154. Summary Notes of a Meeting of the Delegation’s Steering Committee, Buenos Aires, August 26, 19571

General Economic Agreement. Mr. Leddy suggested that by Tuesday or Wednesday2 of this week we should endeavor to have shifted from a treaty to a resolution. Mr. Leddy will be seeing Garcia Robles (Mexico) tonight. Mr. Willis and Mr. Corbett are having lunch with Hernandez Delgado (Mexico) today and Mr. Rubottom may join them for the purpose of bringing up the general agreement. If real [Page 535] difficulty with the Mexicans should develop over the agreement, Carrillo Flores (Mexico) will be contacted. As previously indicated, there is no problem with the Brazilians about seeking a resolution instead of a treaty.

Economic Development. Mr. Corbett reported that three proposals on financing economic development (Chile, Uruguay, Cuba) are being studied for the purpose of combining them to take account of private investment and present financial institutions and to come out with an action recommendation along the lines of Recommendation No. 7 of the CPR.3 Chile, it was noted, is not as intransigent as it was at Rio with respect to an Inter-American Bank.

Mr. Corbett said that he is having lunch with the Mexicans today to endeavor to moderate their proposal about the IBRD.4

The principal objective that the Ecuadorans seem to have at the Conference is to get approval of a resolution calling for a model tax treaty. Mr. Gordon5 and Mr. Meyer6 have sought unsuccessfully to talk the Ecuadorans out of this proposal. Such a model as the Ecuadorans desire would be too general to be useful. It was agreed, however, that the resolution would not be greatly harmful and that if necessary the US will ultimately vote for it provided Mr. Gordon agrees.

Mr. Corbett said that there were some resolutions in his committee on financial assistance for agrarian reform.

On other aspects of economic development, there are a few resolutions, each with some local applicability in the countries making the proposals. Examples are two resolutions on collecting statistics and on asking the IMF to study inflation (Cuba).

Foreign Trade. Mr. Nichols and Mr. Metzger7 are having a meeting with the Bolivians to endeavor to induce them to withdraw their resolution about attachment of bank funds. Mr. Dillon pointed out that since the Bolivian delegation is under instructions from La Paz [Page 536] to attain this resolution, possibly we would have to get our Embassy at La Paz to approach the Bolivian Government. An alternative would be a resolution as suggested by Mr. Metzger providing that earmarked Central Bank funds will not be seized.

Technical Cooperation. A drafting group working on the Brazilian and Mexican resolutions has come up with seven recommendations:

A CPR recommendation implies a fund for the Secretary General, and this recommendation would now be carried further in providing for direct technical assistance.
Loans would be provided to educational institutions under a fund established by the Secretary General with donations, the source of which is not specified. The thought behind this proposal is the Venezuelan offer at Panama and a use of the Smathers Fund.
The Brazilians are pressing hard to have the US contribution, which is now 70 percent of the general fund, become 70 percent of the general fund plus host-country contributions for specific projects within those countries.
This recommendation has to do with administrative problems.
5. and 6.
These recommendations provide that the IA-ECOSOC and national agencies would provide coordination.
To make possible advance planning, an earlier date for pledges would be set.

Mr. Williams saw no special difficulties with 4, 5, 6 and 7. Mr. Dillon believed that we might, with some modifications, agree to 1 and 2. The principal difficulty for the US would be with 3, to which we could not agree.

Transportation. Mr. Nolan reported that three resolutions had been approved by the working group. Still under consideration are a resolution on freight rates (Brazil), and two proposals (Panama, Uruguay) on River Plate transportation. Mr. Nolan indicated that his committee will probably complete its work by the middle of the week.

Coordination Committee. Mr. Dillon pointed out that this committee should meet to act on the assignment of certain resolutions.

The Chilean and Mexican delegations have submitted resolutions on the frequency of economic conferences, suggesting that the Ministers of Finance or Economy meet every three years. Ambassador Dreier indicated that he will talk to representatives of these delegations about their proposals. Mr. Dillon said that the US position is that frequent meetings are desirable but not formal conferences such as the present one. It was agreed that we should seek to get the Mexican and Chilean resolutions on the subject combined and broadened to request the IA–ECOSOC to consider the frequency and type of meetings.

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CPR Recommendations. Ambassador Dreier asked that we be alert for any resolutions which imply changes in CPR recommendations. Mr. Dillon asked that our delegation be particularly alert to avoid any such results at this Conference.

Termination Date. Mr. Rubottom asked that we press informally, whenever and wherever possible, to have the committees finish their work on Thursday8 so that plenaries could be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was pointed out that Committee I cannot complete its work by Thursday. At the same time, however, our pressure on all committees would be conducive to Committee I’s finishing as soon as possible.

Ambassador’s Reception. It was announced that heads of other delegations are being invited to the Ambassador’s reception on Thursday night. The Ambassador asked that there be submitted promptly (to Mr. Young9) the names of other key people on the other delegations so that they might also be invited. Local Ambassadors on the other delegations should be included. Also, there should be included key officials in the Secretariat (such as Bermudez10 and Mora).

  1. Source: Department of State, OAS Files: Lot 60 D 665, USDel Meetings. Official Use Only. Drafted by Sanders.
  2. August 27 or 28.
  3. See footnote 8, Document 134.
  4. Soaec 37 from Buenos Aires, August 25, concerning the financing of economic development, reads in part: “Mexicans introduced resolution implying mild critical attitude towards implementation of Rio resolution on local currency and general import financing by IBRD in special cases, but approving EXIM Bank policy this matter. Resolution proposes: (1) Direction to IA–ECOSOC to take up matter with IBRD directly; (2) Recommendation to member governments to instruct their executive directors to review this problem in executive board of Bank. In background is desire of Mexicans to obtain loans outside petroleum and power without importing foreign capital goods, citing IBRD loan to Southern Italy as precedent.” (Department of State, Central Files, 365/8–2557)
  5. Nathan Gordon, Chief, International Tax Staff, Office of International Finance, Department of the Treasury.
  6. Charles A. Meyer, Vice President, Latin American Operations, Sears, Roebuck and Company.
  7. Stanley D. Metzger, Assistant Legal Adviser for Economic Affairs.
  8. August 29.
  9. Apparently Charles L. Young, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the U.S. Delegation.
  10. Washington P. Bermúdez, Chairman, Inter-American Economic and Social Council.