710 Consultation 4/9–847

Memoramdum of Conversation, by the Chairman of the United States Delegation (Marshall)

Participants: Secretary Marshall
Argentine Foreign Minister, Dr. Juan Atilio Bramuglia
Argentine Ambassador, Dr. Oscar Ivanissevich
Assistant Secretary Armour
Ambassador Dawson

In the apartment of Dr. Bramuglia, Hotel Quitandinha, August 19, 1947, 10:30 a.m.

Dr. Bramuglia touched first upon the Communist danger saying that Argentina views Communist infiltration with great concern and is prepared to join us in combatting it, even to the point of concluding [Page 43] a secret anti-Communist pact and going to the length of breaking diplomatic relations with the Slav group.

He then passed on to the treaty to be concluded at Rio, stating that he wished to discuss four fundamental and two subsidiary points (the latter he subsequently omitted as too unimportant). The four fundamental points were: (1) A distinction between an extra-continental aggression and one within the continent. He feels that such a distinction should be made and that in the case of an intra-continental conflict the emphasis should be placed on peaceful settlement. He believes that this could be effected by the inclusion of an appropriate clause in the treaty. (2) Economic sanctions. Argentina believes that economic sanctions should be excluded from those collective measures which would be made obligatory on all parties. (3) Provisions for consultation. Although he had this on his list of fundamental points, he did not discuss it, he and Ambassador Ivanissevich agreeing that on further consideration they had found the point satisfactorily covered in our draft. (4) Provisions for denunciation. Argentina considers that, unlike the Charter of the United Nations for example, the instrument to be negotiated at Rio is the sort of treaty which the parties should be permitted to denounce in the usual manner.

I said that before replying, I should like to ask one or two questions.

First, I asked Dr. Bramuglia to comment in greater detail with regard to his position on economic measures. He recalled Argentina’s position during the recent war, stating that certain economic sanctions had been taken against it. He said that in the circumstances it would be extremely difficult to induce Argentine public opinion and the Argentine Congress to accept a treaty in which collective economic measures would be obligatory on all parties. He remarked that this would be combatted not only by the opposition but also within the group supporting the Administration.

I told Dr. Bramuglia that we were faced with a somewhat similar problem and that in fact in considering the treaty we were less concerned with the world situation than with problems arising out of our own Governmental structure, and the jealousy of the several powers as respects their prerogatives. I explained to him the restrictions placed on the President by the Congress in legislation dealing with armed forces to be made available to the United Nations.

With regard to the Argentine suggestion that economic measures not be made obligatory, I pointed out that our proposal contemplated an exception with regard to the furnishing of armed forces and that if a further exception as respects economic measures were proposed, this might start a “chain reaction”.

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I then asked Dr. Bramuglia if he would comment in greater detail on his views concerning the Communist danger. He referred to the political, economic, social, and spiritual aspects of Communist infiltration, stating that in all fields the Communists had the advantage of unity in their dealings with the diversified systems prevailing among the Western countries. In the political field, he suggested among measures which might be taken (a) those to combat propaganda, (b) outlawing of Communist parties, and (c) breaking of diplomatic relational with the Slav countries. He expressed the opinion that, as things now stand and in the absence of war, Communism will win out. He stressed the desirability of establishing against Communism a united front in the economic and social fields. He concluded by saying that in any case Argentina would be definitely on the side of the U.S. in fighting Communism.

I told Dr. Bramuglia that I had been aware before leaving Washington that he would discuss this matter with me (in view of his conversation with our Chargé d’Affaires). I said that at the time our thought was that measures against Communism could best be left to the individual countries; that Communist activities varied from one country to another and each country had its own problems; and that Brazil had taken certain measures, we certain measures, and Argentina also no doubt. I said that we were fully alive to the dangers of Communism which I compared to a fire from which we of the Western Hemisphere were already receiving the sparks. I said that it was necessary to stamp out the fire at its source, to remedy the economic chaos in Western Europe, and to maintain our own countries in a healthy condition.

Dr. Bramuglia said that Argentina realized this and had had it in mind in offering its economic cooperation.

I thanked Dr. Bramuglia for the frankness with which he had spoken, with particular regard to Argentina’s domestic political situation. I told him that I had endeavored to use and would continue to use equal frankness in our conversations. I said that I wished to give serious consideration to all that he had said.

In concluding the interview, I asked Dr. Bramuglia if he intended to say anything to the press. He suggested a joint communiqué to which I replied that this seemed rather too formal and might make it necessary to issue communiqués after conversations with other Foreign Ministers. It was agreed that each of us would tell the press merely that we had had an exchange of views regarding the various points of the treaty.