Memorandum by the Acting Assistant Chief of the Division of North and West Coast Affairs (Hall)5


The Embassy at Lima transmits a report from the Assistant Military Attaché6 to the effect that, immediately prior to the inauguration of Perón, Haya de la Torre7 secretly sent two emissaries to Perón. These men also bore credentials from President Bustamante and Minister of Finance Vásquez, to be presented personally to Perón. They were instructed to carry out the following mission:

To sound out the attitude of Perón towards APRA in Perú and to that movement throughout South America.
Admitting Perú’s dependence on Argentina for food staples, to bargain for supplies, on the long-range premise that while APRA has evolved a program which will free Perú from dependence on Argentina for food, the latter will become increasingly dependent on Peru for coal, petroleum and minerals. The mission was told to inform Perón that APRA is ready to do business with Argentina.

As a result of the mission:

Argentina agreed to ship 150,000 tons of wheat to Perú during the present fiscal year, in return for unspecified quantities of Peruvian coal, petroleum, rubber, lead, antimony and other minerals, as far as permitted by Perú’s present foreign commitments. This agreement is public, but Argentina is said to have promised shipments comprising 500,000 cases of milk, 25,000 tons of frozen beef and 25,000 tons of lard.
Perú was promised treatment more favorable than that accorded any country bordering on Argentina.

While for consistency’s sake Haya in public utterances continues his anti-Perón line, his organ “La Tribuna” has refrained from comment on the Argentine situation subsequent to Perón’s inauguration.

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An extra official channel of communication between Perón and Haya has been opened, which later may be used for political and military purposes.

The Embassy apparently accepts the Attaché’s report at face value.8

  1. Addressed to NWC: Mr. Willis; ARA: Mr. Butler and Mr. Briggs; RPA: Mr. Mann.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Victor Raúl Haya de la Torre, leader of the Aprista Party.
  4. Marginal comments read as follows: “I think Lima ought to be asked to confirm, if possible, and to keep us informed. If you agree pls return to me. T. M[ann]” “Agree C. B. S[paeth?]”

    Another marginal comment reads: “Embassy should be able to check through other sources. G. H. B[utler]”