36. Memorandum for the Record1

MEMORANDUM RE P.B. FORTUNE

We now expect to be in a position to proceed with our phase of the project if desired.2 However, the chances of success would be greatly enhanced if there were a coordinated effort in the political field. The country in question is thoroughly dependent on its trade relations with us and has discounted the fact that we would do nothing. In effect they have flaunted us and consistently got away with it. It is time they were brought to realize that this could not continue.

While the exact steps which might be politically feasible are matters beyond our competence here, we have a legitimate interest, it seems to me, in seeing that the climate is right for the types of action in which we may be engaged.

Here are some of the measures which might be considered.

1.

Recalling our ambassador for consultation and sending a two-fisted guy to the general area on a trip of inspection and to report to the President.

Our ambassador is timid and never recovered from his treatment at the hands of Anna Pauker. Further the whole Embassy should be given a look over. I just received the visit of two American citizens highly recommended who have large interests in the country. They indicated that they did not feel they could get anything whatever out of the Embassy in the way of protection of American interests and hinted at darker things. They came to me after talking with Herbert Hoover and Lewis Strauss, and the latter urged that I see them. Harman Pfleger knows about them through Herbert Hoover.

Bill Pawley or someone of his type might be considered. I recognize that Pawley is hard to control, but he is fearless and gets things done even though he may break a little crockery in doing it. I would suggest [Page 80]that he might also spend a little time in the countries bordering on the one of our chief concern.

2.
In connection with the mission described in 1, the President in a press conference might express his concern at the Soviet Communist penetration and his desire to consult, in the spirit of the Rio Pact, with other Latin American countries affected thereby.
3.
Appropriate speeches might be made by a couple of members of Congress. You may recall that this was done a year or so ago and had a substantial effect. Vice-President Nixon has been fully briefed by the two Americans who saw me and undoubtedly he would cooperate.
4.
Anything affecting coffee exportations to the U.S. would be nearly a knockout blow. We might consider the possibility of having some legislation introduced authorizing, upon a finding by the President that a country was taking American property without provision for due compensation, the imposition, within prescribed limits, of some countervailing duties on the imports of such country with the view to providing a base for compensation. The mere threat of such legislation might have a profound effect.

I don’t know whether any of these measures are feasible, but I merely wish to raise the issue that the type of action we contemplate is likely to be inadequate unless supplemented along some such lines.

Allen W. Dulles3
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 151, Folder 2. Top Secret. A handwritten note by Allen Dulles at the top of the page reads: “Copy left with W.B.S. on a personal basis—with understanding there would be no circulation.”
  2. Presumably reference is to the adoption on March 4 of NSC 144, “United States Objectives and Courses of Action With Respect to Latin America.” One of the objectives of the NSC directive was the “reduction and elimination of the menace of internal Communist or other anti-U.S. subversion.” For text of NSC 144/1, March 18, 1953, as well as records of discussion in the NSC of the paper and progress reports, see Foreign Relations, 1952-1954, vol. IV, pp. 165.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typewritten signature.