635.0031/7–1448: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Argentina

A–380. Reference Embassy’s airgram No. A–379, July 14, 1948 and Department’s telegram No. 631, July 13.1 Following should clarify.

[Page 326]

The statements in Deptel 631 regarding shipment of military as well as non-military goods by Argentina to Iron Curtain countries were intended to set forth this Government’s general policy toward such shipments and not to imply that Argentina, by shipping ordinary commercial products at this time, would jeopardize supply essential requirements to OEEC countries or that there was any real likelihood of Argentina shipping military or semi-military goods to Eastern Europe.

The United States would prefer Argentina not sell to Iron Curtain countries goods which OEEC countries need and for which latter are able to make satisfactory purchase arrangements with Argentina, whether with or without ECA financial assistance. The Department agrees that the Embassy cannot ask Argentina to forego the opportunity of profitable sale or exchange to Iron Curtain countries where no possibility exists for satisfactory transaction with OEEC countries.

This Government is not in a position to object to any Argentine imports, including military equipment, from Iron Curtain countries or elsewhere. However, we would prefer that Argentina obtain all its military equipment in the United States and that this equipment be what our armed services regard as “standard”. While we cannot prevent or object to such purchases from other sources, it is our policy to call to Argentina’s attention the equipment available in this country, or likely to be available, in an attempt to forestall purchases in Europe. If equipment desired by the Argentines is not available here at attractive prices, it is to be expected that they would wish to make some purchases in Europe. We have not used any strong pressure to prevent this and it is not contemplated that we shall do so in the near future.

  1. Latter not printed.