710 Consultation 4/9–847

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

Participants: Secretary Marshall
Dr. Carlos Leonidas Acevedo, Guatemalan Minister of Finance and Chairman of Delegation
Dr. Ismael Gonzáles Arévalo, Guatemalan Minister to Peru
Ambassador William D. Pawley
Major Vernon A. Walters

In the Apartment of Dr. Acevedo, Hotel Quitandinha, August 21, 1947, at 12:15 p.m.

After the customary preliminary exchanges, I inquired of Dr. Acevedo whether he had any comments or suggestions concerning the treaty to be negotiated. He replied that as he had stated in his speech his Government felt that any Government that denied the rights of man and constitutional guarantees was a menace to security, and that the treaty should contain provisions to that effect. I stated that I felt the real force of the treaty would lie in a strong majority rather than in one or two governments which might stray from the path. Dr. Acevedo then stated that he felt some difference existed between external and internal aggression. I pointed out that in my opinion an external action could very well start from within and that it would be difficult to draw such distinction. I added that many thought of aggression in terms of a fleet of planes coming over and ships landing on beaches but that a future aggression could begin by the internal overthrow of one of the governments. After this presentation of my point of view he felt much less inclined to defend such a distinction between internal and external aggression.

Dr. Acevedo stated that he would like a provision in the treaty defining non-recognition of territorial acquisitions to support that such acquisitions must be by violence so that Guatemala’s claim of Belize (British Honduras) would not be prejudiced in their discussions with the British [sic]. I asked Dr. Acevedo whether he had any further suggestion and he stated that he had expressed his views fully in his speech which had coincided with mine. I stated that I had noticed the coincidence. Dr. Arévalo then stated that he felt there would be no serious difficulty in drafting the treaty and that there merely remained to harmonize the points of view of the various delegations.

As I was taking my leave, he stated that the Guatemalan Government [Page 58] had asked for agrément for Dr. Ismael Gonzáles Arévalo from the U.S. State Department and if such agrément were obtained this gentleman would be named next Guatemalan Ambassador to the United States. I replied that I had not yet seen the request but that he could consider the matter settled.