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


Subject: United States Position on Political and Military Subjects for IAM

Participants: Ambassador Eduardo Zuleta Angel of Colombia
Mr. John C. Dreier, U.S. Representative on the COAS
AR—Mr. Ivan White (for part of the time) and Mr. Edward A. Jamison.

Having displayed a constant and special interest in supporting the United States in regard to political and military matters at the Meeting [Page 948] of Foreign Ministers, Ambassador Zuleta was informed that we could discuss confidentially with him some draft resolutions which were still in the semi-final stage of approval. He was shown copies of the draft resolutions on hemisphere defense and support of the United Nations.1

After reading them, Ambassador Zuleta commented that they would create no problem for the Latin Americans. He observed that they were rather weak and that he would have preferred a single resolution in place of two separate ones. He also asked why no reference was made to the Inter-American Defense Board in the resolution on the United Nations.

Mr. White explained that it was a matter of priorities and that the implementation of the “uniting for peace” resolution of the UNGA would rest principally with the UN. In response to Ambassador Zuleta’s further comments, Mr. Dreier explained the U.S. position as follows:

There were three main lines of military effort to be considered at the present time: Korea, hemisphere defense, and the use of UN forces in some future emergency. The views of our Government were that in regard to Korea, it would be better for the U.S. Government, at the unified command of the UN, to deal directly with other Governments in an effort to increase the contribution of troops to the Korean campaign. With respect to the OAS, the first task was hemisphere defense and this was being assigned to the IADB. In view of the fact that the IADB would be fully occupied, and that the immediate requirement problem of forces for Korea would be handled bilaterally, it was our view that it would be best not to direct the IADB to consider plans for future UN military forces. Moreover, such forces, even if planned, could probably not be equipped any way, due to shortage of material. Furthermore, there were differences in the nature of the military forces required for Korea—where ground troops were essential—and for hemisphere defense—where air and naval forces would play a more important role. It appeared impossible, therefore, to accomplish planning for hemisphere defense and for future UN collective forces at one time.2

Ambassador Zuleta indicated that he accepted this view. He said he would have no difficulty in supporting and gaining support for the resolutions, although he displayed no great enthusiasm over them, repeating that the UN resolution was weak, since it gave no cue to how it [Page 949] was to be implemented. Mr. Dreier said he thought the UN resolution had two important values: it would focus attention on the broader problem of the UN; and at the same time, would constitute support for whatever efforts might be made to obtain more forces for Korea.

Ambassador Zuleta agreed that we would discuss at another time questions of how to handle these resolutions. He simply reiterated his previously expressed view that it would be desirable to have them introduced jointly by several countries.3

  1. Copies of the referenced draft resolutions are attached to a memorandum by Mr. White to Mr. Miller, dated March 12, 1951, not printed (363/3–1251).

    An interdepartmental working group, comprised of representatives from the Departments of State and Defense, drafted the resolutions dealing with military and hemisphere defense matters. Documents pertaining to the deliberations of the military working group are contained in OAS Files, Lot 60 D 665, Box 98.

  2. For additional documentation on these subjects, and the position of the Department of Defense concerning the Meeting of Consultation, see pp. 985 ff.
  3. On March 27, 1951, the draft resolution on support for the United Nations was jointly submitted to the Meeting of Consultation by Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Paraguay, the United States, and Uruguay; for text, see Proceedings, p. 51, or Department of State Bulletin, April 9, 1951, p. 573.

    On the same date, the draft resolution on inter-American military cooperation was jointly submitted by Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Paraguay, the United States, and Uruguay; for text, see Proceedings, pp. 52–53, or Department of State Bulletin, April 9, 1951, p. 574.