132. Circular Instruction From the Secretary of State to All Diplomatic Missions in the American Republics1


References: CA–2700, September 25, 1956;2 CA–4825, December 11, 1956;3 CA–5243, December 28, 1956;4 CA–5278, December 31, 1956;5 CA–5760, January 18, 1957;6 Depcirtel 613, January 16, 1957;7 Depcirtel 621, January 18, 1957.8

The Inter-American Committee of Presidential Representatives (CPR) held its second meeting in Washington, January 28–29, 1957, adjourning one day sooner than anticipated. The Committee accomplished its purpose of drafting an agenda under which proposals for strengthening the Organization of American States (OAS) could be submitted for consideration and possible presentation to the Presidents of the American Republics.

[Page 474]

The Agenda

This agenda, copy attached, was built around a compromise worked out in informal conversations during the few days immediately preceding the meeting, between the U.S. proposal (see CA–4825, Dec. 11, 1956) and a draft agenda compiled by a group of the Latin American Representatives9 residing in Washington. The final text was approved unanimously by the full Committee after lengthy discussion and several drafting changes.10

The principal differences between the approved agenda and the U.S. proposal are contained in item 1, “Determination of the preferential objectives of economic cooperation within the framework of the OAS”. These objectives have to do with practical solutions necessary to promote international trade of the American Republics, stimulation of private investment including elimination of obstacles to its growth, and facilitation of the financing of economic and social projects of a public nature. These agenda topics, in their breadth, go beyond that desired by the United States in its prior negotiations and allow for the introduction of proposals to which the United States for various reasons cannot agree, in that they refer more to basic questions of economic policy than to activities capable of being carried out through the OAS: e.g., stabilization of prices, revision of tax laws, etc.

The inclusion of item number 1 was accepted by the United States on the basis that the wording, as finally drafted, included no reference to any specific proposal to which the United States was opposed, nor did it require the eventual adoption of any specific substantive recommendations to the Presidents. In this connection, [Page 475] the Representative of the President of the United States made clear that insofar as basic economic questions were concerned—such as prices in international trade, general economic development funds, and double taxation—he would not be able to agree to any substantive recommendations and would be able merely to support inclusion in the CPR’s final report of a description of the problems, a recognition of their importance to the American Republics, and a recommendation that continued efforts be made through appropriate channels to achieve satisfactory solutions.

The United States had also opposed inclusion of an agenda item referring to the Inter-American and Pan American Highways. The subject of highways was vigorously pressed by Lic. José Isaac Fábrega, the Panamanian Representative, and supported by a few others. An acceptable compromise formula was also worked out on this subject before and during the meeting.

Interim Committee and Subcommittees

At the closing session, the CPR established an Interim Committee of 2111 and four Subcommittees to study the various proposals which members may present under the approved agenda items, and to draft a report and recommendations for consideration by the CPR at its next meeting set tentatively to start on April 29, 1957, in Washington. The four Subcommittees and the items assigned to them are as follows:

  • Subcommittee 1—Agenda Item 1 (Foreign Trade, Private Investment and Public Financing)
    • Chairman—Ambassador Manuel Tello, Representative of the President of Mexico.
  • Subcommittee 2—Agenda Item 2 (Nuclear Energy)
    • Chairman—Ambassador Guillermo Sevilla Sacasa, Representative of the President of Nicaragua.
  • Subcommittee 3—Agenda Items 3a, 3b, 3d, 3e, 3j, 3k (Health, Agriculture, Industrialization, Trade Statistics, and Inter-American Highway Systems)
    • Chairman—Ambassador César González, Representative of the President of Venezuela.
  • Subcommittee 4—Agenda Items 3c, 3f, 3g, 3h, 3i (Education, Technical Cooperation, Housing, Public Information, and Social Welfare)
    • Chairman—Ambassador Adolfo A. Vicchi, Representative of the President of Argentina.

Committee Document 59,12 of which copies have been sent under separate transmittal slips, lists the Representatives who expressed an interest in serving on each Subcommittee. Any Representative may, however, participate in the work of any Subcommittee at any time. Representatives who are not resident in Washington were authorized to designate deputies or alternates to serve on the Interim Committee and its Subcommittees. Expert advisers may also be assigned to these groups.

