197. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Brubeck) to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


  • Suggested Message to President of Argentina

Stalwart support by loyal Army and Air Force units has enabled President Guido to survive the latest abortive revolution in Argentina2 and allowed the Argentine Government to continue with its plans to hold elections this summer.

In the midst of this latest revolt Ambassador McClintock recommended that a message be sent from the President to President Guido congratulating him on his steadfastness and that of loyal military elements in insisting on elections as a proper basis for a new government in Argentina (Tab A).3

After the revolt had been put down, the Ambassador continued to counsel that such a message would be useful in strengthening the desire of President Guido and progovernment military forces to persist in their support for elections (Tab B).4

In order to avoid even a small possibility that a written message conveying these views and sent at this time might be regarded as U.S. intervention in a domestic problem, and since it is believed that our Ambassador could achieve virtually the same results by transmitting a message from the President orally, it was decided that a verbal message would be desirable in these circumstances.

It is recommended that Ambassador McClintock be authorized to transmit the verbal message from the President to President Guido contained [Page 412] in the telegram attached at Tab C.5 No publicity has been planned for this message, since it is designed solely as a private means of strengthening the resolve of the Argentine Government.6

Jackson Lloyd7
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 14 ARG. Secret. Drafted by Bruce M. Lancaster, Officer in Charge of Argentine Affairs; cleared by Daniel F. Margolies, Deputy Director of the Office of East Coast Affairs, and Assistant Secretary Martin.
  2. The abortive coup took place on April 2-3. According to joint reports from Buenos Aires, the attempted overthrow was part of the tension between “Colorados” (“reds” or more reactionary elements in the armed forces) within part of the Navy and the “Azules” (“blues” or more moderate elements) within the Army and Air Force. Situation reports from Buenos Aires during the attempt are ibid., POL 26 ARG.
  3. Tab A, not attached, was telegram 2031 from Buenos Aires, April 3, in which McClintock recommended “now may be the psychological moment for us to do something to sustain lonely little Guido who must be maintained in office with his government if these elections are to be held as scheduled or even with an acceptable delay of a few months.” McClintock suggested that while the message need not be made public, it could be spread privately among military leaders and politicians. (Ibid., POL 14 ARG)
  4. Tab B, not attached, was telegram 2067 from Buenos Aires, April 9. (Ibid., POL ARG-US)
  5. Tab C, not attached, was a draft, which was approved and sent as telegram 1847 to Buenos Aires, April 17. The verbal message in telegram 1847 reads: “I want you to know of deep impression made on American people by your steadfastness of purpose during recent period of trouble and by position of loyal military elements who since last September have firmly ranged themselves on side of constitutional solution through civilian government of your country’s political problems. This reinforces our confidence in devotion of Argentine people and their leaders to democratic heritage which sustains Argentine Republic.” (Ibid., POL ARG-US)
  6. In telegram 2141 from Buenos Aires, April 19, McClintock reported he conveyed the President’s message to Guido, who was “exceedingly appreciative” and confident that there was not real danger of another coup. McClintock also reported that he had invited the Army Commander in Chief, General Juan Carlos Organia, and Secretary of the Air Force Eduardo McLoughlin to his house to tell them in confidence the gist of the President’s message. McClintock thought both military men were “heartened by this evidence of US moral support.” (Ibid.)
  7. Jackson Lloyd signed for Brubeck above Brubeck’s typed signature.