216. Memorandum From J. Paul Barringer of the Office of Transport and Communications to the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Prochnow)1
- Mexican Aviation Negotiations—Meeting with the Under Secretary
- January 25 to discuss limited information that might be given to Congress concerning this subject
- Pursuant to your telephone request, TRC has considered this matter and discussed it with ARA/MID.
- At the express request of the President, all information concerning these negotiations has been classified on a “need to know basis.” As far as is known, Departmental officers and officials of the Civil Aeronautics Board have meticulously adhered to the President’s orders.
- It is inevitable that, with Congress again in session and in an election year, considerable pressure will be leveled at the White House, the Department and the CAB by sectional interests such as the New Orleans area and Southern California in an attempt to ascertain the present status of the negotiations. TRC and MID agree that disclosure of any but the most general information and the possible resultant publicity could only damage the objectives of the US in these negotiations.
- On Monday, January 16, CAB Chairman Rizley met with the Under Secretary, Mr. Kalijarvi and Mr. Barringer, to ascertain the appropriate line to take in answer to Congressional inquiries. The Under Secretary agreed that discussion for the public record would [Page 699]be respectfully avoided. Limited general information only should be given at “executive sessions,” approximately as follows: “Appropriate agencies of the Executive Branch are working constantly and assiduously to bring this matter to a successful solution; negotiations with a friendly neighboring country are now in a very delicate stage which might be prejudiced by public attention; and the US was adhering in the negotiations to the basic principles underlying all of its international air transport agreements.”
- For your information there is annexed a brief résumé of the recent history of these negotiations.
In view of the present state of the negotiations, the release of any public information which might give rise to press comment would inevitably be counter-productive to the US objectives in the negotiations. The most desirable course of action would seem to be to avoid all questions on the basis of the President’s classification of the matter and to await the Mexican reaction. Should this reaction be negative or should a period of more than two months elapse without answer, the CAB should be free to issue the Show Cause order.2
That you suggest to the Under Secretary that Congressional, industry and public inquiries should be answered only in accordance with the line which he suggested to Mr. Rizley on January 16 as set forth in paragraph 4.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.1294/1–2556. Confidential.↩
- Reference is to a proposal that the CAB initiate legal action which could have culminated in the termination of operations in the United States by Companía Mexicana de Aviacíon.↩
- Walter C. Buchanan, Acting Minister of Communications and Public Works.↩
- Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.1294/11–3055)↩