Interim Activities (until April 29)

It was decided that Representatives would have until March 15 to submit proposals under the approved agenda items. These should be submitted to the Chairman of the CPR, Room 3103, New State Building, Department of State, Washington, D.C. Estimates of cost of each proposal are to be included as far as possible and the Secretary General of the OAS indicated his willingness to assist in making such estimates. It is expected that the Subcommittees will initiate their work shortly on the basis of such proposals as are already available.

Atomic Energy

Towards the end of the meeting, Dr. Milton Eisenhower stated that copies of all U.S. proposals to the Committee had been distributed except for the one dealing with atomic energy. This he wished to present in person. He thereupon read excerpts embodying the principal ideas expressed in Document 4913 and had copies in English and Spanish distributed to all members of the Committee.14 The Document under reference, entitled “Statement on Atomic Energy by Dr. Milton S. Eisenhower, Representative of the President of the United States of America”, is being transmitted to the Embassies under separate cover. It will be found to include the points set forth [Page 477] in Department’s circular telegram 621 of January 18, 1957, plus considerable additional detail and background information.15

Action Requested

Unless the Chief of Mission perceives objection, he is requested to deliver to the Foreign Minister (or other appropriate high official) a copy of the agenda approved at the meeting of the CPR on January 29 as well as a copy of the statement on atomic energy made by Dr. Milton S. Eisenhower, Representative of the President of the United States. The Foreign Minister should also be informed of the arrangements for interim work comprising the four Subcommittees, of the date of March 15 established for the submission of all proposals under the agenda, and of the date of April 29 as the opening of the third and final meeting of the Committee.

In connection with item number 1 of the agenda, the Foreign Office should be informed that the U.S. Government has from the beginning maintained that the CPR was not intended as a forum for the consideration of basic economic policy questions, such as prices in international trade, taxation policy, or establishment of new methods of financing economic development. These questions have been debated repeatedly at various inter-American conferences and will no doubt receive further consideration at the Economic Conference at Buenos Aires later on this year. Dr. Eisenhower, as Representative of the President of the United States, repeated this position to the other members of the Committee and made clear that if controversial and difficult subjects of this sort were brought up before the Committee, he would not be in a position to approve any substantive recommendations thereon. However, he would be very glad to include in a report of the Committee to the Presidents (which all hope will be unanimously adopted) a recognition of these problems and of their importance together with a recommendation that continued efforts be made through appropriate channels to work out satisfactory solutions. The Embassy should emphasize this point to the Foreign Minister sufficiently to make it abundantly clear that efforts to use the CPR as a means of changing the policy of the United States with respect to price stabilization schemes, establishment of an inter-American bank or fund, or the adoption of a multilateral program of tax concessions will not be successful. At [Page 478] the same time, it should be made clear that some proposals of a non-controversial sort under item 1, as well as the remaining agenda items all point to the possibility of having the CPR bring forth recommendations to the Chiefs of State which will successfully achieve its purpose of strengthening the OAS in the economic and social field.

Please report to the Department as soon as possible on the conversations held pursuant to the above instruction.



The agenda which was approved is as follows:

