Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Secretary of State1

top secret
  • [Participants:] Secretary Lovett
  • Secretary Acheson

Mr. Lovett telephoned the Secretary and urged that the Committee working on Venezuela Trade Agreement negotiations should not only get to work terribly fast but that they should not be in the position of “representing” any other “American commercial” interests. In other words, they should not work for quid pro quos. The Secretary said this might be difficult because the Committee was trying to work out an agreement which will stand on its own feet.

Mr. Lovett said he did not think it was possible in this case to work out an agreement with Venezuela that would stand on its own feet and at the same time accomplish the overriding objectives which we have toward the new steel production and oil. These are so important to us that they must override all other considerations, and he did not think there were any other considerations, not excluding coal, that should be allowed to interfere with or confuse the main objectives.

The Secretary said he would talk with the people who were working on the matter. He also said that the President understood the problem, was expecting a recommendation, and would approve it when received.

  1. Personal Assistant to the Secretary Barbara Evans is indicated as the drafting officer on the source text, but the memorandum is initialed by Mr. Battle; apparently circulated to Assistant Secretaries Thorp and Miller.