710. Consultation 3A/2–747

Memorandum by the Acting Chief of the Division of Special Inter-American Affairs (Dreier) to the Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs (Briggs)

In the event you are interested, I attach a copy of the final draft of the Report of the Committee of Political Defense concerning “Conditions Necessary to Assure Political Defense”.2 You may recall that the idea of having the Committee include in its final report a positive statement on the importance of strengthening democracy was agreed to here …

. . . . . . .

The shortcomings of democracy, the report says, in the American republics is due principally to the following factors:

Violation of popular sovereignty and the advocacy of the theory that the individual exists for the state rather than the state for the individual.
Military intervention in politics (a good attack on the antidemocratic influences of military forces in Latin America).
Exercise of political pressure by capitalists and labor organizations.
Appeals to religious belief to prevent free expression of opinion.
Arbitrary and despotic violations of the rights and individual dignity of citizens.
Abuse of the “state of emergency”.
Racial or religious discrimination.
Lack of economic opportunity and decent living conditions.
Exaltation of nationalistic philosophies.

The report also calls for economic cooperation as important to the maintenance of democracy and suggests that a consultative Inter-American committee be formed to report on the progress of democracy in the continent and offer constructive suggestions for its advancement.

[Page 96]

Although the report is necessarily couched in general terms, I think it is all to the good.

John C. Dreier
  1. Not printed.