Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Middle American Affairs (Nufer) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Miller)1


Subject: The Technical Cooperation Program of the Organization of American States

I understand that Dr. Lleras2 plans to call you in the near future to discuss with you the financial problems of the Technical Cooperation [Page 1063] Program of the OAS and to urge that this government make another payment to the Special Account for the Program. For that reason, I thought you would like to have briefly the status of the Program and recommendations on what you might say to Dr. Lleras.

Status of the Program

About $276,000 has been paid into the Special Account. This has been allocated, except for $24,000, to four projects and administrative expenses. Funds allocated to the following three projects are probably sufficient to carry them through December 31, 1951:

Project No. 1—Nurse’s Training Center
22—Housing Research and Training Center
77—Aftosa Center

Funds allocated to Project No. 39 for three training centers for agricultural extension workers are expected to last until about August 31. Eight other projects approved as of first priority by the IA ECOSOC are about ready to begin but there are no funds available.

Status of Pledges and Contributions

(a) Pledges paid in full:
El Salvador $4,571
Haiti 2,000
Honduras 3,143
Panama 2,714
Dominican Republic 4,571
(b) Pledges paid in part: Pledge Payment
United States $1,000,000 $250,000
Uruguay 19,100 9,550
Venezuela 15,429 3,857
(c) Pledges on which we have information Government is acting to make payment:
Argentina 87,857
Brazil 28,000
Colombia 26,857
Ecuador 6,142
Guatemala 5,000
Nicaragua 3,000
Peru 17,428
Total 274,284
(d) No pledge:
Bolivia Chile
Costa Rica Mexico
Cuba Paraguay
[Page 1064]

Efforts made to obtain pledges and payments

In the basic resolution of April 10, 1950,3 all Member Governments agreed to make a pledge. On September 28, 1950, the IA ECOSOC invited all Member States, by October 31, 1950, to make a pledge to the Special Account for the program. During the month of December, Dr. Lleras discussed the subject of pledges and payments with the heads of the delegations of all Member States that had not pledged and urged them to have their governments announce a pledge. On January 25, 1951, the IA ECOSOC authorized its Chairman4 to communicate directly with each government that had not made a pledge urging them to do so. Subsequently Dr. Lleras also communicated with each such government. Again on May 24, 1951, the Chairman of the IA ECOSOC communicated with all the governments urging them to make pledges or to make payments, on the pledges already made. The Executive Secretary of the CCTA has made two trips to various Latin American countries to explain the program and to urge the payment of pledges.

Action on payment of United States pledge

In a letter from the US Representative5 to the Chairman of the IA ECOSOC of October 31, 1951,6 the United States announced a pledge of $1,000,000 provided it did not exceed 70% of the total amount pledged. It was agreed within the Department that we would make our first payment when all the pledges were assembled and that that payment would be ½ of the total amount we expected to pay or $500,000. When it became apparent that the Program would not get started unless the United States made a payment, ARA urged, and UNA reluctantly agreed, to make a payment of $250,000 even though all the pledges were not in. This payment was made on January 19, 1951.

After the OAS Program was approved in its entirety on March 13, the OAS requested informally whether the United States would make a second payment. In a memorandum of March 22, 1951,6 to TCA–Dr. Bennett,7 you requested that a second payment be made. This was approved by TCA but disapproved by UNA which has final responsibility for all payments to international organizations. Your staff favors a second payment though not necessarily of $250,000, but in view of the fact that there has been almost no change since your [Page 1065] request of March 22, 1951, it is doubted that UNA would approve any payment. The possibility is being explored, however.


In your discussions with Dr. Lleras you might want to point out that we are aware of the financial difficulties of the OAS Program and are very sympathetic toward his desire to obtain additional funds. However, this is an international program and we want to maintain its international character. We cannot do that if almost all of the funds are US funds. At present about 90% of the funds in the Special Account are US funds. We are now in the process of justifying to the Congress our participation in the Program. The Department is being criticized for paying too large a share of the financial support for international organizations. A bill recently passed the House to limit our contributions to international organizations to 33⅓%. In the face of the lack of support for the Program by other governments as evidenced by their pledges and payments, we may have a difficult time justifying such participation and consequently an equally difficult time obtaining funds for next year’s contribution. We would be hard pressed to explain any additional payment until other governments match our present payment on a 70–30 basis.

You might suggest to Dr. Lleras that he again discuss the financial problems of the Program with the heads of the Delegations of those countries which have not made payments on their pledges or have not pledged. You might also want to reiterate a suggestion made to him on two previous occasions—that he suggest to these governments that they deposit their payment to the credit of the PAU in local currency in one of their own banks so that it would become immediately available and then the government would not need to be concerned about the loss of dollar exchange. Any local currency can be utilized in the Program and at present there appears to be no problem of convertibility.

You might also want to consider whether a suggestion that Dr. Lleras visit several of these countries to impress upon them the necessity for their financial support of the Program would be advisable.

A suggestion that our embassies consult the governments that have not pledged or have not made payments and urge them to do so has been considered. This approach is not recommended.8

  1. Drafted by Mr. Robert M. Sayre, Office of Middle American Affairs.
  2. Alberto Lleras Camargo, Secretary General, Organization of American States.
  3. Apparent reference to the resolution establishing the program of technical cooperation of the Organization of American States, approved at a special meeting of the IA–ECOSOC held in Washington, March 20–April 10, 1950; for text of the resolution, see Annals of the Organization of American States (Washington, 1950), vol. ii, pp. 261–267.
  4. Julio E. Heurtematte, delegate to the IA–ECOSOC from Panama.
  5. Merwin L. Bohan.
  6. Not printed.
  7. Not printed.
  8. Henry G. Bennett, Administrator, Technical Cooperation Administration.
  9. Beneath the text of this memorandum appear the following handwritten notations: “I agree with these recommendations J[ohn] C. D[reier, U.S. Representative to COAS],” and “So do I. T. C. M[ann].”