835.00/1–1845: Telegram

The Chargé in Argentina ( Reed ) to the Secretary of State

110. Have just seen Chilean Chargé10 who had previously had long conversation with Ibarra García11 who is now actually running Foreign Office. Sepúlveda said he had told Ibarra that he was going to see me later and Ibarra authorized him to inform me of substance of their conversation in which according to Chilean, Ibarra stated that Government had now rid itself of most pro-Nazis and extreme nationalists in positions of authority … and that others would follow; that Cabildo and El Federal 12 had been permanently closed; that the important German firms were being intervened and controlled; that in short everything was being done that had not already been done to convince the United States and other American countries that Argentina was doing all that could reasonably be expected of her to cooperate. He hoped that some friendly notice of these efforts might be forthcoming from Washington.

With respect to elections he gave it as his personal opinion that this was a domestic problem and pointed out that in various conversations which had taken place when Ambassadors were here elections had never been mentioned, emphasis having been laid exclusively upon performance by Argentina of acts relating to hemispheric defense and continental security. It would he felt be impossible to call or announce elections before the meeting of Foreign Ministers in Mexico [Page 369] City without giving the impression of outside pressure. Furthermore in view of the present unsettled political conditions if elections were to be held they could not be orderly unless controlled in some manner, otherwise there might be a dozen or more candidates and no end of agitation.

Ibarra also told Sepúlveda he would like very much to have a friendly chat with me in the near future. I did not commit myself to Sepúlveda one way or the other but if the Department has no objection I think it might be useful for me to meet Ibarra casually in Sepúlveda’s house within the next few days.

Sepúlveda called at the Embassy shortly after I had left him and said that Ibarra had telephoned him and asked him to tell me he had hoped nothing he had said to Sepúlveda for repetition to me would be used in any way to embarrass him with the new Acting Minister.13

Foreign Office announced this evening that Luís Podesta Costa14 had been called home from Rio and Sepúlveda is confident that he will be offered the portfolio of Foreign Affairs. Peruvian Chargé also believes Podesta Costa is likely candidate. He would be an excellent selection from our point of view.

Repeated to Montevideo, Rio and Santiago.

  1. Alberto Sepúlveda Contreras.
  2. Argentine Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Newspapers of pronounced Axis viewpoints.
  4. César Ameghino.
  5. Argentine Ambassador to Brazil whose arrival in Buenos Aires was reported on January 18 and whose return to Rio de Janeiro was reported on January 29, 1945.