835.00/2–446: Telegram

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

387. Following is text of essential part of Argentine reply to our note re Perón interview:

Aide-mémoire (ellipsis)

In reply I must communicate to you:

The Argentine Government cannot admit that because of ‘the previous position of Colonel Perón’ and because of the circumstance that it is asserted that ‘public opinion continues to identify him with the Argentine Government’, (that) the words of this citizen may give rise to responsibilities of any kind for those who have the political and administrative direction of Argentina. Moreover, the opinions of the Argentine Government, in all that pertains to foreign relations, are expressed exclusively by this Chancery.
Colonel (R) Juan D. Perón presented his resignation as Vice President of the Republic, Minister of War and Secretary of Labor [Page 200] and Welfare on October 9 of last year, which was accepted by decree dated the 10th of the same month. Likewise he requested his retirement from the army which was granted to him on the 17th of October.
These circumstances prove the separation of Colonel (R) Juan D. Perón from all governmental activities and from the army to which he belonged. Consequently, Colonel (R) Perón is at present an Argentine citizen who, in the exercise of legitimate rights, has accepted a candidacy for the Presidency of the Republic proclaimed by political organizations; and in that capacity he is acting with the freedom of action and expression consistent with the rights granted by our constitution and our laws, the broad exercise of which the present Government is pledged to guarantee to all citizens.
It appears, therefore, improper, that for the actions and words of Colonel (R) Perón, one of the candidates to the Presidency of the Republic, one should seek to make the Government responsible, just as it would also be improper that for the acts and words of the Government responsibility of any kind should be attributed to the aforesaid citizen.
Having set forth these principles, which it deems essential to establish in defense of its honor and of the dignity and sovereignty of Argentina,—which primary duties require should be defended with jealous scrupulousness—, the Argentine Government does not find any objection to stating that with reference to the active contraband in arms which has been carried on and is being carried on along the seacoast, it has no proofs nor evidence of any kind which implicate the United States Embassy nor does anything lead it to believe in its intervention respecting this.
The Argentine Government formulates this declaration in its intention not to make an omission which may contribute to aggravate differences that conspire against good neighborliness, inter-American policy of fraternity, which the illustrious President Roosevelt initiated and maintained with irreversible tenacity, to which the Argentine Republic has given its enthusiastic and loyal adherence”.