116. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Conference Between the DCI and Secretary of State on 14 March 1954

1. Mr. Wisner informed Mr. Barnes and Col. King that at a meeting between the Director and the Secretary of State yesterday the following decisions and/or actions were arrived at:

The Secretary believes that there should be at an early date a review of the PBSUCCESS operation.
The Secretary’s conclusion, after two weeks of observation at the Caracas Conference, is that he sees no reason to change the tempo of PBSUCCESS, but “don’t get caught”.
Will we give careful thought and study to the establishment of an overt liberation committee consisting of refugees from Guatemala who are not actively engaged or tied into PBSUCCESS. The objectives are two: 1. To divert attention from covert activities; 2. To use as a sounding board for propaganda. The danger of producing confusion is realized. This is a request for study, not an instruction to set up a new committee. The study should include location of already active overt liberation committees, the existence of any prominent Guatemalans in exile who are not members of such committees, the most suitable country in which to set up such a committee. Mr. Wisner suggests consideration of a notional committee. Action: [name not declassified].
Toriello. The Secretary gained the impression from his observation of Toriello during the Caracas Conference that Toriello may be an opportunist and a possible subject for defection. We are requested to prepare a memo for the DD/P containing what is immediately available of background information on Toriello. In this should be included whatever information [name not declassified] and [name not declassified] may have. A thorough study, including CE aspects, is to be immediately initiated. Action: Esterline.

[Omitted here is a paragraph unrelated to Guatemala.]

J.C. King

Chief, WH
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79-01025A, Box 151, Folder 6. Secret. Prepared on March 15.