733.5 MSP/3–1952:Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Uruguay 1


283. No objection amending form press announcement (although language has been generally used re initiation mil talks) to indicate “conversations” rather than “negots” being initiated. No objection withholding publicity until opening conversations Mar 31 (urtel 361 Mar 19).2 However phrase “looking to conclusion of bilateral MSA” seems basic in placing talks proper context. Dept not concerned so much with actual phraseology press statement as with this additional indication Urug Govt unwilling or unable face up to mutual character obligations comprehended MSA. Acceptance mutuality is integral part US legis. This Govt not desirous undertaking conversations in atmosphere under which Urug public unable realize full implications.

Since initial indication Dec 21 to Urug Govt our interest entering bilateral discussions Urug tactics have evidenced delays and indicated reluctance accept full implications proposed discussions. Some of these delays undoubtedly due internal polit situation and Dept has made every reasonable effort adjust timing Urug necessities. We cannot however concede fundamental concept which involves mutual obligations and not merely Urug decision accept US grant aid. If Urug Govt [Page 1537] unwilling even have initial press announcement mention bilateral MSA as such, then it appears to Dept quite possible Urug wld be unable accept realistic language in agreement accordance US requirements. If above estimate accurate then wld appear desirable avoid beginning negots and probable suspension later with resultant adverse publicity.

Dept accordingly desires know FonMin suggestions re modifying press announcement phrase on conclusion bilateral MSA. Emb estimate desired on seriousness Urug approach to discussions. Reply urgently view contemplated departure mil team Sun Mar 23 from Wash for scheduled arrival Montevideo night Mar 26.3

  1. Drafted and signed by Deputy Director of the Office of South American Affairs Bennett; initialed by Director of the Office Atwood.
  2. In telegram 361, dated Mar. 19, 1952, Ambassador Roddan reported that Foreign Minister Domínguez Cámpora desired to withhold publicity concerning the opening of conversations until Mar. 31, and also to exclude from the press announcement that would be released any mention of the fact that the purpose of the conversations was to conclude a bilateral military assistance agreement (733.5 MSP/3–1952).
  3. In telegram 366, from Montevideo, dated Mar. 21, 1952, Ambassador Roddan reported that Foreign Minister Domínguez Cámpora had given assurances that Uruguay was definitely serious about the prospective negotiations, and that he appeared to believe that the draft press release prepared by the Department would not present a major difficulty. The Ambassador recommended that the U.S. negotiating team proceed to Montevideo as planned. (733.5 MSP/3–2152)