835.24/6–1445: Airgram

The Ambassador in Argentina ( Braden ) to the Secretary of State

A–284. Reference Department’s confidential instruction no. 6708 of May 17, 1945,75 regarding policy to be adopted concerning Certificates of Necessity covering supplies for the Argentine Army and Navy.

This Embassy requested instructions which would cover the acceptability of the Argentine Army, Navy, and other military subsidiaries as consignees for United States materials at the present time. The Department’s instruction concerns only policy with regard to the exportation of arms, munitions, and implements of war.

The Department’s telegram no. 377 of April 12, 1945, 2 p.m., setting forth an export policy statement for the FEA recognized that special considerations govern exportation of arms, munitions, and materials related to the armament industry. The Department’s telegram 554 of May 19, 2 p.m., forwarding a revised export policy, agreed to by the Department and the FEA, was applicable to all materials except munitions or materials consigned to the armed forces of Argentina. This telegram also pointed out that separate instructions would be sent [Page 542] regarding this export category. Although these instructions have not yet been received, their preparation would appear to modify the Department’s instruction no. 6708.

It should perhaps be stressed that the secondary or quasi-military exports present a particularly difficult problem. If Argentina is not to be permitted to receive arms and munitions in their final fully fabricated form, the question naturally arises, as a long term consideration, whether Argentina, through its military steel factory or through private companies working on army contracts, should receive raw materials from the United States to manufacture such arms and munitions locally. Immediately, there is a further question of the status of the Argentine armed forces as consignees for any United States merchandise whatsoever, exclusive of medical supplies.

Previous policies governing exports to Argentina as formulated by the Department have contained a prohibition on the export of materials to the Argentine armed forces. It is felt that the need of the Argentine armed forces for materials of every description is one of the few economic problems occasioning the present Government real concern. It is presumed that the statements contained in the second paragraph of the Department’s confidential instruction no. 6708 are not intended to indicate a weakening or reversal of this previous policy.

  1. Not printed; this instruction authorized the Chargé to approve Certificates of Necessity for supplies of a medical nature for the Argentine Army and Navy (835.24/5–1745).