Miller Files, Lot 53 D 261

The Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs ( Miller ) to the Ambassador in Colombia (Beaulac)


Dear Willard: I was sorry that events moved so rapidly toward the end of last week that we were required to announce our intention to convene the Foreign Ministers’ meeting before we had time to consult with the other governments. Once we had seen the last draft of the President’s speech, it seemed to us that a Foreign Ministers’ meeting, for which there already had been pressure among the Latinos, would become inevitable, and consequently it was important for us to take the initiative very strongly and immediately. A related factor was the intention which we heard about last Friday of the Guatemalan Government to request a meeting on the Haya de la Torre case.2 This would seem to us unfortunate (a) because the general question of asylum appears to us to be a matter for the Inter-American Juridical Commission and not a matter of consultation, and (b) because the specific case of Haya has been resubmitted to the World Court.3

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I am delighted to see from your telegram 4584 how favorable the reaction has been in Colombia. You may assure President Gomez5 and Minister Restrepo6 that we will cooperate closely with Zuleta7 at this end.

I naturally hope that you will consent to serve as a member of the Delegation, since your help and advice will be indispensable to the success of the Conference. We will advise you when the details are worked out. In the meantime, there will be no objection to your letting Gomez and Restrepo know informally that it is planned for you to come to Washington (if this is agreeable to you, as I hope it will be). The timing of the meeting is still somewhat uncertain. We cannot hold it until about February 15 at the earliest because of the importance of having the new Brazilian regime8 in power, and also because it will take us some time to work out agreed positions in our own government on such controversial questions as our priorities and allocations system. It seems a little more likely that we will hold the meeting after the 15th of March, by which time the incoming Administrations of Uruguay and Guatemala9 will have been sworn in, as well as the incoming Brazilian Administration. Also, I had planned to go to Uruguay for their inauguration on March 1, which would give me a very convenient opportunity to talk to Vargas and Peron10 on the trip11 and perhaps nail down their cooperation a little better. I would welcome your views on the question of timing.

With best regards,

Sincerely yours,

Edward G. Miller, Jr.
  1. Files of Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Edward G. Miller, Jr., for the years 1949–1953.
  2. For documentation on the Guatemalan request, see Foreign Relations, 1950, Vol. ii, pp. 865 ff.
  3. For documentation on the Haya de la Torre case, see pp. 1579 ff.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Laureano Gómez, President of Colombia.
  6. Gonzàlo Restrepo Jaramillo, Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  7. Eduardo Zuleta Angel, Colombian Ambassador to the United States.
  8. Reference is to the administration of Getùlio Dornelles Vargas, elected President of Brazil on October 30, 1950.
  9. Reference is to the administration of Andrés Martinez Trueba, elected President of Uruguay on November 26, 1950, and Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, elected President of Guatemala in mid-November 1950.
  10. Juan Domingo Pern, President of Argentina.
  11. Assistant Secretary Miller visited five Latin American countries between mid-February and early March 1951: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay. The main purpose of his trip was to discuss with the appropriate officials of these governments matters relating to the forthcoming Meeting of Consultation. For documentation on Mr. Miller’s discussion with Brazilian and Argentine officials, see pp. 1184 ff. and 1079 ff., respectively.