The Ambassador in Argentina ( Messersmith ) to the Secretary of State
470. For Assistant Secretary Norton. President Central Bank in statement to British correspondent several days ago said that Argentina was prepared to place orders for 250,000 tons merchant shipping in British yards and could pay for ships. This statement probably one of expressions of resentment officials circles here over refusal Maritime Commission authorize sale three vessels (Embtel 437, April 18 and Deptel 322, April 1975). UP dispatch from Washington in morning’s papers here today states that Maritime Commission is considering regulation sale surplus US ships to foreign countries and “the regulation will also prevent foreign countries building merchant fleets larger than they had before the war by the purchase of US ships”.
It is my hope that the consideration set forth Embdes 2264, April 11, letter to Assistant Secretary Norton dated April 18 and Embdes 2365, April 24 leaving by pouch today will be given consideration by Department and Maritime Commission before any policy decisions respecting sale vessels to Argentina or other American countries are made.
- Neither printed.↩