The Chargé in Argentina ( Reed ) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 12.]
Sir: I have the honor to transmit a copy in translation of a Decree96 of the Argentine Government providing for the control, liquidation, vesting and forced sale of Axis firms. There is also transmitted a list of 105 Axis firms subject to the decree under reference.96[Page 452]
It is the considered judgment of the Embassy that the decree is well drafted and complies with the resolutions of the Mexico, the Rio de Janeiro, and the Washington conferences, in regard to the severance of commercial and financial relations with the Axis. The Embassy will watch closely the manner of implementation of this decree and report thereon.
It should be pointed out that the decree transmitted is not the draft prepared by Luis Fiore referred to in the Embassy’s despatch No. 17661 of March 28, 1945 and in its telegram No. 575 of March 27, 9:00 p.m.99 The present decree embodies the principal points contained in Mr. Fiore’s draft and was prepared by the Foreign Office after consultation with General Julio C. Checchi, Secretary of Industry and Commerce, who had already approved the Fiore draft. The decree was signed on March 31, 1945 and as yet is unnumbered. It does not contain the provisions of the preamble of the proposed draft which would have provided for the recision of the Argentine reservation to Resolution V of the Rio de Janeiro Conference.1 The decree provides that the control of the German banks, blocking controls and insurance companies shall be under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance and the Superintendent of Insurance respectively. Mr. Fiore’s committee will be in chargé of the control, liquidation, vesting and forced sale of all Axis commercial and industrial organizations as well as the assets of owners and administrative officers thereof. The Embassy is convinced of Fiore’s sincerity in his efforts to implement fully this decree, but as he is subject to the political control of the Secretariat of Industry and Commerce only time will tell how efficaciously the decree will be implemented.
Mr. Fiore has assured Embassy officers that some of the provisions contained in his proposed draft, which are not incorporated in the decree, will be inserted in regulations to be drafted for the implementation of the decree. A total of 105 Axis firms, the names of which appear in enclosure No. 32 to this despatch, have been subjected to the provisions of this decree. Of these firms 44 to date have been officially intervened, and according to Central Bank Circular No. 401 all funds and deposits of these firms are blocked. The balances of the 105 firms are also blocked in a limited manner so that they may not issue order checks for more than 5,000 pesos or bearer checks for more than 500 pesos without specific authorization, and even these limited withdrawals must be reported weekly to the Central Bank.
The decree provides that an Administrative Council acting under the Secretariat of Industry and Commerce, in its discretion may [Page 453] decide whether the Axis firms be subjected either to vesting and forced sale, liquidation or Government control. Safety deposit boxes of these firms are also blocked. According to Luis Fiore, in addition to the 105 Axis firms subject to the control of this decree, there will be included subsidiaries of these firms not specifically listed as yet. The Department will be advised of all further developments in the implementation of this decree.
First Secretary of Embassy