Memorandum by the Ambassador to Uruguay (Ravndal)2 to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Miller)


Subject: Implementation of Goodwill Policy toward Uruguay.


Degree to which the Department should press for the effective implementation of recent “decisions” (a) to have a unified, distinctive American policy for each of the American Republics and (b) to make of Uruguay an example of our goodwill.


It is understood from what Mr. Miller stated at the conference of chiefs of mission at Rio de Janeiro a month ago3 that the Department has decided to endeavor to obtain for each separate American Republic a distinctive policy which will be followed by all agencies of the United States Government and, further, that these distinctive policies will be framed and implemented on the basis of the individual country’s merit. It was thought by Mr. Miller that Uruguay and Guatemala would presently be considered as the opposite poles in the framing and implementation of such distinctive policies.

It is also understood from what Mr. Miller stated during his visit to Uruguay in late February4 that it is the Department’s feeling that if our program for help and mutually satisfactory trade and other relations does not work in the case of Uruguay it probably will not work in the case of any other American Republic.

With this background and our appreciation of Uruguay’s strategic position it is assumed that the Department will view favorably and press for effective implementation practical suggestions having as their objectives (a) giving Uruguay “face” and encouragment in the [Page 1009]cold war and (b) giving Uruguay assistance both financial and technical towards growing stronger in the American way of life.

There are many things which I anticipate will be recommended by the United States-Uruguayan commission for consideration and action once the Point 4 legislation is enacted. But there are also things which can be done now and if they are done promptly they will effectively serve to consolidate the great gains of the Miller visit.


It is recommended that the Department request the restoration of the Naval and Air Attachés.5
It is recommended that the Department request the President personally to accept on behalf of the United States the statue of Artigas when it is unveiled June 19, 1950.6
With regard to the Uruguayan Government’s desire for help in the matter of growing off-season forage crops, it is recommended that (1) we act favorably on the Uruguayan request for a visiting professor of bromatology for the National University; and (2) we send an IIAA food and agriculture mission to Uruguay when the Uruguayan Government makes a definite request and when 1951 U.S. appropriations are available. Our Embassy in Uruguay should be authorized informally to communicate the U.S. willingness in this regard, to the appropriate Uruguayan authorities.
The Secretary should send a personal message to Foreign Minister Charlone stating that (1) he would like to invite him to visit the United States, (2) the heavy burden of the schedule worked out some months ago makes it impractical to extend an invitation in the near future. Assistant Secretary Miller might add to this message his personal hope that Dr. Charlone will in the meantime have other occasion to visit the United States at which time he, Mr. Miller, could extend official hospitality.7

Discussed with Mr. Miller April 3 who concurred in all the recommendations and, at the specific inquiry of Amb. Ravndal, stated that he [Page 1010]was in full agreement with the policy outlined under “Problem” and “Discussion”.8

  1. Then in Washington for consultation.
  2. The Conference met March 6–9. A record of its proceedings is filed under 120.43/3–950.
  3. February 24 through March 1.
  4. In telegram 77 from Montevideo, March 20, Ambassador Ravndal had indicated that Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, then on a visit to Montevideo, also favored restoration of an air attaché. (120.32333/3–2050) A new air attaché served in Montevideo from July 15, 1950; a new naval attaché began his tour April 27, 1951.
  5. The United States Government had accepted in 1948 the gift of a statue of the Uruguayan statesman, Gen. José Gervasio Artigas. At the unveiling ceremony held on June 19, in Washington, near the Pan American Union building, Secretary Acheson participated for the United States as President Truman’s personal representative.
  6. On April 11 William W. Walker, Chargé in Uruguay, delivered to Minister Charlone letters from the Secretary and Mr. Miller along the lines set forth above. (Telegram 55 to Montevideo, April 7, 365/3–2750; telegram 106 from Montevideo, April 12, 365/4–1250) In telegram 69 from Montevideo, Ambassador Ravndal had stated in part that Minister Charlone had said he was authorized by his government to say he would accept an invitation to visit the United States. The Ambassador had concluded: “I urge you authorize immediate telegraphic invitation thus beginning implementation new attitude and decision make Uruguay example of what happens when country plays ball with US.” (365/3–1350)
  7. This sentence, presumably by Ambassador Ravndal, was dated April 4, 1950.