15. Memorandum of Discussion at the 297th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, September 20, 19561

Present at the 297th meeting of the Council were the President of the United States, presiding; the Acting Secretary of State; the Secretary of Defense; and the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization. Also present were the Secretary of the Treasury; the Attorney General; the Secretary of Commerce (for Items 3 and 4); the Special Assistant to the President for Disarmament; the Director, Bureau of the Budget; the Director, International Cooperation Administration; the Director, U.S. Information Agency; the Chairman, Interdepartmental Intelligence Conference; the Chairman, Interdepartmental Committee on Internal Security; the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Acting Director of Central Intelligence; the Assistant to the President; William H. Jackson, Special Assistant to the President; the White House Staff Secretary; the NSC Representative on Internal Security; the Executive Secretary, NSC; and the Deputy Executive Secretary, NSC.

There follows a summary of the discussion at the meeting and the main points taken.

[Here follows discussion of items 1 and 2, “Preventing Entry into the United States of Radioactive Materials Through Diplomatic Shipments”, and “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security”.]

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3. US. Policy Toward Latin America (NSC 5432/1; NSC Action No. 1548; NSC 5613; NSC Action No. 1601; Memo for NSC from Acting Executive Secretary, same subject, dated September 14, 19562)

Mr. Jackson reminded the Council that pursuant to action on NSC 5613 at the last Council meeting, the Planning Board had revised certain paragraphs of NSC 5613. He said that he would briefly explain the nature of the revision made in each paragraph. He first dealt with the changes made in Paragraphs 14 and 32 which, without discussion, were accepted by the National Security Council.

With respect to Paragraph 22, Secretary Weeks said that he had not been present when the Council considered NSC 5613 at its earlier meeting and did not wish to reopen questions that had been settled at that meeting. Nevertheless, he still believed that it was desirable that Paragraph 22 contain a statement that we would not provide loans for Latin American developmental projects in cases where discriminatory practices by the borrowing government were responsible for the unavailability of private capital.

The President commented that he thought that the point made by Secretary Weeks had now been covered in Paragraph 22 as that paragraph had been revised. After all, one of the conditions for the grant of loans to Latin American countries was the condition that such a loan was in the best interests of both the United States and the borrowing country. If discriminatory practices against private capital existed in the borrowing country, it would not be in the best interests of the United States to make the loan. Secretary Humphrey expressed agreement with the President’s view that as rewritten Paragraph 22 was satisfactory.

Mr. Jackson then went on to explain the changes recommended by the Planning Board in Paragraphs 34–a and 35–b which were accepted by the Council without discussion.

Finally, Mr. Jackson explained that Paragraph 35 had been revised by the Planning Board to meet the point made by the President at the earlier Council meeting that while standardization of weapons was a desirable goal, the United States should be aware of the dangers of creating an undue demand on the United States for modernization, replacement, spare parts, and ammunition.

The President pointed out that the thing we had to watch was the possibility of quarrels breaking out in so many corners of the world. It is our policy to keep these quarrels from breaking out and of course if one of these states threatens to purchase military equipment from some other nation, they feel they are in a position [Page 118] to blackmail us into providing the equipment they desire. Accordingly, the President believed that the desk man in the State Department should keep a very careful watch over such developments and lead these boys in Latin America along the path which will avoid quarrels among them. Secretary Wilson expressed agreement with the President that the more successful we are in keeping these states “cooled off”, the better we would be. Secretary Hoover pointed out that carrying out this policy would require the closest cooperation among the Defense Department agencies, the State Department, and the CIA.

In conclusion the President reminded the Council of what great anxiety we had experienced at the beginning of World War II because of the large amount of German military equipment and aircraft which had been sent to Latin American states near the Panama Canal. This was still something to watch over.

The National Security Council:

Adopted the draft revisions of Paragraphs 14, 32, 34–b, and 35 of NSC 5613 prepared by the NSC Planning Board, pursuant to NSC Action No. 1601–b(4), and the draft revisions by the Planning Board of Paragraphs 22 and 34–a of NSC 5613 transmitted by the reference memorandum of September 14.

Note: NSC 5613 as amended by NSC Action No. 1601–b and further amended by the above action, subsequently approved by the President, circulated as NSC 5613/1 for implementation by all appropriate Executive departments and agencies of the U.S. Government, and referred to the Operations Coordinating Board as the coordinating agency designated by the President.

[Here follows discussion of items 4 and 5, “United States Policy Toward Yugoslavia”, and “U.S. Objectives and Courses of Action in Korea”.]

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Prepared by Gleason.
  2. Supra.