710. Consultation (3)A/86²⁄₇

The American Representative on the Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense (Spaeth) to the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have today transmitted my Report No. 3 to the Department.11

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I particularly wish to draw your attention to the thoughts which I express in the first two or three pages thereof. In essence, those thoughts are a reiteration of what you recognized in your first statement to me about the work of the Committee: that the Committee will be no more than what our Government is able to make of it. You will recall that we also recognized that the task was threefold: first, thorough preparation in Washington; second, negotiation in Montevideo; and, third, follow-through by tactful representations to the several Governments.

As my reports indicate, notwithstanding the difficulties caused by the member from Argentina, I have full confidence in the potentialities of the Committee. I believe, however, that the Committee can be of substantial assistance in working toward our basic objectives only if I am adequately briefed by the Departments in Washington. I wish to emphasize that by “briefing” I do not mean the presentation of formal recommendations from our Government which might be construed as binding upon it once affirmative Committee action is taken. I have in mind, rather, the information about problems and the informal suggestions with regard to their solution which will enable me as a representative of all of the Republics to give effective guidance to Committee discussions.

In the short time that I have been privileged to work with you I have been impressed above all by your desire to strengthen the organizations which have been established on an inter-American basis. I believe, as I am certain you do, that there could be nothing worse for the long term Hemisphere program than failure by inter-American bodies in the realization of the purposes for which they were established. The impact upon international morale of the failure of the League of Nations and some of its subordinate organizations constitutes a warning for those who are endeavoring to strengthen the spirit of cooperation among the American republics. Under the impetus of the emergency we have an extraordinary opportunity to establish the proposition that inter-American bodies such as the Committee for Political Defense can be made to function effectively. The sincerity and strength of my feeling in this matter explain my insistence that persons working on the problems of the Committee in Washington appreciate the seriousness of their responsibility to brief (in the sense expressed above) the Committee thoroughly on all aspects of Resolution XVII.

With best regards,

Sincerely yours,

Carl B. Spaeth
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