Editorial Note

On September 28, 1951, several Argentine army officers attempted an abortive coup against President Perón. In a letter to Assistant Secretary Miller, dated September 29, Ambassador Bunker commented in part as follows: “The whole show was pretty inept, and the government seems to have been well prepared for it. If this was to be the big event, then I should say that its collapse was quite complete and that it would be hard to pick up the pieces from here. If there is something more important afoot, such as … reported to me, then, of course, there may be further developments at some later date. I have a definite feeling however that if further changes come, they will come because of pressure or disaffection within the Peronista Party itself and in conjunction with the army. I also feel that in this connection the Army would prefer to move in a more legalistic and constitutional way and that a change would be brought about quietly and not through a coup. With the black economic picture ahead for the next year it is difficult [Page 1110] to see why anyone should want to take over now. If nothing happens militarily or politically, I believe the course of economic events is more apt to force a change of policy and/or government than anything else.” (Miller Files, Lot 53 D 26) Additional pertinent documents relating to the attempted coup are in decimal files 735.00 and 735.00 (W).