710 Consultation 4/9–847

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chairman of the United States Delegation (Marshall)

Participants: Secretary Marshall
Mexican Foreign Minister, Jaime Torres Bodet
Assistant Secretary Armour
Ambassador Dawson81

In the apartment of Sr. Torres Bodet, Hotel Quitandinha, August 18, 1947, 6: 00 p.m.

I asked the Minister if there were any particular questions concerning the treaty which he would like to discuss.

He referred to the matter of economic cooperation, stating that he believed that a majority of the countries would go along with the Mexican proposal that the subject be referred to the Inter-American Economic and Social Council, which would be requested to prepare one or more draft conventions for submission to the Bogotá Conference. He said that he understood that this would be acceptable to the Bolivian Foreign Minister (Guachalla), although the latter had perhaps not made this quite clear in his speech this afternoon.

Touching on Ambassador Belt’s proposal,82 Sr. Torres Bodet said that he considered it wholly impractical, although, owing to the great interest in economic problems, it might find some support and lead to further discussion of such problems. He remarked that it was difficult enough to define political aggression; that it would be impossible to define satisfactorily economic aggression; and that, if we got into that field, the question of ideological aggression would also be raised. In this connection, he referred to the inclusion in the Brazilian [Page 42] draft of a reference to “subversive activities”. He said that he viewed this with concern since if subversive activities were to be dealt with in the treaty this might well lead to attempts to restrict fundamental liberties.

I asked Dr. Torres Bodet if he had any comment concerning the Nicaraguan situation. He said this was a delicate matter for Mexico because of proximity and the circumstance that the deposed President was still in asylum in the Mexican Embassy. He expressed the opinion that a majority of countries would probably prefer to recognize the new Nicaraguan regime and then seat its delegates. He thought, however, that the Central American countries might agitate against this with the possible result that such a proposal might be defeated. He said that the argument was being advanced that under certain Central American treaties of 1923 a relative of the author of a revolution was ineligible for the presidency when a new government was set up. He understands that the newly elected President83 is a relative of Somoza.

With reference to Paraguay, Sr. Torres Bodet expressed the opinion that the alacrity with which the Paraguayan Delegate accepted the Uruguayan resolution (calling on both sides to accept mediation) indicated that the Paraguayan Government was probably in a rather weak position. Sr. Torres Bodet believes that in any case no further action is necessary on the part of the Conference.

  1. William Dawson, Representative on the Governing Board of the Pan American Union; Political Adviser to the U.S. delegation to the Conference.
  2. See circular airgram of August 1, to the diplomatic representatives in the American Republics, p. 30.
  3. Victor Manuel Román y Reyes.