75. Memorandum of Meeting, Washington, February 7, 1972.1 2

[Page 1]

Held on Monday, February 7, 1972 at 5:30 p.m. in Dr. Kissinger’s Office

Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Dr. Ismael Bruno Quijano, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Argentina
Dr. Carlos Manuel Muniz, Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina
Mr. Ashley C. Hewitt, National Security Council Staff
Mr. Neil Seidenman, Department of State Interpreter

SUBJECT: Argentine Financial Mission

Minister Quijano began by expressing the deep appreciation of President Lanusse and his Government for the firm support given by Dr. Kissinger to efforts to alleviate Argentina’s economic problems in the period since September 1971, when Dr. Kissinger first received him. He said that only one finishing touch was needed to this long-run support which Argentina had enjoyed on the part of Dr. Kissinger, that would be the intervention by the Treasury Department with the New York banking community--and specifically with the First National City Bank of New York--to insure a sympathetic hearing on the requests the Argentine Financial Mission will present in New York this week.

Minister Quijano went on to say that President Lanusse is firm in his intention to hold elections in March of 1973. He said that President Lanusse will be the leading candidate in these elections and will become the constitutional president of Argentina thereafter. He indicated that President Lanusse is engaged in negotiations with General Franco in Spain and also with Juan Peron on an arrangement which will permit Peronist participation and support in the constitutional government to be established after the elections, but which will obviate the personal participation of Peron. Quijano reiterated his government’s intention to establish a government based on concepts of order but one which is [Page 2] democratic in practice. He said that this government will continue to be associated with the US in the achievement of common goals in the Hemisphere. The Minister added that he personally has always thought that Mexico, Argentina and Brazil were the key countries in the Hemisphere, aside from the US, and that these countries must be the foundation for order and progress in the region. He indicated that Argentina is not envious of the strength or prosperity of Brazil, nor of its close relationship with the United States.

Finally, Minister Quijano said that Argentina will continue to stand ready to serve as an intermediary for the United States in its dealings with Chile or Peru.

In closing, Dr. Quijano recalled Argentina’s support of the US position on the Chinese representation issue in the United Nations, and said he wanted Dr. Kissinger to know that President Lanusse had personally reversed an earlier decision of the Foreign Minister in order to support the US, and that he had done so as a result of President Nixon’s direct request.

Dr. Kissinger responded that we were aware that Argentine support in the UN on the Chirep issue had resulted from the personal intervention of President Lanusse, and that this was very much appreciated. He noted that the President had, in his telephone conversation with President Lanusse that day, said that a prosperous and stable Argentina was a primary objective of the United States, and that we would be helpful in any way we could in achieving that objective.

Dr. Kissinger also took note of Dr. Quijano’s reference to Brazil, and assured him that the US had no favorites in the Hemisphere and regarded Argentina as being on the same plane in every way as other major countries in the region. As Dr. Quijano had said, it was plain that Argentina, Mexico and Brazil are the most significant countries in the Hemisphere and achieving our joint objectives requires consultations and cooperation with all these countries.

Dr. Kissinger also said that he would call Secretary Connally and seek the intervention of the Treasury Department with the New York banking community on Argentina’s behalf.

During the conversation Dr. Quijano reiterated his earlier invitation to Dr. Kissinger to visit Argentina, adding that this time the invitation was issued officially on behalf of the Lanusse Government. Dr. Kissinger [Page 3] replied that he looked forward to a short vacation after the November presidential elections and hoped it would be possible to accept Dr. Quijano’s invitation.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 769, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina, 1 September 1970–31 December 1973. Secret. This memorandum is attached to a February 8 memorandum from Hewitt to Kissinger, which made two recommendations: “1.—That Kissinger call Secretary Connally concerning the Argentine Financial Mission’s discussions with the New York banking community,” which Kissinger approved; and“2.—That Kissinger approve distribution of the memorandum of meeting to the Department of State on a limited basis,” which Kissinger disapproved. In a January 11 memorandum from Kissinger to Hewitt, the National Security Advisor agreed to meet with Quijano sometime between February 1–10. (Ibid.)
  2. Ismael Bruno Quijano, Argentina’s Minister of Justice, noted the importance of U.S. economic assistance for his country, and asked for President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger to notify the Treasury Department that it should put in a good word with First National City Bank of New York to ensure the Argentine Financial Mission’s success the following week.