5. Memorandum of Discussion at the 258th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, September 8, 19551

Present at the 258th Council meeting were the Vice President of the United States, presiding; the Acting Secretary of State; the Acting Secretary of Defense; and the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization. Also present were the Secretary of the Treasury; Mr. William F. Tompkins for the Attorney General (for Items 3 and 4); the Acting Director, Bureau of the Budget; the Special Assistant to the President on Disarmament; Dr. John von Neumann for the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (for Item 2); the Director, U.S. Information Agency; the Secretary of the Air Force (for Item 2); [Page 14] General Twining for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Acting Director of Central Intelligence; Mr. Dillon Anderson, Special Assistant to the President; Brig. Gen. Theodore W. Parker for Mr. Nelson A. Rockefeller, Special Assistant to the President; the Deputy Assistant to the President; 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 1–7: “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security”, “Intercontinental Ballistics Missile Program”, “Activation of a Volunteer Freedom Corps”, “Evacuation of U.S. Civilian Population Abroad Prior to Hostilities Involving Regimes Hostile to the United States”, “United States Policy Toward Iran”, “Antarctica”, and “Expansion of the Labor Service Organization in Germany”.]

8. United States Objectives and Courses of Action With Respect to Latin America (NSC 5432/1; Progress Report, dated August 10, 1955, by OCB on NSC 5432/1)

After Mr. Anderson had briefed the Council on the contents of this Progress Report, Secretary Humphrey, noting a point made in this briefing, inquired whether present U.S. policy really contemplated that armed forces of any Latin American states would be sent outside the Hemisphere in the event of war or emergency. If such were the case, Secretary Humphrey believed that our policy was highly unrealistic. Secretary Hoover pointed out that the service of Latin American military forces outside the continent had arisen in connection with the war in Korea. Secretary Humphrey said he understood this, but he could not imagine that we were now continuing to implement such a policy objective. The Vice President commented that if we tried to get the Latin Americans to develop armed forces of sufficient strength to serve outside the Hemisphere, we would be in for “huge shakedowns” of money from these people. Secretary Humphrey thought this particular point was sufficient in itself to call for a review of NSC 5432/1. Governor Stassen, however, pointed out that if we did not put up any money to develop an extra-hemispheric capability for the armed forces of a Latin American nation, nothing was likely to happen, and he did not believe we should put up money for this purpose.

Governor Stassen then went on to point out that some of the worst situations in Latin America did not seem to be highlighted in the present Progress Report, notably the probable winner in the next Brazilian election, Mr. Kubitschek, who had the support of the Brazilian Communist Party.

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Secretary Hoover expressed considerable qualifications of Governor Stassen’s poor opinion of Kubitschek, and said that if Kubitschek were elected, he, Secretary Hoover, had reason to believe our relations with Brazil would continue to be satisfactory.

Secretary Humphrey said that the entire Progress Report sounded like a Pollyanna report to him. There were much more serious problems in Latin America than this Progress Report indicated. Governor Stassen expressed agreement, and said that in fact the situation was not getting better but worse. Secretary Hoover took issue on the charge that the report was of Pollyanna character. Indeed, he thought that on the whole it was rather pessimistic. Certainly the political and economic situations of many of the Republics were very difficult.

The Vice President commented that there was really little or nothing that the United States could do about the drop in the price of coffee, and that perhaps was the key to the economic problems of many of these countries.

The National Security Council:

Noted and discussed the reference Progress Report on the subject by the Operations Coordinating Board.
Noted that interagency consideration between the Departments of State and Defense is proceeding as to whether the U.S. should continue along the course of action in paragraph 13–c of NSC 5432/1 regarding “support of collective actions in other theaters”.

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Prepared by Gleason on September 15.