835.00/2–446: Telegram

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


379. Foreign Minister tonight handed me Argentine reply to our aide-mémoire regarding Perón’s statement. Am forwarding in clear tonight all except introduction. In presenting note, Foreign Minister expressed himself in terms similar to text, laying somewhat less stress on fact Perón is out of Government and more on lack of evidence to sustain Perón’s charges. In answer to my question, Foreign Minister said he was publishing note this evening.

I then raised question of offensive articles in Friday’s Epoca (reference Department’s telegram 198, February 2, 1 p.m.41). I pointed out how serious and how unfounded charges made were. Foreign Minister pointed to similar articles in United States press. I countered that it was one thing to comment on public acts of an official and [Page 199] quite another to make completely untruthful accusations, particularly when they involved grave crimes. Foreign Minister said that he had always refused to have anything to do with Epoca. I immediately showed volume of advertising now received from Government and aid given in securing newsprint. Foreign Minister said that though Epoca was not “vinculado con el gobierno” as stated by Uruguayans in note, it was true that it received Government support as I had mentioned. He said that he would investigate legal situation as to whether newspaper could be punished for unfounded charges against foreign official prejudicial to Argentine relations. I said that since our laws did not permit similar action I wanted it to be very clear that I was not asking that Epoca be punished but I did want Government’s help in establishing the truth and I felt that it could give such help in view of Government support Epoca was receiving. Foreign Minister agreed to discuss with other Government officials what could be done at least to get Epoca to moderate its tone.

Foreign Minister said he expected to invite me to see him tomorow night to discuss other matters, particularly deportees.

Reference Department’s telegram 198, February 2, 1 p.m. second paragraph.42 I told Lombardo Toledano story, realizing differences, in order to establish point that he also was a private citizen. My account to Foreign Minister was accurate insofar as it went.

  1. Not printed; in it the Chargé was authorized to request a denial of the stories (835.00/2–146).
  2. In this paragraph the Department indicated that Lombardo Toledano’s accusations of arms smuggling referred to private United States firms, and that the Mexican Government disassociated itself from the charges (835.00/2–146).