811.20 Defense (M) Argentina/6–1445: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina ( Braden )
705. Critical press comments have been published here as a result of agreement to supply fuel oil to Argentina. Brazil has reacted by requesting larger quantities of fuel oil which is extremely difficult to provide. The fats and oils-fuel oil agreement71 has been undertaken by this Government to assist in maximum degree possible in providing the United Nations with urgently needed commodities.
In the circumstances, it is of utmost importance to the Department in both political and economic sense that Argentina fulfill without reservation the spirit and intent of the agreement. The proposed increase [Page 541] in taxes on ocean vessel freight is hard to reconcile in this connection retel 658 June 8.72 Dept desires fullest possible information regarding (a) progress made in the attempt to obtain agreed interpretations of certain ambiguous clauses and provisions of the agreement and (b) your best estimate as to what can be expected with respect to quantities of specific items. What has already been made available and what will be made available in succeeding months?
The Embassy may wish to discuss with Gibboney73 a report here that there is some trade dissatisfaction with procurement procedure. Will purchases be made through regular trade channels and export margins be allowed? WFA74 needs to know at earliest possible date whether effort to obtain clarification of the oil arrangement will succeed in protecting this Government in its operations in accordance with Combined Food Board allocations and insure maximum procurement during present period of short world supply.