710 Tec/9–1245

Memorandum by the Director, Office of Financial and Development Policy ( Collado ) to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Clayton )

We are in a bad way on this conference.23 The economic staff does not want it. CP is quite worried lest it upset the broad commercial policy applecart. Little probably can be added to the Mexico City resolutions. We are too busy to handle such a conference properly. It ought to be outside of Washington, if held at all. Since we agreed with Mr. Rockefeller last June–July that it would be killed, adequate preparations have not been made, and cannot be made before November 15.

On the other hand we—the U.S.—have caused this conference—called for by the 1942 Rio Meeting of Foreign Ministers24 and urged by the 1945 Mexico City Meeting—to be postponed from September 1944 to December 1944, to February 1945, to June 1945, and finally to November 1945. We have prepared three sets of agenda. The Pan American Union has issued formal invitations. The Latinos expect and want it. Dr. Rowe has made an eloquent plea for it on political grounds. Mr. Warren and ARA do not feel that it can be postponed until December 1946 which has now been set by the Colombians for the Bogotá meeting of American States.

I would hope we could decide to have Mr. Acheson,25 the Cuban Ambassador,26 and others kill this conference by moving in the Thursday meeting of the Governing Board of the Pan American Union to postpone it indefinitely. If this is not politically feasible it is recommended that Mr. Acheson do the following:

Point out why the November date is impossible and the present agenda impracticably broad,
Suggest a small technical meeting to discuss only urgent and important problems,
The conference to be held outside the U.S.—preferably in Habana in February or March 1946 if the Cuban Government is willing and prepared to assume cost,
The agenda to include a very few urgent subjects such as:
Relation of American Republics and Bretton Woods27 (?)—This may be foreclosed by then. Exchange Policy.
Broad commercial, commodity, and cartel policy—Western Hemisphere in world economy. British and other patterns should be clear by then and the international trade conference should be in offing.
Urgent problems of Fomento—Diversification to alleviate situations arising out of cut-off of wartime procurement. Development loans and policy re protection, subsidies, etc. Technical aid.

If such a course is determined, the IFEAC, with our leadership, should get up a concise, specific agenda. IFEAC (or the Economic and Social Council which will replace it) should prepare thoroughly for this limited conference, we handling an efficient preparation through our ECEFP28 sub-committee.

  1. The Inter-American Technical Economic Conference.
  2. For documentation on the Third Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics, held at Rio de Janeiro, January 15–28, 1942, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. v, pp. 6 ff.
  3. Dean Acheson, Assistant Secretary of State.
  4. Guillermo Belt.
  5. The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, held at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. For documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. ii, pp. 106 ff.
  6. Executive Committee on Economic Foreign Policy.