835.24/10–1047: Telegram

The Ambassador in Argentina (Bruce) to the Secretary of State


1235. Ray14 and I had long talk President Perón this morning. Argentina is contemplating contract with Skoda15 in Czechoslovakia for manufacture and delivery for period of 2½ years, 50 batteries 4 [Page 231] guns each of 88 mm. anti-aircraft equipment and munitions to go with them and total price of 13,081,000 US dollars making price each battery $91,600 and corresponding munitions—time explosive projectiles $63.40, and $61.40 for percussion projectiles. This price includes all equipment for aiming and fire control for each battery. President said that material absolutely necessary for Argentina which has no actually similar material. He would much rather buy this material in US and that this was particularly important in view recommendations President Truman and Secretary Marshall standardization arms. It would make it more complicated for the Argentines if they had to use shells of different types and as they were in agreement with regard to standardization arms they would like begin standardize now. He would very much like purchase this equipment US. We thoroughly endorse this view as they seem to be in accord policy our Government. We would appreciate very much if this cable transmitted proper authorities who before going into detail would let us know in general way whether same has elements practicability.16

Military Attaché General Caldwell due Washington about October 15 and will consult appropriate Army officials.

  1. Guy W. Ray, Counselor of Embassy in Argentina.
  2. Skoda Works, Czechoslovakian munitions producers.
  3. In his reply, telegram 999, October 21, 2 p.m., the Acting Secretary indicated the practicability of furnishing 12 batteries, 90 mm AA guns, 4 guns to a battery, with fire control equipment, ample ammunition, and 2 spare guns (835.24/10–1947).