710 Conference (W–PW)/1–1945

The Assistant Secretary of State (Rockefeller) to the Ambassador in Mexico (Messersmith)

My Dear George: The information which you have been forwarding and telephoning to us regarding the Mexican reaction to the conference has been simply splendid and 1 can’t tell you how much we appreciate the help it has given us in formulating our own plans. With Sanders22 going to Mexico tomorrow night I am sure that you will have a further opportunity to gather the line of our own thinking here.

As Dud Bonsal mentioned to you over the telephone this morning, we appreciate Dr. Padilla’s views regarding the fourth major heading of the Agenda but we still feel that it is inadvisable specifically to include the Argentine case on the Agenda. I discussed this matter with several of the Ambassadors here—Brazilian, Chilean, Cuban, Ecuadoran, Uruguayan, Nicaraguan, and Panamanian—and it was unanimously agreed that no specific reference to the Argentine should be made. The feeling among the Ambassadors was that too much emphasis had already been placed on the Argentine angle of the conference and that to include it as a major item of the Agenda would concentrate interest on it rather than on the constructive aspects of the conference. We should, of course, be prepared to discuss the [Page 12] Argentine case under the fourth item of the Agenda, to the full extent that the representatives of the other republics might so desire. I think it is clear in fact that we are more disposed to discuss this case than various other republics are. Although the resolution of the Governing Board of the Pan American Union, of course, makes some discussion inevitable, I do not see that it requires specific reference to it in the Agenda.

It might also be noted that if we make a coordinate topic of the Argentine case it would be generally interpreted that we have some ingenious formula worked out which would be expressed in a formal resolution. Under the existing circumstances we, of course, have no such formula. If we should have a weasel-worded resolution or no resolution at all under item IV in the final act everybody would say that the conference had been a failure even if we had been successful in getting through substantially every resolution we have tried to get through.

In the light of these factors I sincerely hope that you will see your way clear to discuss this matter again with Dr. Padilla and that you will be able to persuade him of the advisability of a noncommittal topic heading for the fourth point of the Agenda. I would suggest something such as “Other Urgent Matters of Both General and Immediate Concern to the Participating Governments.” We naturally do not want to open the door to all sorts of extraneous resolutions but by emphasizing that any point raised must be of both general and immediate concern I hope that we will sharply restrict the field.

I am giving this letter to Mr. Sanders to take with him.

With all good wishes,

Very sincerely yours,

Nelson A. Rockefeller
  1. William Sanders, United States Member, Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense.