The Ambassador in Uruguay (McGurk) to the Secretary of State

No. 22

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegram no 581, 1:00 p.m., of today’s date37 reporting a conversation with the Foreign Minister last evening concerning the proposal made by Senator Connally38 on Monday at a United Nations session regarding an indication to Franco39 that he should step down, and to report that during this conversation I had an opportunity to bring up with the Foreign Minister the question of the liquidation of Nazi firms in Uruguay. I approached the subject by referring to an editorial in El País on Monday last relating to the special session of the national Congress to be called this month and during which, among other things, the question of liquidation of Nazi firms is to come before that body. The Minister said that we were of course aware that he had done everything possible to bring about the liquidation of Nazi firms in Uruguay, particularly those qualified as spearhead, and that he proposed so to continue up to the [Page 1283] time of and during the special session. He however stated that he would find it very difficult to get any positive action for the reason that these firms had been in Uruguay for some time, that those in control were well acquainted in Uruguay, had intermarried within the country, had hosts of friends outside and inside the Government, and that they would of course exercise all of their influence to prevent any action being taken against them. He said that he could not give me any reasonable assurance that positive action would be taken but he said that he wished to assure me that he would continue his efforts to have something done along the lines desired.

I gather from this conversation that the Minister being a member of a minority party feels that he will not wield as much influence with the new Congress as heretofore and that he is not at all sanguine that his efforts to further the liquidation of the Nazi firms concerned will meet with much success.

Respectfully yours,

J. F. McGurk
  1. Not printed.
  2. Senator Tom Connally, representative of the United States to the first and second sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, 1946.
  3. Gen. Francisco Franco, Prime Minister and Chief of State of Spain.