Memorandum of Conversation, by the United States Representative on the Council of the Organization of American States (Dreier)


Subject: Conversations with Latin American Representatives as Indicated Concerning U.S. Position on Points II and III of Agenda for IAM, March 6 and 7.

The following summarizes the views expressed by Latin American Representatives in conversations with Ambassador Dreier, and at times Ambassador Warren, Mr. Spalding and Mr. Corliss,1 on March 6 and 7.

1. Brazil: Mr. Dreier met with Ambassador Accioly2 of Brazil in the latter’s office and showed him the draft resolution on internal security and the summary memorandum of positions on economic [Page 943] questions. Ambassador Accioly was extremely well impressed with the paper on internal security and particularly applauded the suggestion that a meeting of Ministers of Justice might be called to consider the recommendations of the proposed staff. He agreed with the role assigned to the COAS in this matter.

On economic questions, Ambassador Accioly confined himself to saying he had no personal objection to it, but that he did not consider himself well qualified to deal with economic problems. He stated that his Foreign Minister3 had reported favorably on the conversation held with Mr. Miller in Rio. The Foreign Minister had also asked Ambassador Accioly, he said, to draw up some proposals under the political subjects under Point I of the agenda.

2. Costa Rica: Ambassador Oreamuno4 came to Mr. Dreier’s office and was shown the text of the two documents referred to above. He found the resolution on internal security satisfactory but made a few suggestions for drafting changes, which have been conveyed to Mr. Spalding. He expressed doubt that the COAS would consider itself able to judge on the necessity for a meeting of Ministers of Justice without submitting the document to their Governments for review first.

In the economic field, Ambassador Oreamuno also expressed his general satisfaction. He said he felt that under II-G some consideration should be given to the relative impact of refusal of allocation of a needed commodity on various projects, depending upon the degree of completion. Failure to allocate a bit of machinery to a project 90 percent completed would, he argued, be much more serious than to deny the same item to a new project not yet begun. Ambassador Oreamuno also urged that Article III-C, last sentence, should be clarified in its effect on the Latin American countries. Does this mean, he asked, that if a country puts a price control on imported products, it must also impose price controls on its exports to the United States? Finally, Ambassador Oreamuno urged more attention to the problem of the gradual relaxation of price controls, so that dollar balances will not be lost through price rises, as was the case after the last war.

3. Chile: Ambassador Nieto del Río, Minister Rodríguez5 and Mr. Burr6 came to Mr. Dreier’s office and discussed the above documents for about two hours. With reference to internal security, they expressed particular interest in the role of the COAS and felt that it should be made clear that the Council would have no substantive responsibility for the recommendations of the staff. They felt the [Page 944] formula proposed was generally satisfactory, the Ambassador making a few suggestions for drafting changes which Mr. Spalding took down.

On Point III, the Chileans said that what concerned them about our paper was not what it contained but what it did not contain. When asked for examples, they mentioned the importance of the subject of synthetic production that interfered with such basic industries as nitrates; also the importance of maintaining an effective relationship between the prices of exported and imported products, particularly after the emergency had been relaxed and price controls removed. They felt it was extremely important to have some adequate system for attending to Latin American export needs, and complained about the recent inability to get 1500 tons of synthetic rubber for essential civilian needs in Chile.

The Chileans showed Mr. Dreier a confidential circular7 from their Foreign Office outlining their general attitude on the economic questions in connection with the IAM. This circular outlined five main subjects of interest: (a) Production and prices of strategic materials; (b) filling the requirements for machinery, etc., for economic development programs; (c) methods of financing economic development; (d) planning economic development on an inter-American basis for more effective integration; and (e) avoidance of disruptions to the economy at the conclusion of the emergency. The paper outlined the problems of Chile which are well known, emphasizing the increases which Chile suffered in the prices of imported materials during the last war in comparison with the relatively stable prices of her exports. Much attention was also given to the vicious circle in which Chile found herself with respect to economic development: she could not import capital goods because of the need for consumer goods, and could not produce consumer goods because of the need for capital goods. The circular concluded with a request for the Embassies to discuss these subjects with the other governments and particularly to obtain information on the situation and views of other countries with respect to the five points mentioned above.

