740.35112 RP/6–2645: Telegram

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

1348. Assistant Secretary Clayton’s statement23 before Senate Subcommittee given wide coverage here together with texts Bayer24 letters and N.Y. Times editorial.25 Statement was excellent and produced immediate and strong reaction; at request Minister of Foreign Relations26 I called on him this morning. Colonel Olano also present. They had prepared lengthy press release reciting what pretended to be performance in intervening Axis firms together with affirmations of rapid effective action henceforth and implying that Clayton declaration was false.

[Page 464]

After intensive discussion of over an hour during which I insisted that practically nothing had been done it was agreed to cancel press release substituting therefor brief general statement (this being transmitted in clear). Olano was evidently greatly annoyed by my rebuttal of his excuses for inaction but Foreign Minister sided with me and instructed that my urgent request for action and close collaboration with Emb. including free interchange of information be pursued energetically, taking up case by case in order so rapidly as possible to bring all Axis business under complete control. Pursuant this objective first joint meeting between Olano group and appropriate members of Embassy staff was held this afternoon.

From this meeting it became apparent that as a result of my conversation with Perón reported in my tel. 1124, June 1, 7 p.m.27 and my June 19 speech to Brit. Chamber of Commerce28 Olano’s office has been really working.

Thyssen Lametal and subsidiaries situation has been developed to point where with elimination of remaining Nazis it can be given license enabling it to trade until sale to responsible Argentine nationals can be completed.
Studies of approximately six other important firms will be far enough along within few days so that corporate charters will be removed and another 14 firms to follow this procedure more or less rapidly with a view to all 20 being ready to be offered for public sale in about 6 weeks.
Today Mandl29 companies have been placed under control as “enemy firms” with view to eventual sale of IMPA30 and liquidation of others. This clearly resulted from Clayton’s statement.
For first time in this war Argentine authorities today gave Embassy representatives lists of enemy personnel (those dismissed from Thyssen Lametal) together with signed copy of an interventor’s report (Thyssen). Also Olano in presence of Embassy officers instructed his staff to give full information and discuss replacement program frankly with them.
Authorities definitely agreed to dismiss from Thyssen and other firms in the future any and all Nazi sympathizers we may indicate in addition to those already dismissed.

This last point brings out fact that internment here of enemy aliens (including remainder of Graf Spee sailors) appears to have been extraordinarily lax. I therefore propose to press in on this and would appreciate telegraphic reply as to Dept.’s preferences for internment here or whether we should endeavor to get these internees to the U.S. or back to Germany or other native countries.

  1. Made before the Subcommittee on War Mobilization of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, June 25, 1945; for text, see Department of State Bulletin July 1, 1945, p. 21.
  2. Letters of La Química Bayer, S.A., subsidiary of I.G. Farbenindustrie, intercepted in 1943 at Gibraltar.
  3. Of June 21, 1945.
  4. César Ameghino.
  5. Ante, p. 380.
  6. See Department of State Bulletin August 5, 1945, p. 189.
  7. Fritz Mandl.
  8. Industria Metalúrgica y Plástica Argentina.