The Chargé in Argentina ( Reed ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 5:10 p.m.]
728. Foreign Minister34 showed me copy of telegram from García Arias dated April 6 reporting conversation with Rockefeller regarding possible availability of Argentine naval vessels for cooperation with our Atlantic Fleet similar to that being furnished by the British and Brazilian Governments. García Arias also reported Rockefeller said our Navy could not offer Argentines equipment or repairs but could furnish fuel, ammunition, and steel plates. Also reported Rockefeller as having indicated that it was desired initiative come from this end and that conversation was of an exploratory nature.
Ameghino seemed surprised that question had been posed in this manner and said he preferred to discuss it with me rather than through García Arias. He said that if what our Government had in mind was use by Argentine Government of its war vessels to patrol home waters and escort Argentine merchant vessels perhaps as far as Trinidad it was quite prepared to do this. However if we meant that Argentina should send her ships to engage in combat with the enemy that was another matter and was one which could not be considered until Argentine position vis-à-vis the United Nations had been reclarified.