187. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida1

04904. 1. Referring in general to the developments of the past 48 hours including subject matter Playdon/Ascham telephone conversation last night, will you please provide to us your very best estimate, as of today, of the date by which you expect to achieve readiness (which we assume to be equivalent to your kickoff date).

2. For your information Hqs going full out to provide or stimulate various forms additional pressure on regime, many of which actions responsive to or in line with recommendations of LINC and field. Yesterday and today following steps have been taken here:

Ascham personally arranged leak to ap last night of story which was on morning broadcasts although too late for most morning papers. UP following up with questions and claims to have independent rumor to same effect although we not sure whether ultimate source is same.
At least two of major oil companies have been requested take some form of action or make some statement which will be open to interpretation they considering slowdown or temporary stoppage oil shipments. First reaction favorable and one or more may comply.2
Statements have been prepared for both President and Sec/State generally along lines your recommendations, and Sec/State orally briefed this morning before his press conference.3 President’s press conference4 comes tomorrow and we hope for best.
Other news media provided with bits and pieces which they have accepted avidly.
Guidances to non-PBSUCCESS Stations with which you familiar.

3. We assume both LINC and field will continue forwarding recommendations and suggestions for action here.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 9, Folder 1. Secret; RYBAT; PBSUCCESS. Drafted by Wisner.
  2. No additional information has been found.
  3. Secretary of State Dulles told the press that the Department did not have any information from a “clearly dependable source.” He continued: “No doubt there is going on somewhat of a reign of terror in Guatemala. There is no doubt in my opinion but what the great majority of the Guatemalan people have both the desire and the capability of cleaning their own house. But, of course, those things are difficult to do in face of the Communist type of terrorism which is manifesting itself in Guatemala and which is perhaps most dramatically expressed by the statement of one Communist member of the Guatemalan Congress that if there was a disturbance, that would mark the beginning of a beheading of all anti-Communist elements in Guatemala.” (Press Release 323, June 15; printed in Department of State Bulletin, June 28, 1954, p. 981)
  4. For information on the press conference, including the draft press statement and an excerpt from Press Secretary James Hagerty’s diary, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. IV, pp. 11681169.