811.91235/10–345: Telegram

The Chargé in Argentina (Cabot) to the Secretary of State

2404. I called on Foreign Minister30 at 5 o’clock today to deliver formal note of protest regarding censorship of American news agencies and correspondents. (Text by pouch Friday.31) I had delayed making protest partly because earlier cases on investigation were not as good as they at first seemed and partly because I was continuing informal representations regarding Newman case. Today latter failed and further flagrant case arose when agencies received telegraphic [Page 522] instructions from Subsecretariat of Information not to send out any news regarding students’ activities or distribute any press comment from the U.S.

After I had explained this and one or two other small matters to the Foreign Minister, he spoke of press items just received about postponement of Rio Conference.32 I said that I had no official reports but that I had heard of this through press reports just before leaving Embassy. He produced report quoting Acting Secretary as saying that “Argentina had totally repudiated its obligations under Act of Chapultepec.”33 I said that I, of course, could not tell him what the Acting Secretary had actually said until I had the official text. He spoke with regret and some irritation that a statement of this nature should have been issued at [of?] all times when he was Foreign Minister trying to fulfill Argentine commitments rather than when someone else was Foreign Minister. I reminded him that I had told him on Thursday of deplorable reaction in U.S. to recent Argentine measures and said that my Government obviously could not go to Rio Conference with public opinion in its present state. He said that we should not think that because freedom of press was possible in U.S. due to civic sense of people it was equally possible in Argentina.

Conversation was of course somewhat strained but never became heated.

  1. Juan Cooke.
  2. Despatch 974, October 3, not printed.
  3. Scheduled to meet on October 20, 1945, to negotiate agreements concerning military assistance pursuant to the Mexico City resolutions.
  4. This quotation, which is substantially correct, appears in the off-the-record portion of Acting Secretary Acheson’s press conference of October 3, 1945.