Memorandum by Mr. Joseph J. Wolf of the Aviation Division


I spoke yesterday at length with Tom Carter and John Bell, and reviewed the Argentine file, in an attempt to clarify Section VII of the Annex of the U.S.–Argentine agreement in my own mind. This search was occasioned by the situation presented by the request for a statement of our position as to what this section means, which came from the Scandinavian countries which are at present negotiating with Argentina.

The following is the information which I received from Messrs. Bell and Carter. It is substantiated by the information in the files.

Up to and including April 24, conferences with the Argentineans had been more or less on general principles, with general discussions concerning division of capacity and traffic as opposed to the U.S. philosophy. As established by Mr. Messersmith’s memoranda, the Foreign Minister was approached on Monday, April 28, and given a draft containing the standard U.S. Bermuda language. This was studied by the Argentineans until Wednesday, the 30th. On Wednesday afternoon Messers. Messersmith and Landis saw Perón in the company of the Foreign Minister. At this meeting, Perón indicated that agreement would be reached on the U.S. terms. This is substantiated by Mr. Landis’ letter to the Secretary, reporting on his efforts in Argentina.

On Wednesday the Argentines transmitted to the U.S. delegation, without comment or discussion, a new proposed Section VII. This was considered by the U.S. delegation in private and certain amendments thereto were made. A study of this proposal and its amendments indicated that it was not in substance a departure from Bermuda.

The evening of the 30th saw the 14-hour conference which finally produced the agreement. At about three o’clock in the morning Ferreira again started to expound on his theory of division of traffic. This enraged Mr. Landis, who openly expressed his violent displeasure at going back over this old ground. Dr. Ferreira appeared to be deflated by the force exhibited by Mr. Landis, and a short interlude occurred. During this interlude Dr. Ares of the Foreign Office spoke at length with his colleagues and placed a note in writing on the table in front of Dr. Ferreira, who looked at the note, made a despairing gesture, and thereafter preceded to accept the proposal of the U.S. which was thereafter incorporated as Section VII of the Annex.

I believe it to be conclusive evidence that Dr. Ferreira’s position [Page 251] was overruled and that he was instructed to abandon his philosophies and accept the proposals of the U.S. delegation.

[The agreement signed on May 1, 1947, was not completed and was not put in force. Differences over route specifications and later over capacity control prevented the consummation of the agreement. The air lines operated under an Argentine system of unilateral permits.]