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


Dear Dean: …

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The Minister then said that Ivanissevich had seen the President on Sunday, April 6, before the President’s departure for his visit to Mendoza where he presently is. He said that Ivanissevich had communicated to President Perón a message from President Truman and then went on to give me the substance of the message. The Minister said that under instructions of the President, Ivanissevich had conveyed the substance of the message to him the night before.

Last night Ivanissevich came in to see me at the Embassy and told me about the conversation with President Truman and you all at the [Page 188] White House and of his conversation with the President here when he communicated the message of President Truman and also with the Foreign Minister.

I have not seen President Perón since he received this message through Ivanissevich from President Truman as the President has been at Mendoza for almost a week and will not return until tomorrow. I do not, therefore, have his direct personal reactions or observations, but he will undoubtedly ask me to come to see him early next week.

The Foreign Minister informs me that the President is very much pleased with this initiative on the part of our Government and with the message conveyed by Ivanissevich from President Truman. He is particularly appreciative of the interest shown by the President and you all and of the fact that the President in his conversation with Ivanissevich indicated that for the composition of the situation there remains only this action with regard to enemy aliens. The President is very much gratified that our Government recognizes that in the matter of schools and institutions and property, the Argentine Government has carried through loyally and effectively and so far as enemy aliens are concerned, the Foreign Minister said that the President is quite understanding of what President Truman said concerning these of the list of 52 with respect to which action still has to be taken.

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He said that I would appreciate that no matter what their concern over this matter was and their desire to get these people immediately and no matter how much they appreciated President Truman’s message, he did not see how they could augment their efforts to get these people because they had for some months been doing all they could to get them and that I must know this because I had information from them and undoubtedly through my own sources as to what they were doing. He said he did not know how many they would be able to get, but that one thing our Government could be assured of and that was that no one was more interested in getting every one of these people than they were.

I remarked to the Minister that it was unfortunate that Dr. Ivanissevich had not been better informed concerning this matter of enemy aliens as the statement which he made to President Truman showed that he had not been adequately informed concerning this matter. The Minister said that this was unfortunate but that he had been under the impression that Ivanissevich was being currently informed and that in any event, it was unfortunate that Ivanissevich should have said to President Truman that there were no more of these Nazi agents in the Argentine when the Argentine Government knew that some of them were still here and was making these strenuous efforts to get them. It [Page 189] was unfortunate that Ivanissevich had not been better informed and he could not understand that. He said that Ivanissevich was a very honest and sincere man and so thoroughly interested in the most friendly relations between the two countries that he would not make any misstatements and that he was, therefore, resting under a misapprehension when he made this observation about there being no Nazis left in the country.

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Believe me, with all good wishes,

Cordially and faithfully yours,

George S. Messersmith