Memorandum by the United States Representative on the Council of the Organization of American States (Dreier) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Miller)


This refers to your memorandum of January 17 and to the comments thereon made by Mr. White, Ambassador Nufer and Ambassador Warren.

I should like to emphasize my strong agreement with your view that we should approach the general problem of Latin American interests in the most positive way we can. Recently I sent you a memorandum1 on special reasons why Latin Americans should recognize the absolute necessity for entering the Meeting of Foreign Ministers with a strong desire to collaborate with us rather than to bargain. I think there are equally strong reasons why the United States must take the same attitude. The full benefit of this critical meeting can only be gained by a strongly positive approach from both this Government and those of Latin America.

I do not feel the Meeting of Foreign Ministers can be a success if it does not give recognition to the needs and aspirations of the general public of both this country and Latin America. The main reason we do not have more foreign troops in Korea is that other peoples are not sure that we are fighting for goals of equal importance to them. I believe by and large that feeling is shared by Latin America, despite the attitude of cooperation displayed by all the Latin Governments in the UN.

From talks I have had with Ambassador Zuleta, Ambassador Nieto del Río2 and others, I am sure we are going to have formal proposals from some Latin American Governments to broaden the agenda of the [Page 939] Meeting of Foreign Ministers to deal specifically with some aspect of the general problem of strengthening the economies of the Latin American countries. I have expressed my personal hope that it would be possible to find some way to work out an agreement on this matter before February 7 (when the COAS meets to give final approval to the agenda), so that we could avoid having a strong division created in the COAS, with the United States taking a defensive and negative stand. Accordingly, I would welcome an explicit inclusion of the general subject of economic improvement in the agenda. It is clear that this general subject should be approached clearly in the light of the limits imposed by the current emergency.

I believe both your proposal and Mr. White’s regarding a revision of Item 3(b) meet this requirement. Another approach would be to add a Point 3(c) saying “Problems of Economic Improvement During the Emergency.”

With regard to the points which might be covered in a resolution “Emergency Programs for Strengthening the Home Front,” I should like to make one main observation in addition to stating my general agreement with this approach. The observation is that the adoption by the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of a resolution advocating certain general goals and activities does not necessarily mean that all such activities must be carried out through OAS agencies. For example, a general declaration of policy in favor of the elimination of various diseases might include a recommendation that Governments collaborate to this end through multilateral and bilateral agreements. This would enable us to carry out certain activities through an expanded program of the IIAA, leaving others to the PASO. Likewise, a resolution advocating the study of transportation problems and the undertaking of programs to improve transportation facilities required by expanded emergency production, may well be used as a background for U.S. bilateral approaches, as well as any activity by the IA ECOSOC which might be helpful.

In considering any resolutions which will reflect a general policy to carry out certain activities, I believe we should carefully analyze the benefits to be achieved from bilateral as compared with multilateral programs, and use both these approaches to the extent they are considered useful. Resolutions can form the background for both types of activity.

Similarly, I agree entirely on the importance of bilateral discussions with visiting Foreign Ministers on their specific economic problems. This does not in any sense, however, seem to me to lessen the desirability of some general statements by the Meeting of Foreign Ministers which can be used to focus public attention on certain important positive goals of inter-American cooperation.

  1. No memorandum fitting the description given here was found in the Department of State files.
  2. Felix Nieto del Río, Chilean Ambassador to the United States.