363/1–2051: Circular airgram

The Secretary of State to Diplomatic Offices in the American Republics


COAS January 17 approved for transmission by Representatives to their governments following program Fourth Meeting of American Foreign Ministers:

“Political and military cooperation for the defense of the Americas1 and to prevent and repel aggression, in accordance with inter-American agreements and with the Charter of the United Nations and the Resolutions of that Organization.
“Strengthening of the internal security of the American Republics.
“Emergency economic cooperation:
Production and distribution for defense purposes;
Production and distribution of products in short supply and utilization of the necessary services to meet the requirements of the internal economies of the American Republics.”

Plenary Meeting February 7 set for final consideration program and approval. Primary questions raised in COAS discussions centered on whether topics broad enough to cover consideration of all projects deemed essential. General agreement that Item 1 in no sense limits consideration to measures strictly within narrow concept continental defense against armed attack; that item 2 covers consideration measures cooperation as well as strictly unilateral action; and that item 3 permits consideration all economic and financial problems essentially related immediate emergency. In your discretion you should take appropriate opportunity discuss above with officials Foreign Office, pointing out desirability that COAS representatives have adequate instructions to vote on this program at February 7 meeting.

FYI Department will shortly provide you with further instructions regarding the presentation by the various governments in advance of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of draft resolutions or other proposals which the governments may have in mind submitting for the consideration of the Foreign Ministers.

In the meantime, it is of course highly desirable to report promptly to the Department any indication of views you may obtain regarding the attitude of the government to which you are accredited toward the draft agenda. If asked concerning the views of the United States, you may say that, in the Department’s view, the agenda appears to be satisfactory, but that the U.S. Government is, of course, giving full and final consideration to the matter between now and February 7. [Page 938] For your own information, the latter clause is intended to cover the possibility that it may be found necessary to make a slight modification in one of the agenda items to cover aspects of the problem now under consideration; however, it is impossible at this stage to know whether any further changes in the agenda will be necessary from the U.S. point of view.2

  1. For documentation concerning U.S. policy with respect to hemisphere defense and related matters, see pp. 985 ff.
  2. For text of the agenda for the Meeting of Consultation, as finally approved on February 7 and 14, see Department of State Bulletin, April 9, 1951, p. 568.