840.50 Recovery/1–948

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Edgar L. McGinnis, Jr., of the Division of North and West Coast Affairs

Participants: NWC—Mr. Mills1
—Mr. Alzamora, Minister Commercial Counselor, Peruvian Embassy,
NWC—Mr. McGinnis.

Mr. Alzamora called upon Mr. Mills today to discuss the Peruvian Foreign Minister’s recent statement regarding the European Recovery Plan. Mr. Alzamora explained that he had called to ascertain the Department’s reaction to the Foreign Minister’s statement.

Mr. Mills explained to Mr. Alzamora that the Department was grateful to receive the views of the Foreign Minister on this important subject and handed him a draft of a message to Lima (not sent), containing the Department’s general views with respect to the Foreign Minister’s suggestions. The draft indicated that the Foreign Minister apparently lost sight of the fact that the ERP is a rehabilitation program and not a long-range program for economic development. It further brought out that without recovery in Europe there can be no general prosperity, and that while orders for industrial equipment and supplies for Latin America might be delayed as the result of the shipment of large amounts of goods from the United Scales to ERP countries, the US will endeavor to administer its expoit controls in an equitable manner to provide for the essential needs of Latin America and to avoid, as far as possible, the disruption of development projects in the other American Republics.

With regard to the Foreign Ministers specific suggestion that large scale European emigration to Latin America would solve European economic ills, the draft indicated that such a plan would require considerable time and hence would not solve the immediate problem. Furthermore, [Page 358] CEEC reports emphasized labor shortages in certain ERP countries and indicated that it was difficult to meet this shortage by transfers from surplus countries since surplus labor largely consisted of unskilled workers. The draft concluded with the statement that this Government’s determination to aid Europe did not imply a lack of interest in the economic problems facing Latin America. To the extent that supplies from [for] Europe are procured from Latin America for dollars, the latter’s trade position will be improved. Thus through ERP, the International Bank, private investment and the Export-Import Bank this Government feels that the problems of the other American Republics can largely be met.

After reading the draft Mr. Alzamora asked whether the Department was aware of the reaction of other countries of Latin America to the Foreign Minister’s proposal. Mr. Mills said that he had heard nothing on the subject. He told Mr. Alzamora that the Department would shortly despatch a telegram to our Embassy at Lima, requesting our Ambassador to thank the Foreign Minister for his views and to inform him that they would be given careful study. The Ambassador would also be requested to tell the Foreign Minister that the latter’s statement would be referred to the Committee of the Inter-American ECOSOC which is charged with studying the effect of the ERP on Latin America. Mr. Mills indicated that this Government’s views on the Foreign Minister’s statement would be made known through that committee.

Mr. Alzamora did not present any strong views with respect to the statement of his Foreign Minister and agreed with Mr. Mills that Latin America would doubtless be more interested in obtaining skilled workers rather than unskilled laborers from Europe.

Mr. Mills also mentioned to Mr. Alzamora that large numbers of DPs in Europe were already available for emigration to other countries.

  1. Sheldon T. Mills, Chief, Division of North and West Coast Affairs.