141. Memorandum of a Meeting, Department of State, Washington, June 28, 19571


  • Buenos Aires Economic Conference


  • W—Mr. Dillon
  • E—Mr. Kalijarvi
  • Mr. Corbett
  • Mr. Corse
  • Mr. Tom Robinson
  • Mr. Nichols
  • Mr. Whitehouse
  • ARA—Ambassador Randall
  • Mr. Corliss
  • Mr. Sanders

Mr. Dillon said that, at the suggestion of Secretary Dulles, Mr. Burgess will supervise fiscal and monetary topics, and Mr. Dillon will be responsible for the other subjects. Mr. Dillon asked that E prepare for him a more adequate briefing on trade than appears in BAEC Memo 13.2

At the Conference Mr. Leddy will be Mr. Dillon’s special assistant. A set of BAEC memos should be sent to Mr. Leddy as soon as he returns from his present absence.

Mr. Dillon asked that a series of briefings, beginning the week of July 8, be set up for Mr. Burgess and him. These meetings should be attended by a small number of State and Treasury officers. Position papers, as they are prepared, will be reviewed at the meetings.3

Mr. Dillon commented that the US views on the agenda topics of the Conference seem to be consistently negative but that we should make an effort to take a positive and accommodating position whenever possible.

It will be decidedly advantageous for Mr. Anderson to attend the Conference, and it would be desirable for him to be there for 4 or 5 working days. We should find out as promptly as possible what is likely to transpire at the Conference during August 15, 16 and 17 since the 15th and the 17th are holidays. It might turn out that we would want to recommend to Mr. Anderson that he arrive in Buenos [Page 512] Aires on Sunday, August 18 and remain at the Conference through the following week. (Following the meeting ARA sent a telegram to our Embassy in Buenos Aires requesting information on the work of the Conference during August 15–17.)4

Careful thought should be given promptly to the selection of officers who will be available to coordinate views in Washington and to provide answers and guidance to the US Delegation in Buenos Aires. The selection of a top official for this purpose should be made before Mr. Kalijarvi departs on leave on July 3. (Mr. Kalijarvi is to return from leave on August 5). With Mr. Dillon at the Conference, Mr. Kalijarvi’s work load, apart from Conference matters, will be increased to such an extent that he will probably not have time to take responsibility for overseeing the Washington end of the work of the Conference; perhaps Mr. Murphy should be asked. ARA and E should select representatives to participate in Washington in the support of the US Delegation at the Conference.

Since it may not be possible for the Latin Americans and us to reach accord on a General Inter-American Economic Agreement, we may wish to suggest at the Conference that, instead of a treaty, convention, or agreement, the delegates prepare a declaration or resolution. Thus, we should have prepared in advance the text of a resolution to submit to the Conference at the proper time, if necessary. This draft should be prepared promptly in State. Its preparation should not be divulged to other agencies, except Treasury, for every precaution should be taken to guard against the Latin Americans’ getting the erroneous impression that we do not intend seriously to negotiate for a General Agreement.

It would be desirable to accomplish as much as possible in negotiations on the draft General Inter-American Economic Agreement before the Conference starts, and we may want to propose to the Inter-American Economic and Social Council (IA–ECOSOC) that representatives of the governments assemble in Buenos Aires to negotiate in advance of the Conference. Before deciding to make this proposal to the IA–ECOSOC, however, we should await the mid-July replies asked of our Embassies in an instruction now being sent to the posts conveying, for transmission to the local governments, the present US views on the draft Agreement.5

Mr. Dillon stated that he will leave Washington on August 6, visit Lima and Santiago, and arrive in Buenos Aires on August 13. Mr. Dillon will use these stops partly to discuss Buenos Aires agenda topics with local officials.

[Page 513]

Mr. Dillon said that he will ascertain the representation of the White House, if any, on the US Delegation, and that he also will consult with the Export-Import Bank regarding the latter’s representation.

  1. Source: Department of State, OAS Files: Lot 60 D 665, BAEC. Official Use Only. Drafted by Sanders.
  2. Not printed. (Ibid., BAEC—Memos)
  3. At these meetings, Dillon, Burgess, and other participants reviewed the draft position papers prepared by the EA Committee and proposed changes. Memoranda of these meetings, drafted by Sanders, are ibid., BAEC—Pre-Conference Preparations.
  4. Telegram 1446, June 28. (Ibid., Central Files, 365/6–2857)
  5. Apparent reference to instruction CA–88, July 3. (Ibid., 365/7–357)