The Secretary of State to the Secretary of Defense (Marshall)

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My Dear Mr. Secretary: I refer to your letter of March 5, 19511 in which you forward the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Department of Defense regarding military objectives which should be sought in the forthcoming Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics. It is my understanding that representatives of our two Departments are preparing draft resolutions on these matters which will be submitted to the same procedures of review as those established in connection with other meetings of Heads of State or with the Council of Foreign Ministers.

In addition to seeking in this Meeting to further the accomplishment of the inter-American military objectives which the Joint Chiefs of [Page 1011] Staff regard as particularly important at this time, I believe that the Foreign Ministers should take action to stimulate political support and more active backing by the other American Republics for the United Nations collective security efforts and for the General Assembly resolution on “Uniting for Peace”. It is my view that this can be done without using the machinery of the Organization of American States to provide troops for action outside the hemisphere, to which the Joint Chiefs of Staff find objection.

As approved for the Governments by the Council of the Organization of American States, item I on the agenda of the Meeting reads: “Political and military cooperation for the defense of the Americas, and to prevent and suppress aggression, in accordance with inter-American agreements and with the Charter of the United Nations and the resolutions of that Organization.” Not only does this wording justify a positive assertion of support for the United Nations, but it may be safely predicted that failure of the Meeting to take such action will be widely interpreted as retrogression from the high degree of political cooperation which exists among the American Republics in United Nations peace and security matters.

On this political basis, therefore, the Department of State plans to propose or support a resolution, along the lines of that presented in the attached paper,2 in which the Meeting of Consultation would affirm the support of the American Republics for United Nations action to prevent and suppress aggression.3

Sincerely yours,

Dean Acheson
  1. Ante, p. 1004.
  2. No attachments found with the source text.
  3. For text of the resolution on this subject, as submitted to the Fourth Meeting of Consultation by the U.S. and several Latin American Governments, see Proceedings, p. 51.