Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

Participants: Dr. Juan Atilio Bramuglia—Argentine Foreign Minister
Dr. Jerónimo Eemorino—Argentine Ambassador
Mr. Lovett—Acting Secretary
Mr. William D. Pawley
Mr. Sohar E. del Campo—Interpreter
Mr. Tewksbury—RPA

Dr. Bramuglia expressed his sincere regret at the illness of Secretary Marshall and inquired as to how he was progressing. I explained to the Minister the nature of the Secretary’s operation and pointed out that, even though under the new medical practice of encouraging patients to get up as quickly after an operation as possible, the Secretary was still in a weak condition and regretted exceedingly that he would not be able to see the Minister during his present visit to Washington.

I expressed my pleasure in having the opportunity to discuss matters personally with the Minister and made brief reference to his able work in Paris.

Dr. Bramuglia explained that he was carrying out the wishes of President Perón when he indicated the desire of Argentina to cooperate with the United States and the Western European nations in their efforts to strengthen the western democratic ideals. He stressed the importance of the security of the Western Hemisphere and said that his Government definitely supported the idea of Western Hemisphere solidarity. He said that Argentina would cooperate in measures to restrict communism in the Western Hemisphere. He stated that Argentina would immediately support the other American republics if there was any threat to the hemisphere from this source.

The Foreign Minister also discussed at some length the desire of his Government to work in harmony with this Government at inter-American conferences. He expressed some concern at the apparent failure of our Government to discuss frankly in advance positions which we proposed to take regarding certain problems at forthcoming meetings. He specifically referred to his effort, through our Embassy in Buenos Aires, to have a preliminary discussion of positions to be taken at the Río Conference and at the Bogotá Conference. He felt that the two countries might work more effectively together if there were an opportunity for prior discussion of problems to be considered.

I explained that I fully understood his feeling in the matter and that whereas, it had been possible to have prior discussion of certain [Page 306] problems, there were certain factors which made it difficult to cover all points in this manner. I mentioned that the last Congress had been of the opposition party and this had in some instances made it difficult to reach a definite position until just prior to the holding of the conference. There was also the question of security which in the past has been the cause of considerable concern [to] the Department, since information regarding private discussions became public and caused embarrassment. I pointed out that there was, of course, the necessity of avoiding the impression among other countries that a working agreement was being reached with a single country without consultation with others.

The discussion then turned to the subject of political conditions in neighboring states.

Dr. Bramuglia emphasized the fact that, whereas, his Government felt that in a number of neighboring countries the political situation was not all that might be desired, he wished to assure me that the Argentine Government had no desire or intention of interfering in any way in the internal political problems of the neighbors. He made particular reference to the recent accusations in Chile of Argentine interference/He outlined in some detail irritating actions by Chile which have been ignored or passed over with little notice by the Argentine Government. He intimated that the Government of Gonzalez Videla has been shaky almost ever since it took office and that President Gonzalez Videla has been making a frantic effort to solidify his position. He regarded the latest accusation against a minor Embassy official as merely another effort on the part of President Gonzalez: Videla to divert the attention of the public in Chile from the unfavorable political and economic situation which exists there. He considered the charges against Argentina as ridiculous but admitted that an under official, whom he did not even know, might have made some indiscreet remarks but that these should not be taken as representing; the views of his Government. Dr. Bramuglia also made brief reference to the political situation in Uruguay and Paraguay.

With reference to the recent overthrows in Peru and Venezuela, Dr. Bramuglia denied any possible connection with the movement in either country. He reiterated his previous statement that Argentina would not in any way interfere in the internal affairs of other nations. He stated that the Argentine recognition of both new governments was in accordance with their interpretation of the Bogotá resolution regarding the continuation of diplomatic relations.

As the hour was getting late and as there were other matters of mutual interest to be discussed, it was agreed that a further meeting: would be held on Saturday, December 11.

Robert A. Lovett