Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs (Braden) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary: An officer of the Department has learned informally from the British Embassy that Lord Inverchapel intends to discuss the following two problems with you when he calls early next week:

1) Negotiations for the Sale of British-made Arms to Argentina:

On January 27, 1947 the British Ambassador handed Mr. Acheson an Aide-Mémoire82 which had the effect of terminating a “gentlemen’s agreement” which the UK and the US previously had made not to sell arms to Argentina. Simultaneously the British Ambassador stated verbally to Mr. Acheson that the British had in mind only “a trivial program of naval replacements, i.e., parts and equipment, etc.”

Thereafter, various unconfirmed reports from reliable sources have reached the Department concerning negotiations for the supply by British companies of naval combat vessels and jet fighter planes. Mr. Acheson called these reports to the attention of the British Ambassador on April 7 and the latter replied that he would look into the matter and inform us. To date no reply has been received.

It is recommended that the Secretary refer to the British Ambassador’s two previous conversations with Mr. Acheson on the subject; express his concern regarding these reports; and express the hope that the British Government will limit the exportation of arms to “naval replacements, i.e., parts and equipment”. A clarification of the British attitude would be desirable.

. . . . . . .

  1. Ante, p. 171.