Memorandum by Mr. W. Tapley Bennett, Jr., of the Office of Middle American Affairs to the Secretary of State1


Subject: Status Report on Committee Work at Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the American Republics.

There are attached for your information, as background for the Plenary Session scheduled for Monday afternoon, brief reports on the status of work in the three technical committees of the Foreign Ministers Meeting.

A script for the Monday afternoon meeting, with recommendations,2 will be submitted Monday morning on the basis of week-end developments.

W. T [aplet] B[ennett, Jr.]
[Annex 1]

Status of Work of Committee I—Political and Military Cooperation

Chairman: Restrepo Jaramillo (Colombia); Rapporteur: Sevilla Sacasa3 (Nicaragua)

The principal results in this Committee to date are:

General approval by the full Committee of a “Declaration of Washington,” based upon drafts presented by Brazil and Chile.4 Along with declarations of hemispheric solidarity, this draft contains an emphatic affirmation of support for action of the United Nations. Although they did not refer to the UN aspect directly, the Foreign [Page 962] Ministers of Argentina, Guatemala and Mexico,5 all of whom have given indication of resisting any IAM action in relation to the UN, expressed their approval of the Declaration.
Preparation by a working group of a draft resolution on hemispheric military cooperation combining most aspects of that sponsored by the United States and other countries with certain detailed amendments made by Peru and Bolivia. This draft, which appears to raise no serious problems for us, must be considered by Subcommittee A of Committee I, before going to the full Committee.
A tentative decision by a working group of sponsors to separate the resolution on UN support jointly sponsored by the United States and four other countries from a Bolivian proposal6 directed specifically at support for the Korean operation.
Approval by Subcommittee C (on which the United States was not represented) of (a) the joint U.S.-Mexican proposal on peaceful settlement in the hemisphere; (b) a Venezuelan proposal7 to reaffirm certain principles contained in the 1940 Convention on Provisional Administration of European Colonies and Possessions in the Americas,8 to which Guatemala has added a preamble restating a Bogota Conference action expressing the aspiration that colonialism in the hemisphere should be brought to an end (the United States abstained at Bogota); (c) a Venezuelan proposal9 that the American Republics make certain that their laws on military service do not adversely affect students of other American countries. This Subcommittee also approved referring a Haitian proposal10 regarding individual responsibility for war to the Inter-American Council of Jurists.

The principal potential problem stems from the point of view expressed or implied early in the meetings of Committee I by Argentina, Mexico and Guatemala—that the OAS should not in this Meeting concern itself with extra hemispheric security actions or resolutions of the UN. In spite of approval of the Declaration of Washington, containing an affirmation of the importance of UN action to the hemisphere, it is almost certain that those countries will attempt to water down the recommendations of the Resolution on UN support11which specify steps which the American Republics should take as members of [Page 963] the UN to place themselves in a better position to contribute to its collective security efforts.

The two Venezuelan proposals mentioned above (3b and 3c) are also likely to create difficulties for us when they are considered by the full Committee. An effort is being made, however, to work out with the Venezuelans a draft of 3c which we could accept.

[Annex 2]

Status of Work of Committee II—Internal Security

Chairman: Dr. Ernesto Dihigo12 (Cuba); Rapporteur: Dr. Alfonso Moscoso (Ecuador)

The Cuban draft resolution on the “Strengthening and Effective Exercise of Democracy”13 was unanimously approved by the full committee on March 30. The United States supported this resolution. The resolution suggests that the X International Conference of American States at Caracas in 195314 consider measures to give full effect to Bogota Resolutions XXX (on the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) and XXXII (on “The Preservation and Defense of Democracy in America”). As a technical contribution to this end it entrusts the Inter-American Juridical Committee with making preliminary studies and the Inter-American Council of Jurists with drawing up draft conventions or other instruments, to be presented for discussion at the Caracas conference.

The Mexican draft resolution on the “Improvement of Social, Economic and Cultural Level of the People of America”15 was likewise unanimously approved by the Committee on March 30. The United States Representative16 made a statement in favor of the text as adopted, pointing out for the record that since the resolution contains a [Page 964] reference to the Inter-American Charter of Social Guarantees,17 the United States reservation to that Charter should be noted. The resolution recommends that the Inter-American Economic and Social Council and the Inter-American Cultural Council18 prepare plans and programs for promoting effective cooperation among the American Republics to raise the economic, social and cultural levels of their peoples.

A subcommittee of nine representatives, including the United States, is now considering the draft resolution on internal security sponsored jointly by the United States, Uruguay, Ecuador and Bolivia.

