158. Summary Notes of a Meeting of the Delegation’s Steering Committee, Buenos Aires, August 31, 19571

General Economic Agreement. Mr. Rubottom reported that he had seen the Mexicans and Brazilians. The Brazilians took our revision of paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of the resolution as their own and gave it to the Mexicans, who were pleased with it except for minor observations. Alkmin called Krieger Vasena and got agreement to have a meeting at 6:30 p.m. yesterday. Five countries were represented at the meeting. Alvarez Restrepo (Chairman of Committee I) reported to Krieger Vasena on Committee I meetings yesterday and today. Alkmin gave Krieger a copy of the draft resolution. Alvarez Restrepo requested that a reference to a common market should be included in the declaration.

At the US Delegation meeting Mr. Rubottom commented that it would seem desirable to endeavor to meet this request. Mr. Leddy suggested some general language that might be included in numbered Paragraph 1 (“including regional and other cooperative measures”).

Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and the US are to contact the other delegations this morning. Mr. Rubottom will be seeing the [Page 546] delegations of Guatemala, Honduras and Cuba before the 10:00 a.m. meeting of Committee I.

At 12:30 p.m. today there will be a meeting of heads of delegations with Krieger Vasena. At that meeting 8 countries will know of the existence of the present US-Brazilian-Mexican draft. Krieger will express the view that a treaty is not possible. Alkmin and Alvarez Restrepo will make statements. The group will adjourn for lunch and to allow time for the preparation of a draft resolution. The latter will be discussed at a 7:00 p.m. meeting of all the heads of delegations.

A key problem is going to be the burial of the concept of a treaty. Ecuador wants to have the matter referred to the Quito Conference in 1959. A suggestion has been made in our delegation that the question of whether a treaty is possible should be referred to the Council of the Organization of American States for decision. It may be that a proposal will be made to open the treaty for signature. If the latter should happen, the US, of course, would not sign and would have to make a statement explaining its position.

Meanwhile Committee I has continued its article by article review of the Secretariat draft, and it may be that the Committee will complete its work today. The US has made a number of reservations. It is expected that the Mexicans will enter reservations on the provision for private investment in the draft. It was pointed out that the more Latin reservations there are, the better will be the likelihood of general acceptance of a resolution instead of a treaty.

Foreign Trade. Committee IV will complete its work today by tying up loose ends, such as a resolution about land-locked countries and one on building materials.

  1. Source: Department of State, OAS Files: Lot 60 D 665, USDel Meetings. Official Use Only. Drafted by Sanders.