The Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs ( Miller ) to the Chairman of the united States Delegation to the Inter-American Defense Board ( Walsh )


My Dear General Walsh: It seems quite likely that one of the most difficult problems in connection with negotiations for military grant-aid to Latin American countries will be that presented by the adverse reactions of countries not included among the probable recipients. Even more serious than the feeling of resentment which will probably develop will be the sense of omission from significant planning for hemisphere defense. These factors may well have a negative effect upon both political and military cooperation by these countries, and perhaps upon the continued effectiveness of the Inter-American Defense Board.

It has occurred to us in the Department of State that there might be considerable advantage in the U.S. taking the initiative in stating its objectives and intentions in initiating the program of military grant-aid, as clearly and precisely as would be consistent with security, in the most appropriate inter-American forum, which, in this case, would be the Inter-American Defense Board. Such a statement probably need not go much beyond what has been said in connection with presentation of the program to Congress, but might well emphasize such aspects as (1) the relationship of the program to Inter-American Defense Board planning; (2) the obvious necessity of concentrating on certain types of military preparation; and (3) the fact that it can only be regarded as one part of the entire problem of building more adequate hemisphere defense in which every country has responsibility and concern.

It is our view that a statement of this kind, by General Bolté or yourself, before a session of the Council of Delegates of the Inter-American Defense Board in the near future, and before negotiations have been initiated, would constitute an important factor in minimizing [Page 1030] the possible adverse results described above. If you and the other members of the U.S. Delegation to the Inter-American Defense Board believe that this suggestion has merit, we in the State Department shall be happy to discuss the matter with you and to assist in any way we can in the preparation of such a statement.1

Sincerely yours,

Edward G. Miller, Jr.
  1. A memorandum of conversation by Mr. Jamison, dated January 3, 1952, involving Assistant Secretary Miller; the Officer in Charge of Brazilian Affairs, Office of South American Affairs (Kidder); Maj. Gen. Walsh; and Col. Sharkey, reads in part as follows:

    “It was Defense’s view that any consultations either with the ‘have’ or ‘have nots’ should be kept at the governmental level along the lines of the communications sent to the field. Mr. Miller said that he accepted General Walsh’s judgment as to the undesirability of the IADB approach. He asked however whether this was a matter which he, Mr. Miller, might handle in one of a series of speeches which he expects to make soon. He suggested that he might devote a few paragraphs to this subject in one of these speeches and that the text of the talk might then be sent around to the various Latin American Embassies here in Washington. There was general agreement that this would be a sound approach, and Mr. Miller said that he would see to it that the text of any such statement was checked with General Walsh and other Defense officials when it had been prepared.” (710.5/1–352)