835.00/7–1745: Telegram

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

945. Dept has following general comment to make with respect to your numbers 1565 and 1566 July 1796 and other recent telegrams. Dept appreciates your helpful analyses of the fundamentals of the situation and of its day to day development. Dept appreciates the complexity and difficulty of the situation with which you have to deal. In essence we are all hoping for a revival of a militant civic conscience in a country which still has great prosperity, which has a long story of political disintegration and which is ruled by a military government.

Looked at in long-term perspective Dept feels that you should not underestimate the very real achievements and developments which have taken place since you arrived in Buenos Aires. The Declaration97 referred to in your number 1566 is only the most recent of a series of heartening examples of new courage and a new sense of responsibility among the Argentine people.

Dept realizes as you do that there is not much more that can be done either by you or by this Government which would not result in the [Page 398] resentment to which you refer at the end of your 1565 on the ground that this Government was intervening in Argentine domestic affairs. As indicated, however, in Dept’s 92898 we have recommended to Secretary Byrnes that President Truman discuss the situation with the British looking toward the continuation of the close cooperation with them. Dept is also considering presentation of situation to other American republics with a view to consultation concerning joint action as follow up of Mexico Conference based upon a carefully prepared record with supporting documents. If we are to have genuine inter-American support, as distinguished from token support in some cases, we must make the most careful and effective factual presentation.

As against a note of pessimism and urgency in your 1565 we feel that you should balance the important achievements referred to above, and the effectiveness of inter-American solidarity as demonstrated at Mexico City.

  1. Neither printed.
  2. Reference is to a statement by some 83 Argentine cultural and professional leaders criticizing the existing regime as detrimental to the country.
  3. Telegram of July 19, 5 p.m., p. 395.