Memorandum by the Director of the Office of American Republics (Daniels) to the Acting Secretary of State
Subject: Argentine Foreign Minister’s call on Mr. Lovett
When Dr. Juan Atilio Bramuglia, the Foreign Minister of Argentina, calls on you at 3 p. m. December 9, it is recommended that you commend his diligent and capable efforts during November as President of the UN Security Council, that you thank him for his past cooperative attitude with officials of our Embassy in Buenos Aires, and that you express the hope that Argentina will soon ratify the Río de Janeiro Defense Pact1. (The Argentine Congress adjourned September 30 without ratifying and the next regular session meets May 1.) Aside from these points it might be preferable for you not to take up specific problems in U.S.-Argentine relations.
It is likely that Dr. Bramuglia will bring up some problems on his own initiative since he has stated he would take advantage of his visit to discuss matters of policy affecting both nations and to obtain information on general questions of interest to Argentina. He has also stated that his talks would deal with political rather than economic problems.
Among the political problems Dr. Bramuglia might wish to discuss are hemisphere defense and related topics, such as U.S. sales of arms to Argentina. He might even hint that in any future war, Argentina would take care of southern South America, thus permitting the US to concentrate on other areas, if the US will assist Argentina to strengthen its armed forces. He will probably say that Argentina would support the US in any war with the USSR. It is recommended that we give Argentina no reason to expect special consideration either as defender of a region or as a purchaser of arms. It would be well to put in a word for hemisphere unity as opposed to regionalism.
It is not unlikely that Dr. Bramuglia will bring up the question of Communism. President Perón has told Ambassador Bruce that he thought it would be a good idea to have an inter-American conference on Communism and said he would submit a proposal for action to this Government.
Dr. Bramuglia may refer to the British-Argentine dispute over the Falkland Islands and/or the Argentine claims in the Antarctic. This Government takes no sides on the Falkland question. It is recommended that if the Minister mentions the Antarctic you express the hope that Argentina and the United States will be able to have a full [Page 300] exchange of views through diplomatic channels with the other interested countries regarding a solution of that problem, which in contrast to some of the great world issues should be a problem for amicable discussion and solution among friendly nations. You might express regret that Argentina saw fit to turn down even as a basis for discussion the U.S. proposal for a condominium in the Antarctic.
It is possible that Dr. Bramuglia will bring up Argentina’s dollar shortage and possible attempts to alleviate this situation. It is recommended that you thank him for any suggestions he may have and say you will refer them to the appropriate officials of the Government.
It is possible that the question of an invitation to President Perón or his wife to the US may arise. If so, it is recommended that you say this Government would be pleased to have both of them come but has not issued an invitation or encouraged one in other quarters because it is feared that US press, labor and intellectual groups which are opposed to the Argentine Government’s activities in their spheres, would create a situation which would embarrass rather than improve relations.
Dr. Bramuglia will probably ask you if it will be possible for him to call on Secretary Marshall.
- Department of State Beatles and Other International Acts Series No. 1838, or 62 Stat. (pt. 2) 1681.↩