Editorial Note

In a letter of October 30 to Ambassador Ravndal, Mr. Miller in part discussed references to Communism which the Ambassador had made in speeches delivered during his several visits to the Uruguayan interior. Mr. Miller stated in part:

“I think we all fully concur with your ideas that the Communist principles and agitation should be faced. I would feel easier, however, if the frontal attack in Uruguay were made by the better elements [Page 1012]of that Republic. There is probably much that we can do in the way of furnishing ammunition, but I feel that throughout Latin America we should, for the present at least, stay somewhat in the background where local groups are concerned. I feel that, while we are still attempting to find a solution to the serious problems facing us and the other democratic nations, we should devote our principal efforts to convince our Latin American friends that the American way of life is best and avoid public attacks which might be interpreted as directed against local groups and even be distorted to the point where they are regarded as interference in local affairs.

While we want to support you wholeheartedly in your endeavor to do something about Communism in your area, we do hope that you will keep the foregoing in mind so that there will be no possibility of a situation developing which would interfere with your effective work in Uruguay.” (733.001/10–3050)

In his reply of November 14 the Ambassador stated in part: “At no time did we refer to the local communists or to communist activity in Uruguay itself. This, of course, is clear from the copies of our formal speeches which are on file in the Department and you may take my word for the fact that we also carefully steered clear of internal matters in our extemporaneous speeches, which were many but unavoidable. … The communist business was incidental. Our purpose was to show the Uruguayans what we are like and what we think and do. They saw that the U.S. Ambassador is just another guy named Joe—not an intriguing imperialist. As a matter of fact Charlone officially thanked me for the trips and classed them as ‘The highest type of diplomacy.’” (733.001/11–1450) In a memorandum of December 4 to Mr. Miller, Fletcher Warren, Director of the Office of South American Affairs, after indicating familiarity with this and other correspondence on the subject, said: “I believe that your letter of October 30 did the trick and that we can now let matters ride.” A handwritten marginal note on this memorandum reads: “Fletch: I agree. E[dward] G M[iller]”. (733.001/12–450)