Determination of the preferential objectives of economic cooperation within the framework of the OAS:
Foreign Trade: Measures tending to promote the international trade of the American Republics. Advancement of practical solutions necessary to this end within the OAS.
Private Investment: The stimulation of national and foreign private investment; elimination of obstacles to its growth.
Public Financing: Facilitate the financing of economic and social projects of a public nature which are associated with the general and permanent progress of the hemisphere. Study, without interfering in the internal affairs of any country, of the availabilities of public capital in relation to the effective utilization thereof.
Nuclear Energy: Creation within the OAS of a commission to study the bases of inter-American cooperation in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Establishment or development of institutions or centers of research and training.
Broadening and strengthening the activities of the OAS with the following objectives:
Eradication, within fixed periods, of the principal diseases that affect the population of the continent, in accord with studies of the Pan American Sanitary Office; and help to the governments and other international entities in the execution of coordinated sanitary programs.
Intensification of activities in the field of agriculture through the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences, with adequate attention to agricultural products of the tropical zones, such as bananas and cacao, and to agriculture and livestock raising in the temperate zones.
Active collaboration, with the governments that request it, in the execution of national programs and plans for the improvement of education, giving special attention and assistance to the reduction of illiteracy.
The study and presentation of recommendations on sound plans for industrialization, mining, and general economic development.
The intensification of statistical studies on foreign commerce and the publication of analytical studies on this subject.
Review the Technical Cooperation Program for the purpose of providing increased opportunity for, and intensifying, study and technical training. Extend direct technical assistance to the governments in those fields in which they request it.
Cooperation in the formulation and execution of programs to deal with the problems of low-cost housing.
The strengthening of the OAS, in its headquarters and through subsidiary offices in the member countries, as an active center for the dissemination of information about the OAS and the member countries. Encouragement of the formation of “national commissions” that could cooperate in similar activities. Facilitation of full participation by private persons of each country in the programs of the Organization and in other activities that contribute to its objectives.
Increasing the means at the disposal of the OAS for assisting the governments in the organization and administration of public welfare and social security programs.
Completion of the studies being made by the OAS relative to the construction of the road section that will link the Inter-American Highway with the Pan American Highway system.
Intensification of the studies of the highway routes of the Gulf of Mexico and of the Caribbean Sea.
Administrative Matters:
Adaptations in the organization and administration of the OAS that appear desirable in the light of the recommendations of the Committee.
Means of financing the activities included in the final recommendations of the Committee.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 361/2–1157. Official Use Only. Drafted by Earl H. Luboeansky, Office of Inter-American Regional Political Affairs, and Dreier, and approved by Dreier.
  2. Not printed. (Ibid., 361/9–2556)
  3. Not printed. (Ibid., 361/12–1156)
  4. Not printed. (Ibid., 361/12–2856)
  5. Not printed. (Ibid., 511.00/12–3156)
  6. Not printed. (Ibid., 361/1–1857)
  7. Document 130.
  8. Supra.
  9. Not found in Department of State files.
  10. On January 28 at the first of the four working sessions held during the meeting, Milton Eisenhower explained why he had omitted some projects listed in the September compilation (Doc. 5, Rev. 2). He said that no single conference could deal with all the mentioned problems, that some could be better dealt with by the Buenos Aires Economic Conference, and that there were limits to the OAS budget. He stressed that if other proposals involving significant costs were favored, it would be necessary for him to withdraw some of the U.S. proposals, which he said he would be happy to do to achieve the Committee’s end. In his summary record of the morning session of January 28, Luboeansky, Executive Secretary of the Secretariat created to handle CPR affairs, reported that Milton Eisenhower requested that the drafting committee be appointed without objection to revise the Latin American group’s agenda. Luboeansky wrote that Milton Eisenhower “requested that the drafting committee word the agenda so that specific proposals and projects could be discussed, but draft it in such a way that the agenda itself would not imply a particular position by the Committee or outline the solution to the problem envisaged. He specifically asked that with reference to the Latin American proposed agenda, certain portions not acceptable to the U.S. be changed.” (Department of State, OAS Files: Lot 60 D 665, CPR Memo 170, CPR Memos, 145–223) The approved agenda is ibid., Current Economic Developments: Lot 70 D 467, Issue No. 512, February 5, 1957, pp. 12–18.
  11. This committee was composed of the Presidential Representatives or their designated alternates who resided in Washington.
  12. Reference is to CPR Memo 59. (Department of State, OAS Files: Lot 60 D 665, CPR Memos, 1–63)
  13. Reference is to CPR Memo 49. (Ibid.)
  14. A summary of Milton Eisenhower’s statement to the Committee is Ibid., Current Economic Developments: Lot 70 D 467, Issue No. 512, February 5, 1957, pp. 16–18.
  15. On January 29 at the fourth working session, Ambassador Vicchi disagreed with Milton Eisenhower’s atomic energy proposal. The Ambassador reiterated his government’s position that regional centers and institutions for research and training in atomic energy would be more effective than the national centers proposed by the United States and that such a regional center should be located in Argentina. (Summary Record of Fourth Session, January 29, 1957, CPR Memo 173; Ibid., OAS Files: Lot 60 D 665, CPR Memos, 145–223)