[Annex 3]

Status of Work of Committee III—Economic19

Chairman: Neves Da Fontoura (Brazil)

Rapporteur: Dominguez Campora20 (Uruguay)

Economic Commission Committee III got off to a bad start, wasting two full days in procedural discussions. However, after two subcommittees had been appointed and these in turn had appointed smaller working groups, progress has been fairly satisfactory since Friday afternoon. The Subcommittees will begin substantive discussions on Monday. The following subjects are now ready for consideration by these committees: Allocations and Priorities, Transportation, Prices and Consultation, International Commodity Problems, Strategic Production and Economic Development.

There are three main problems facing the U.S. The first, and so important that it could conceivably affect the successful outcome of the meeting, is the difference in philosophy between Brazil and the United States. The Brazilians take the position that there are two emergencies, the internal communistic threat faced by Latin America and the external communistic threat faced by the United States. While agreeable to the idea that the United States should build up its military defenses, the Brazilians take the position that the defense role of Latin America is to make itself economically strong through programs of economic development. While our other Latin American friends are far too realistic to give Brazil outspoken support, the philosophy of the majority appears to be that perhaps Brazil will win [Page 965] concessions for them. Hence, they have so far adopted in public a somewhat benevolent neutrality towards both sides, although there is much agreement with the United States in private.

The other two problems concern prices and post-emergency problems. The Latin American countries are almost unanimous in desiring resolutions reiterating the principles of parity and the fixing of ceiling prices in relation to the costs of production, and the provision for prior consultation in connection with the setting of prices and allocations. In the field of postwar economic problems our Latin friends would like to have assurances of the post-emergency purchasing power of accumulated exchange holdings, the continued control of prices of manufactured goods, and assurances affecting the liquidation of stock piles and the marketing of surplus production. The United States Delegation will attempt to funnel these problems through a general study resolution on the grounds that some of them appear unanswerable and others require investigation and study before any general indication of measures can be considered.

  1. Addressed also to Mr. Miller.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Guillermo Sevilla Sacasa, Nicaraguan Ambassador to the United States.
  4. For text of the Brazilian and Chilean draft resolutions, see Proceedings, pp. 43–45.
  5. Hipólito Jesus Paz, Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship; Manuel Galich, Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Manuel Tello, Mexican Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  6. For text, see Proceedings, pp. 41–42.
  7. For text, see ibid., pp. 5556.
  8. For text of the Convention, signed at Havana, July 30, 1940, and entered into force, January 8, 1942, see Department of State Treaty Series (TS) No. 977. or 56 Stat. (pt. 2) 1273.
  9. For text, see Proceedings, pp. 54–55.
  10. For text, see ibid., pp. 4550.
  11. In a memorandum to the Secretary of State, dated April 3, 1951, discussing the proposed Mexican amendments to the draft resolution on support for the United Nations, Ambassador Beaulac stated in part that “the Mexican amendments do not adhere with any consistency to a rigid separation of United Nations and Organization of American States matters—except with regard to that part of our draft resolution which deals with the section of the ‘Uniting for Peace Resolution’ recommending that governments maintain elements of their armed forces in condition so that they can be made available for service as United Nations units.” (363/4–351)

    The Department of State’s telegram 599, to diplomatic offices in the American Republics, dated April 7, 1951, reads in part as follows: “early indications Mex, Arg, and Guat would attempt to weaken original proposal [concerning support for the United Nations] cosponsored by US arguing possible conflict OASUN jurisdiction. Amendments proposed by Mex wld have undoubtedly had this effect had they been accepted, but Colom, Urug, and Cuba took lead with US in counteracting this trend; Res emerged at least as strong as orig form; and was unanimously approved after Arg first abstained and then approved with reservation.” (363/4–751)

  12. Ernesto Dihigo y López Trigo, Cuban Minister of State.
  13. For text, see Proceedings, pp. 58–59.
  14. Reference is to the Tenth Inter-American Conference held at Caracas, Venezuela, March 1–28, 1954.
  15. For text, see Proceedings, pp. 59–60.
  16. Presumably William Sanders, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs.
  17. For text of the Charter, incorporated as article XXIX in the Final Act of the Bogota Conference, and the reservation made by the United States delegation, see USDel Report, pp. 250259.
  18. Organs of the Organization of American States.
  19. Drafted by Merwin L. Bohan, United States Representative on the Inter-American Economic and Social Council (IA–ECOSOC).
  20. Alberto Domínguez Cámpora, Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs.