733.5 MSP/8–1153: Instruction

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Uruguay 1



  • Failure of Uruguay to Initial Military Plan

A–19. Embassy despatch No. 98 of August 11, 19532 setting forth the situation which appears to be responsible for the failure of Uruguayan Defense officials to initial the bilateral Military Plan, despite ratification of the MSA Agreement by Uruguay, has been reviewed in the Department with great interest. From time to time since Uruguayan ratification was completed, consideration has been given to the question of whether some special effort should be made, perhaps along the lines of the last paragraph of the reference despatch, to urge Uruguayan officals to take the step essential to the initiation of deliveries of equipment to Uruguay under the Agreement, especially since initialling of the Military Plan immediately after Uruguayan ratification of the Agreement was a commitment explicitly agreed upon as a condition to our approval of the unique procedure which was followed in this case. It was decided, however, that it would be difficult for such action on our part to be taken without creating the unfortunate impression that fulfillment of the program was something more desired by us than it was in the interest of Uruguay itself.

However, it may soon become necessary for planning purposes and administrative reasons, to reach a definitive decision on implementation of the program for transfer of equipment to Uruguay, and it will be essential to know whether Uruguay intends to meet the indispensable condition prerequisite to participation in the program. It is therefore suggested that you take an early opportunity to discuss this matter with Domínguez Cámpora, making it plain to him that it is essential for the reasons given above that those responsible for implementing the program in this Government know whether Uruguay actually wishes to receive our assistance in the manner contemplated when the negotiations were carried on. While we are sympathetic with regard to any internal difficulties this may pose, it is our desire that Uruguay understand fully the possibility that extended delay in initialling the Plan [Page 1568] may make it impossible for this significant strengthening of Uruguay’s defense capability to be carried out.

If Domínguez introduces extraneous issues into the conversation, such as wool tops, he should be reminded of the irrelevance of these issues in the light of past history. At his own request, explained entirely on the basis of the special aspects of the Uruguayan constitutional system, the United States waived the practice insisted upon in other negotiations of initialling the Plan immediately after the signing of the Agreement. This was accepted only because Domínguez assured us that the Plan would be initialled immediately following ratification.

With reference to the fourth paragraph of the Embassy’s despatch No. 98 of August 11, the Department believes that the Embassy should make no further effort to discourage Uruguayan officials from showing the Plan to Herrerista members of the Consejo, since this is so strictly an internal Uruguayan matter that suggestions from us pertaining thereto might be counterproductive.

  1. Drafted by Deputy Director of the Office of Regional American Affairs Jamison and Mr. Dearborn; approved by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Woodward.
  2. Not printed (733.5 MSP/8–1153).