196. Editorial Note

On June 17, 1954, at its 202nd meeting, the National Security Council discussed a proposed anti-trust suit against the United Fruit Company, and whether or not to proceed with the suit at the present [Page 342]time. The Justice Department proposed a settlement but United Fruit continued to insist that the company had done nothing wrong and refused to consider a settlement “unless the Government revealed in advance’ its evidence of violations.

Both Secretary Dulles and President Eisenhower saw no reason not to proceed. Dulles added: “on balance it might be positively advantageous to U.S. policy in Latin America if the suit were instituted. Many of the Central American countries were convinced that the sole objective of United States foreign policy was to protect the fruit company. It might be a good idea to go ahead and show them that this was not the case, by instituting the suit.’ The Secretary was, however, concerned that the suit might interfere “with certain activities of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Allen Dulles responded that “given a little more time, the Central American states would do Justice’s job for it.” He also advised a delay of one month “by which time the situation in Guatemala would have been clarified.” (Memorandum of discussion; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)