127. Memorandum From the Secretary of State to the President1


  • Inter-American Committee of Presidential Representatives

The luncheon which you are giving on Monday, September 17, to the representatives of the Presidents of the Latin American countries who are meeting with Dr. Milton Eisenhower will provide an opportunity for you to express your personal interest in the objective of developing a more effective and useful Organization of [Page 466] American States (OAS). Following the luncheon the representatives will proceed to the conference site for the opening session.

The Committee of Presidential Representatives is to meet in two sessions: a preliminary meeting from September 17–19, after which it will adjourn probably until February when it will meet again for two to three weeks. The meeting has been planned as an informal, round-table study group to encourage maximum freedom in the exchange of views. The sessions will be closed to the public and the press.

The objective of the preliminary meeting is to permit the representatives to present their ideas on the areas in which the OAS can be made a more effective instrument of economic and social cooperation and to decide on the subject matter of necessary studies and the procedure for making them. The second meeting will be devoted to a review of this preparatory work and the formulation of specific recommendations to be submitted to the Presidents.

There are enclosed some suggested points which you might wish to use in talking with the Latin American representatives. Dr. Milton Eisenhower agrees with these points.




In talking with the Latin American representatives I suggest you mention the following three points as things you believe they might bear in mind during the preliminary meeting:

The task should be to reach agreement on worthwhile activities and objectives for the Organization of American States, rather than merely to recommend increased financial support. Worthwhile activities will involve costs, but we should start by identifying objectives rather than by merely establishing some target for increased contribution to the Organization of American States. Once the objectives are established, we can decide how much should be undertaken, and the United States will be ready to play its part in the program agreed upon.
Proposals and recommendations made to the Presidents should be couched in tangible, concrete form. This will make possible their prompt approval and execution by the competent organs of the Organization of American States and avoid the need for further study and discussion.
The strengthening of the Organization of American States will have repercussions not only throughout this Hemisphere but also throughout the world. It will increase the sense of unity among the American Republics, and further identify them with the nations [Page 467] of the free world in the support of the principles of international peace and cooperation.

I also recommend that you ask the representatives of the other countries to communicate personally to their respective Presidents your interest in developing a more effective and useful Organization of American States, and your hope that each of the Presidents will give personal attention to the work of the Committee.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DullesHerter Series. Confidential. Drafted by Dreier and sent through Holland to Dulles.