362/2–1854: Circular airgram

The Acting Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Offices in the American Republics 1



  • Communist Item on Agenda of Tenth Inter-American Conference

CA–4452. In any further conversations you may have regarding the Communist issue and its possible relationship to the items on the agenda of the Tenth Inter-American Conference, you should bear in mind the importance of preventing the development in Latin American thinking of the idea that their approving a strong resolution against Communism would constitute a concession to the U.S. which could only be justified by concessions on our part to Latin America in the economic field. The fact is that the political-security phase of the OAS relationship can and must stand on its own feet. The U.S., as the most powerful American nation in the OAS, has limited its freedom of action by subscribing to the non-intervention principle. It has also, by subscribing to the principle of collective action based on consultation, given to the relatively weak Latin American states an important voice in determining steps for the protection of U.S. security interests. The issue of Communism in the hemisphere provides a test case to show whether that relationship is a useful and effective one. Obviously if the OAS does not take a reasonably strong stand on a matter of major importance to the U.S. (as well as to the other republics) from the security standpoint, some question [Page 300] must be raised regarding the soundness of the OAS relationship. There is, in principle, no room for bargaining with the political-security field as against the economic field. In the latter, as in the former, the U.S. will continue to attempt to work out with the other republics an increasingly satisfactory and constructive relationship that will stand on its own feet on the basis of realistic considerations, and contribute thereby to broadening the scope of inter-American cooperation.

The foregoing statement is for your background rather than for communication to other governments. However, it is believed that the viewpoint set forth therein should be of interest in connection with any informal conversations which you may have with persons who may advance the theory of bargaining economic versus political-security interests in the OAS.

  1. Drafted by Ambassador Dreier; cleared with Mr. Atwood.