835.01/4–445: Circular telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Representatives in the American Republics

The procedure which this Government proposes to follow in connection with the question of recognizing the Argentine government was set forth in circular telegrams of March 31 and April 3.

The Argentine government has taken the following steps in compliance with the principles and declarations of the Final Act of the Mexico City Conference:

Declaration of state of war with Japan and Germany.
Adherence to Final Act of Mexico City (signature took place on April 4, 12 noon).
The interned crew members of the Graf Spee29 have been made prisoners of war.
Suspension of 15 newspapers, including Alianza, Víspera 3 Japanese, 3 Hungarian, and 7 German newspapers. (Note: Cabildo and El Pampero had been suspended shortly before the Mexico City Conference).
Internment of Japanese diplomatic and consular officers. Although this measure has not been effectively implemented, it is reported that they are to be interned at Córdoba.
Blocking of Axis funds.
Decree for special registration within 10 or 20 days of all nationals of enemy countries over 14 years of age and also the registration within 30 days of all those of enemy origin who have been naturalized as Argentines. The decree also calls for the surrender of firearms and radios and restricts freedom of movement and communication of such persons.
Decree taking over assets of Axis firms. This decree provides for the control by the Council of Administration of the assets of Axis [Page 375] individuals or firms and the appointment of interventors. Control may be extended to firms with Axis links and to assets of subversive individuals or firms, whatever their nationality. Assets are to be held to pay possible war damages.
Imprisonment of Fritz Mandl30 and seizure of his properties.

In the Department’s opinion, the evidence given above indicates that Argentina is taking appropriate steps to fulfill the terms of the Mexico City resolution as interpreted at the meeting held by Foreign Minister Velloso in Blair House. The Department, therefore, feels that as matters are proceeding in a satisfactory manner, recognition should be extended.

Please inquire immediately of the Foreign Minister of the country to which you are accredited whether he agrees with the above views. If he does, please ask whether his government would be disposed to extend recognition to the Argentine government on April 9. You should report by telegram April 5 whatever indication you may then have of the thinking of the government to which you are accredited regarding this matter. You should indicate that this Government contemplates individual, rather than collective, action on April 9 but you should emphasize its strong belief that recognition should be extended simultaneously by the non-recognizing American republics and that no recognition should be extended until a consensus is clearly established regarding recognition and the time thereof.

The above is repeated to Buenos Aires, Santiago, Asunción, La Paz and Quito for information only, but it may be communicated to the Foreign Minister except in Buenos Aires.

  1. For documentation relating to United States interest in this scuttled German warship, see Foreign Relations, 1939, vol. v, pp. 85 ff.
  2. Austrian industrialist who transferred his activities to Argentina at the beginning of the war and appears to have had a powerful share in the control of IMPA (Industria Metalúrgica y Plástica Argentina), an Argentine firm on the U.S. Proclaimed List.