Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

Participants: Dr. Oscar Ivanissevich—Argentine Ambassador
Señor Luis Drago—Counselor, Argentine Embassy
Mr. Zaneta—Representative in US of YPF
Mr. Lovett—Acting Secretary
Mr. Tewksbury—RPA

The Argentine Ambassador presented me with a memorandum, dated October 11, stating that an order for 130,000 barrels of gasoline has been placed by the YPF (Government Petroleum Company) in Argentina and requesting the assistance of the Department in obtaining an export license. I explained to Ambassador Ivanissevich that, although I realized that Argentina is faced with a serious gasoline shortage, we in the United States have a similar problem and that there is a virtual embargo at present on the exportation of gasoline. I explained that, in view of Argentina’s problem, I should be glad to act as a “friend at court” and do what I could to assist them in this matter and made it perfectly clear that I could not guarantee or even hold out hope of success. I assured the group that I would, however, discuss the matter with Mr. Bruce, Assistant Secretary of Commerce,17 [Page 293] under whose jurisdiction the allocation of gasoline and other commodities in short supply comes, and indicated that, if there is evidence that the supply of gasoline would facilitate the movement of foodstuffs for shipment to Europe, this might prove to be a favorable factor.

Señor Drago, as well as the Ambassador, indicated that they fully understood the problem and expressed their appreciation for such help as I might be able to give.

Robert A. Lovett
  1. David K. E. Bruce.