320/11–2253: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Representative at the United Nations (Lodge)1

secret
priority

256. Eyes only Lodge from the Secretary. Reur Delga 308. You know better than I whether the President’s authorization with reference to Puerto Rico was made after adequate consideration and weighing of relevant facts. As you know, I was not present when you discussed this matter with the President. Thruston Morton feels that for the President to make this statement without prior consultation with some Congressional leaders would be apt to have a bad reaction. Also, I assume that consideration should be given to the effect of the statement upon the loyal elements in Puerto Rico and whether this will undermine their position and seem to build up the disloyal minority. Dr. Fernos could advise you on this.

Would this announcement on our part be seriously embarrassing to the French and be used by the extreme nationalists and perhaps communist-inspired elements in North Africa? Also, you might check the effect upon the Puerto Rican element in New York City as to [Page 1475]whether they would react favorably or regard this as a move to stop free travel and immigration. In any case I wonder whether “glad” is the right word and whether the statement should not show on its face recognition of Congress’s authority in the matter.

Dulles
  1. Drafted by Secretary of State Dulles.