68. Backchannel Message From the Deputy Chief of Mission in Argentina (Barall) to the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Buenos Aires, July 2, 1971.1 2

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Buenos Aires
2 July 1971
FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY MEYER FROM DCM BARALL:

1. Under increasing pressure from economic deterioration at an accelerating rate, President and Secretary General of the Presidency are getting itchy about Washington’s answer to message sent in Buenos Aires Station message on 24 June. We urge an early reply inasmuch as it appears President may be deluding himself that money and assistance can be made available without GOA going through the difficult preliminary step of reaching agreement with IMF on a program which could be supported bilaterally and multilaterally.

2. Government now groping desperately for short term measures to keep the situation manageable pending agreement on constructive measures to deal with longer range problem. But program under consideration is subject of bitter internecine quarrels in and around cabinet. Unfortunately, unless we help move Lanusse into the right direction, he is probably going to have to yield in some respects to advisers who will make situation worse rather than better. He will do this for political reasons and to retain unity in the armed forces where under standing of economics is dismal.

END OF MESSAGE

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 ARG. Secret; Sensitive; Nodis; Eyes Only. The message is as prepared for transmission. On June 24, Argentine President Alejandro Lanusse sent a backchannel message to Nixon, requesting assistance from the United States to support the Argentine peso. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina, 1969–1971)
  2. Deputy Chief of Mission Barall stated that the Argentine situation was deteriorating, and that the Argentinean Government needed a quick response to its request for U.S. aid.