710 Consultation (4)/11–945

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State (Braden)

Participants: Ambassadors of Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador and Mexico
A–Br—Mr. Braden
A–Br—Mr. Duran
A–Br—Mr. Spaeth
ARA—Mr. Briggs

At a luncheon today with the Ambassadors of Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador and Mexico, I requested their informal personal views on the steps that should be taken in connection with the Inter-American Treaty of Mutual Assistance. I emphasized that we are anxious to conclude the Treaty at a conference in Rio de Janeiro, but that we believe careful negotiations and preparations should precede the conference. I added, however, with respect to Argentina that we continue in the view that we cannot conclude a mutual assistance treaty with a government which has failed to comply with its international commitments and which represents the very kind of threat against which such a pact is designed to operate.

The following is a summary of the main points made by the Ambassadors:

We must avoid any appearance of procrastination on the Treaty. Therefore, the Governing Board of the Pan American Union, at its meeting on November 20, should propose a definite date for the conference. The Brazilian Ambassador suggested the last half of month of March.
At the same meeting the Governing Board should emphasize the need for thorough preparation prior to the Conference, and should recommend that drafts of the Treaty and views with respect thereto be circulated prior to December 31. This would give ample time for [Page 166] thorough study, but would also demonstrate a determination to go ahead with the job.
Because of the rumors that the United States Government is reluctant to go ahead with the Treaty, the United States should, if possible, be prepared to submit its draft of the Treaty to other governments on or about November 20. Such action would remove all doubts as to our intentions.
In order to coordinate such treaty proposals as may be submitted by the end of December, either (i) a subcommittee of the Pan American Union, (ii) a committee designated by the governments, (iii) the Brazilian Foreign Office, or (iv) the Inter-American Juridical Committee should prepare and annotate a document which will summarize the views of the several governments.

In addition to the foregoing views on treaty procedure, practically all of the Ambassadors expressed their hope that a formula can be found that will preserve the unity of the Americas. I agreed that real unity is desirable, but emphasized that mere formal unity, gained at the cost of participation by the Farrell Government, would be criticized as a farce by the peoples of the Continent, and would seriously prejudice the inter-American system.

At the end of the discussion the Ambassadors proposed that an informal meeting be held at the Pan American Union on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week to sound out the other Latin American Chiefs of Mission on the position to be taken by the Governing Board on November 20.

Spruille Braden