4. Ecuador: Ambassador Peñaherrera8 and Minister Moscoso9 were shown the two documents. The Ambassador had little comment to make on either one. Dr. Moscoso urged stronger references to democratic liberties in the resolution on internal security.

On economic questions, the Ecuadorans asked whether the study of transportation requirements would cover the possible control of tariffs, which they felt constituted an important aspect of the problem. They also urged that more attention be given to the question of maintaining price controls on manufactured goods after the emergency.

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The Ecuadorans expressed an interest in discussing the draft resolution10 which the Foreign Minister11 had given to Mr. Miller in New York, and it was agreed that another meeting12 would be set up for this purpose and to go more fully into the economic questions mentioned above.

5. Peru: Ambassador Berckemeyer and Ambassador de Lavalle13 came in and were shown copies of both documents. On economic questions, their only comment was to urge that it be clarified that the controls recommended under Point III of our memorandum were temporary and not to be permanent. They said they would transmit the text of the memorandum to their Government but indicated they had received no expression of their Government’s views on the IAM so far, other than the general desire to cooperate with the United States.

With respect to the internal security question, the Peruvian Ambassadors expressed general satisfaction, but indicated they had no instructions.

6. Bolivia: Ambassador Martínez Vargas,14 Ambassador Mollinedo15 and Minister Peñaranda16 came in to discuss the economic paper, having already been informed fully about the internal security paper. The main comment was that increased production of strategic materials was a question of price. They asked for a definition of the meaning of the phrase “relative equality of sacrifice”, which we were not able to give them in a firm way. They also spoke of the importance of looking forward to the problems of post-emergency with sudden stoppage of production on which countries like Bolivia depended for their livelihood.

  1. James C. Corliss, Office of Regional American Affairs.
  2. Hildebrando Pompeu Pinto Accioly.
  3. João Neves da Fontoura.
  4. J. Rafael Oreamuno.
  5. Mario Rodríguez A., Minister-Counselor, Chilean Embassy.
  6. Jorge Burr, Commercial Counselor, Chilean Embassy.
  7. Not found in Department of State files.
  8. Luis Antonio Peñaherrera.
  9. Alfonso Moscoso Cárdenas, Minister-Counselor, Ecuadoran Embassy.
  10. Apparent reference to a resolution concerning the peaceful settlement of inter-American disputes (363/3–651); no copy of the Ecuadoran draft was found in the Department of State files.
  11. L. Neftalí Ponce Miranda.
  12. Ambassador Peñaherrera, accompanied by Minister-Counselor Moscoso, called at the Department of State a few days later for further discussion of the matter with Mr. Miller, Mr. White, and Mr. McGinnis. In a memorandum of that conversation, dated March 13, 1951, by Mr. McGinnis, Assistant Secretary Miller was reported to have stated in part that the United States had prepared a draft resolution concerning the peaceful settlement of inter-American disputes which was “very similar to the Ecuadoran draft,” and that “the question of sponsorship was somewhat difficult since obviously any country which had pending disputes with another American Republic would not be a good sponsor for the proposal.” He further commented: “In order for the proposal to gain unanimous acceptance it would be advisable … to have some country such as Mexico or Brazil sponsor it.” Ambassador Peñaherrera was reported to have replied in part that “if the United States did not wish to present the proposed resolution, Mexico would be an acceptable substitute.” (363/3–1351)

    On March 28, 1951, the United States and Mexico jointly submitted to the Meeting of Consultation a draft resolution on the importance of maintaining peaceful relations among the American states: for text, see Proceedings, pp. 55–56, or Department of State Bulletin, April 9, 1951, p. 574.

  13. Juan Bautista de Lavalle.
  14. Ricardo Martínez Vargas.
  15. Alfredo Mollinedo.
  16. Juan Peñaranda Minchin, Minister-Counselor, Bolivian Embassy.