711.35/12–2148: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Argentina


1075. Reurtel 1237 Dec. 21.1 Conversations between Bramuglia and Lovett as well as with other US officials were on most friendly and frank basis and we of course wish to be as helpful as possible to Bramuglia in his report concerning results his visit. Apparently Bramuglia misunderstood certain statements in discussions possibly due deficient interpreting by his aide and Dept leaves to your judgment and discretion method of clarifying points mentioned urtel as follows:

Amb. Pawley who was present at conversations between Bramuglia and Howard Bruce stated at meeting of Bramuglia and Lovett that Bruce made rough estimate indicating possible financing of $100,000,000 in Arg for off-shore purchases in near future but emphasized this was only an estimate subject to modification.
Re economic conf Buenos Aires Pawley suggested advisability of discussing certain projects which might be mutually supported by both govts thus avoiding possibility of 20 Amer Repubs against US as sometimes happened in past. No definite commitment made.
Bramuglia explained in some detail recent developments in neighboring countries and emphatically disclaimed any participation on part Arg in any of overthrows and reported plots. Bramuglia statements were received with interest but no commitment given nor indication re importance or prejudgment of future developments (but Daniels in separate conversation Bramuglia clearly indicated Dept has received no evidence to confirm rumors).
Bramuglia emphasized desirability prior exchange of views re subjects for discussion inter-American conferences. Difficulty this procedure was outlined but desirability where possible was recognized without any commitment.
Mention was made of Briggs’ reported attitude toward Arg Govt2 but Lovett assured Bramuglia that Amb Bruce has now thoroughly informed Briggs to resolve misunderstanding.
Lovett outlined in detail certain press antipathy toward Arg and stressed importance of press to public opinion and its complete independence. He mentioned undesirable publicity resulting from Arg measures affecting press and radio and explained that some unfavorable publicity had also originated from releases by officials both Govts and hoped these would be avoided in future. No commitment made to muzzle press as indicated urtel.

Memos of Conversation which enlarge on above being mailed.3

  1. Not printed.
  2. Bramuglia later informed Ray that he had been specifically instructed by Perón to bring up while in Washington the question of Briggs’ alleged hostility to Argentina. (Despatch 365 from Buenos Aires, May 13, 1949, not printed) Commenting on the various statements relating to him, Briggs informed the Secretary of State as follows: “I wish to declare that at no time have I considered it any part of my duties as Ambassador to Uruguay to interest myself in, much less participate in, Argentine-US relations.” (Telegram 30 from Montevideo, February 17, 1949, 1 p. m., 835.00/2–1749.)
  3. Supra.