstitutional delegation of broad powers to Executive (mentioned on page 9 despatch 6034, July 9, 19451) attacking proposed authorization to executive to cause liquidation of certain established commercial firms on his own discretion and initiative, on his own determination, and on “information” solely obtained by him (see despatch 6151 above). (Embassy [Page 1399] had pointed out procedures used by other Republics but, as reported on page 9 despatch 6034, had stressed it was up to Uruguay to determine which are the means to be employed under their constitutional system.) Pro-Government leaders handling the bill in Congress considered it politically dangerous at this time to carry the debate to floor of House with Herreristas having some reason and logic on their side; they therefore decided to call in the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Interior to discuss possibilities of modifying the bill through a more defensible formula.

On November 21, the Ministers and the committee discussed the issue of whether liquidation is to be effected through judicial process or by administrative determination. Both Ministers are opposed to judicial process; they feel the administrative procedure will prevail, with the concession of giving the Axis firms recourse to the courts. They also feel all political factions except Herreristas will vote aye to liquidate said firms.

Another Ministers–committee meeting is scheduled for November 26. Ministers express the hope that definite formula will be approved by committee then and submitted to the House in immediately called special session for a vote. Embassy considers this problematical but will report developments.

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