50. Memorandum for the Record1
The following points were noted at meeting of Messrs. Berry, Leddy, Barnes, Tofte, and Colonels King and [name not declassified], 9 September 1953 at 1600 hrs.
Mr. Leddy reported that a working group of Defense was to have presented to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their approval on 8 September, the agreement with Nicaragua for military assistance. If this were approved, action may be expected by the first week in October.
2. El Salvador
Mr. Leddy stated that both the Pentagon and the Government of El Salvador were delaying re certain specifications of equipment. He believes [Page 101]that a list is in the hands of the Pentagon now and that something might be done at this end to expedite the Salvadoran request. He will find out the exact situation and inform me.
Both the present Ambassador, Irwin, and the Counselor of Embassy, are rated unreliable by Leddy. The Embassy building is also insecure. Until there is a change, and no new Ambassador has been selected to replace Irwin, Leddy questions the advisability of sending an Agency representative [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. The U.S. Army Attaché is considered the best man in the Embassy and his quarters and office, which are separate, much more secure than the Political Section. [3 lines of source text not declassified] When necessary, Berry will go to Park Armstrong to get action. I am to speak to the Director regarding the need of a new Ambassador. Leddy explained that the situation in State at the moment is complex because of an effort being made to save such posts for career officers. There is a battle between career and political appointees.
The critical remarks attributed to Guatemalan Ambassador to the U.S., Toriello, and action to be taken regarding them, was discussed. Leddy reported that at a meeting held on the morning of 9 September in ARA, where twenty-three officers were present, he was the only one favoring action. The other twenty-two voted to do nothing in order not to “rock the boat”. Their position was that nothing should be done to divert attention from the main issue, which is the expropriation of Fruit Company property. Leddy feels strongly that action by us is necessary. Berry is willing to speak to General Smith but believes any action taken by General Smith attributable to Berry would embarrass and adversely affect Berry’s relations with the ARA side of State. Therefore, his position would be more protected if an approach could be made by Mr. Dulles or Mr. Wisner. Mr. Leddy will prepare and deliver to me a statement of the position which he recommends. All present agreed that positive action was in order, and this was an excellent opportunity to get publicity and begin our PW campaign. I am to deliver to Leddy today a copy of an opinion on the Toriello statement prepared by [name not declassified]. Assistant Secretary of State Cabot is away until Friday, and consequently did not participate in the ARA meeting on the Toriello matter.