362/1–1354

Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs ( Cabot ) to the Secretary of State 1

confidential

Subject:

  • Program for the Tenth Inter-American Conference

Discussion:

Prospects for constructive results at the Tenth Inter-American Conference at Caracas are not good. It is inevitable that the Latin American countries will principally seek commitments from the United States on such matters as tariff policies and prices for their exports, which this Government will not be in a position to give. Moreover, various intra-Latin American tensions, such as those between Colombia and Peru, and Venezuela and Costa Rica, will contribute a divisive influence. In an effort to develop the best possible position for the United States in the circumstances, I have drawn up the following proposals:

1.
The President should be asked to send a special message to Congress on Latin America at about February 15, recommending a program of cooperation based largely on Dr. Milton Eisenhower’s report. The suggested program is summarized in Tab A.2 It involves total appropriations of about eighty million dollars, including all present programs, and would require only about seventeen million dollars in excess of amounts already included in the 1955 budget requests. This proposed message should do much to create a favorable background for our delegation at Caracas.
2.
Point 1 in the proposed program is a statement that the U.S. will insure that a gross level of public lending (through IBRD and the Export–Import Bank) of $1 billion will be available over the next five years for sound economic projects within the capacity of the Latin American countries to finance. This proposal would be the principal measure of cooperation toward economic development which the U.S. would put forward at the Conference. It would form the core of a three-point program which is discussed in Tab B.3

Recommendations:

1.
That the proposed program referred to in Point 1 above be recommended to the President as soon as it is possible to draw it up in final form, taking into account the reports expected from other Departments on January 15 regarding Dr. Eisenhower’s recommendations.
2.
That the policy described in paragraph no. 2 above be proposed and supported in the National Advisory Council as the main feature of our position on economic questions at Caracas.4
  1. Addressed also to the Under Secretary.
  2. Not printed; a slightly different version of the suggested program is printed as an annex to Mr. Cabot’s memorandum of Feb. 12, 1954, p. 293.
  3. Not printed.
  4. This memorandum was returned to Mr. Cabot under cover of a memorandum by Roderic L. O’Connor, dated Jan. 18, 1954, which reads in part as follows: “The Secretary felt that he did not have time to get into these matters on the eve of his departure for Berlin and requested that henceforward questions in connection with this Conference be handled by General Smith, unless of course the General feels that it is desirable for the Secretary to be personally consulted.” (362/1–1354)

    Secretary Dulles attended the Four-Power Conference, held in Berlin, Jan. 25–Feb. 18, 1954; for documentation relating to the conference, see volume vii .