740.35112 RP/1–3147

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina (Messersmith)

No. 619

Sir: Reference is made to your despatch No. 1883 of February 21, 1947 concerning compliance.

There is no longer any question concerning the matter of enemy schools and institutions.

It is not possible for the Department to say definitely at this time whether there has been compliance in respect of property. It will be necessary to know what steps are required to be taken under the recent property decree in order to place the enemy titles firmly in the State; and whether the necessary legal steps have been taken in the cases of the 109 firms listed in your despatch No. 1779–A of January 31, 1947. In this connection reference is made to the Department’s instruction No. 600 of March 6, 1947 which is consistent with the January 21, 1947 memorandum of conversation with Mr. Braden:

“The Ambassador inquired whether the Department would consider Argentine performance adequate in the field of property if that Government should proceed with its plans to acquire title to enemy interests in a total of about 75 spearhead firms. Mr. Braden replied that it would be necessary to study whatever decrees might be issued by the Argentine Government and to determine whether full and complete title of the enemy owners was in the Argentine Government—whether the proposed Argentine decree would have substantially the same effect as our own vesting laws; and to determine also whether there were any firms in addition to the 75 which ought to be dealt with.”

[Page 181]

Since the names and number of the Axis agents now being held for deportation as well as the names and number of those which presumably will soon be apprehended and deported are not known, the Department is unable to form any opinion on the question of compliance with respect of persons.

It is hoped that the Argentine Government will soon give reasonable and substantial compliance. The sentence in the Department’s telegram No. 112 of February 12, 1947, to which you refer, was only intended to mean that until there has been reasonable and substantial compliance the Department does not understand that Argentina has met the test laid down in the April 8 statement on Argentine policy.

Very truly yours,

For the Acting Secretary of State:
Spruille Braden