115. Editorial Note

On June 2 the Panamanian Government circulated a draft declaration to the Ambassadors of the other American Republics and suggested that comments be sent to their respective representatives on the Council of the Organization of American States (COAS) who would finalize the draft. (Telegram 419 from Panama City, June 1; Department of State, Central Files, 362/6–156) Assistant Secretary Holland and his staff found the Panamanian draft too long and too detailed, factors they believed to be serious obstacles to approval by the Presidents. Officials of the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, meanwhile, had prepared a draft declaration which they considered suitable from “the political and practical standpoint” and which Secretary Dulles approved on June 5. (Memorandum from Holland to Dulles, June 5, with draft attached; Ibid., 362/6–556.) Ambassador Dreier circulated this draft informally to the members of the COAS as an unofficial working paper while they were revising the Panamanian draft. (Telegram 357 to Panama City, June 8; Ibid., 362/6–156) On June 13 the General Committee of the COAS approved a draft of the declaration prepared by a working group consisting of the representatives of Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. In a memorandum of June 14 to Dulles, Holland wrote that the draft prepared by the working group incorporated “much of the language of the United States proposal and is consistent with its general character.” Dulles suggested two changes and authorized Holland to inform the representatives of the governments of the Organization of American [Page 444] States that the United States considered the draft satisfactory. (Ibid., 362/6–1456)

On July 2, the General Committee of the COAS met to consider the comments of the various governments and the working group subsequently prepared a revised text. After the revision was approved by the General Committee on July 3, the Council asked its members to transmit it to their respective Presidents for final review and approval. The revised text which incorporated suggestions made by Dulles as well as other representatives remained substantially the same as the draft prepared by the working group. (Memorandum from Holland to Dulles, July 5; Ibid., 362/7–556) President Eisenhower approved it on July 9. (Memorandum from Hoover to Eisenhower, July 6, Eisenhower Library, Whitman File. A copy of this memorandum with attached draft of declaration is in Department of State, Central Files, 362/7–656.) For text of the declaration signed by the Presidents in Panama on July 22, see Department of State Bulletin, August 6, 1956, page 220.