710 Consultation 4/4–146: Circular telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to Diplomatic Representatives in the American Republics Except Argentina and Haiti 28

restricted
  • “1. In Oct 1945 this Govt within the framework established by the Inter-American System initiated consultation with the other American republics concerning the Argentine situation and in connection therewith issued a memo now commonly known as the Blue Book.
  • 2. In initiating such consultation the US was not animated by any feeling of hostility towards the Argentine people. On the contrary it was the desire of the US to strengthen the friendly relationships between the people of US and the people of Argentina by bringing into the open those conditions which had caused the Govt of US great embarrassment and concern in its relations with the then Govt of Argentina. It was also the desire of the US that the other American Republics should know the conditions which caused this embarrassment and concern so that it would be clear that the US was acting in defense and not in derogation of the principles of the inter-American system.
  • As Secy of State Byrnes stated in his address before Herald Tribune Forum on Oct 31, 1945:

    ‘We believe other nations have a right to know of our own deep attachment to the principles of democracy and human rights, our profound belief that Govts must rest upon the free consent of the governed; and our firm conviction that peace and understanding among nations can best be furthered by the free exchange of ideas.

    ‘While we adhere to the policy of non-intervention, we assert that knowledge of what other people are thinking and doing brings understanding; and understanding brings tolerance and a willingness to cooperate in the adjustment of differences.…

    ‘The policy of non-intervention in internal affairs does not mean the approval of local tyranny. Our policy is intended to protect the right of our neighbors to develop their own freedom in their own way. It is not intended to give them free rein to plot against the freedom of others.…

    ‘If, therefore, there are developments in any country within the inter-American system which, realistically viewed, threaten our security, we consult with other members in an effort to agree upon common policies for our mutual protection.’

  • 3. The consultation respecting the Argentine situation initiated by the US raised the question whether the proposed inter-American [Page 11] Mutual Assistance Treaty should be negotiated with the participation of the Farrell Govt of Argentina in view of its failure to fulfill its obligations and commitments under the inter-American system.
  • 4. To date, in the consultation respecting the Argentine situation initiated by the Govt of US, replies have been received from less than half of other American Republics. Some of these answers entirely agree with views expressed by US; others emphasize the changed position resulting from the recent election. All of the Govts so far heard from join with the US in their dedication to the following principles and objectives:
    (1)
    The ‘unity of the peoples of America is indivisible’ and ‘the Argentine nation is and always has been an integral part of the union of the American republics.’
    (2)
    The security of the Hemisphere is of paramount importance and will be materially enhanced by the negotiation and signature of a Mutual Assistance Treaty at the projected Rio de Janeiro Conference.
  • 5. While it is not clear that the election will remove the conditions which prompted the Govt of US to initiate a consultation on the Argentine situation, the Govt of US does not believe that the people of Argentina intended to approve the continuance of conditions which would threaten the safety of the inter-American system.
  • 6. A new constitutional Govt will soon be inaugurated in Argentina. The Govt of US feels that it expresses the sentiments of all its sister Govts in declaring its fervent hope that when that newly elected Govt takes office and its congress meets, it will give prompt implementation by positive acts to its solemn commitments under the Inter-American System, in particular, those undertaken in Final Act of Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace. Those undertakings are plain and unequivocal. They require the elimination from this hemisphere of Axis influences which have threatened the security of inter-American system.
  • Were such unequivocal and sustained performance to ensue, the road would then be open to that ‘complete unity of the peoples of America,’ and the negotiation and signature of a Mutual Assistance Pact. But there must be deeds and not merely promises.
  • 7. The military assistance commitments undertaken by the US under Act of Chapultepec will terminate with expiration of War Powers Act in this country. It is to benefit of all of American republics that a treaty of mutual assistance be negotiated and signed at earliest possible date.

To do this, it is proposed that at next meeting of Governing Board of Pan American Union a committee of its members be appointed to coordinate the five draft treaties, which have been under consideration, [Page 12] together with such other suggestions as may then be received, into a single document.

This document would in due course be presented to Rio Conference.

We hope the Conference can be called to meet after new Govt of Argentina has been installed and has had a reasonable time to comply with promises made at Mexico City. When it has complied we feel satisfied the American Republics will welcome that Govt’s participation in the treaty of mutual assistance.”

Acheson
  1. Repeated to Buenos Aires and Port-au-Prince for information only. This telegram was marked “approved by Secretary Byrnes”. Text of telegram was released to the press April 8, and frequently referred to as the April 8th statement. A circular telegram of April 8 indicated that a majority of the American Republics concurred in the position set forth herein (710 Consultation 4/4–846).