711.35/7–1145: Telegram

The Ambassador in Argentina (Braden) to the Secretary of State

1498. I respectfully submit the following in reply to Deptel 836, July 9, 11 a.m.

Section A. When in Embtel 1441, I urged that President Truman discuss the Argentine problem with Premier Churchill I did not have in mind any precise example or incident. On the contrary, I desired to emphasize necessity for our two Govts, to agree upon a broad, long range and in so far as possible, common policy. My recommendation was based on following recognized facts:

Future peace and well being of the world in considerable measure depend on Anglo-American cooperation and understanding.
Any menace to security of the U.S. will also threaten that of British Empire.
The present world-wide ideological struggle will not cease with the end of armed conflict; the U.S.A. and Great Britain must be more alert and positive in defense of their systems, national lives, and principles than ever before.

My recommendation was further based on:

This has proved that both from strategic and political aspects it is imperative for the security of U.S.A. that other American Republics [be?] in hands of friendly cooperative govts, imbued with principles—i.e. of democracy identical to ours. (What would have occurred had Germans come westward instead of our going eastward to Africa? The Latin American dictators and disreputable govts. would have sold out to the enemy in a flash.)
As reported in my Chaco Delegation despatch No. 509, Sept. 23, 1937,77 the Fascist militaristic influence here is not superficial temporary phase but a sturdy growth which cannot be quickly or easily destroyed by a short range program or by half-way measures.…
As Cordell Hull stated in memorandum attached to Depins No. 6151, Oct. 2, 1944:77 the Nazi-Fascist movement “entrenched in Argentina is in a position to build up its strength and to prepare for [Page 392] future aggression. So long as present situation persists, Nazi-Fascist danger will be ever present. Its poison will spread to other countries as we shall be confronted in not too far distant future with major threat to whole structure of postwar international security.” Also see numbered paras 1 and 2 of Dept. A–973, Oct. 24, 1944.80 These two statements are as true today as when written.
Perón as the one outstanding leader now on Argentine scene is embodiment of present Fascist military control, but he is only an individual whereas the movement consists of many, was bred by the Nazis and furnishes the latter with foundation on which they hope to build the “victory of the post war.” Indeed, while elimination of Perón … would be a big step forward, U.S. and consequently British security will not be assured until last vestiges of the evil principles and methods existing Govt represents and practices have been extirpated and a reasonably effective democracy exists in Argentina. To attain these ends will require real and full cooperation of all democracies under U.S. and British leadership.

Therefore I feel that Britain should follow our firm policy along the lines established in numbered recommendations 1 to 7 of my despatch 9103 of April 581 from Habana and that specifically (a) no military cooperation or material be given Argentina; (b) economic assistance be restricted to criteria set forth in my tel. 1111, May 31, 8 p.m.81 until such time as Nazi militaristic control of this country has been replaced by a constitutional and cooperating democracy. For us to fail to pursue this course would be to betray our guiding principles. Failure to establish such a broad common policy will leave the way open for powerful interests both from within and without Western Hemisphere and British Commonwealth to subordinate important decisions on fundamental policy issues to opportunistic considerations of the moment. Collateral to the foregoing there should be the discussions with Stalin recommended in my tel. 1474, July 8, 9 p.m.81

Section B.

Compared to foregoing fundamental considerations British and American trade and investments in this country pale into insignificance. Moreover, both countries’ economic interests (including English railway concessions—Mitre law—which expire in 1946) may be rendered valueless by continuance of present type of govt. Perón is on record as intending to recover Argentine patrimony from foreign malefactors (sic).
I believe meat exports will continue under any circumstances barring revolution or chaos, but likelihood of interruption of meat supply will increase in direct ratio to the duration of Perón regime.
Elimination of German spearhead firms and attainment of Safehaven program will be expedited by return to constitutional democracy.
The same holds true for freedom of press and freeing of political prisoners (who I am convinced in several cases have been tortured).
British inability to distinguish between Argentina and other Latin American Republics as indicated in my tel. 1473, July 7, 7 p.m.82—is neither reasonable nor justified by facts.
Termination of Proclaimed and Statutory Lists should be not on a calendar basis but according to necessities imposed by the conditions prevailing in each country.
British suspension sales aircraft should be synchronized with ours and not “temporary”.
I heartily concur with proposal Brit. Ambassador be given same authority as I have in respect exports to Argentina.
Thought might also be given if not to expulsion of Argentina from United Nations at least to refusing membership (based on articles 3 and 110 of charter) until she has constitutional govt. having authority to ratify San Francisco instrument. Also the fact that present Argentine regime is not just one more personal or oligarchic dictatorship of traditional Latin American type but is a strategic and political factor inimical to common interests of American Republics might make this regime susceptible to being considered as a threat to the peace and therefore subject to enforcement measures by UNCIO.83
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  3. Not printed; this airgram quoted telegram 8320, October 10, 1944, 6 p.m., to London, for text of which see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, p. 36.
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  8. United Nations Conference on International Organization. Reference presumably is to the United Nations Organization which resulted from the Conference.