4. Editorial Note

In a memorandum to Under Secretary of State Hoover, August 9, 1956, Rubottom, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, summarized a report on Costa Rica prepared by the Operations Coordinating Board (infra) for the National Security Council pursuant to NSC Action No. 1290–d, dated December 22, 1954. Rubottom concluded his memorandum with the recommendation that the Under Secretary move approval by the OCB of the paper on the internal security situation in Costa Rica. (Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 62 D 430, Latin America, 1956) The Rubottom memorandum and a copy of the OCB paper on Costa Rica were forwarded to the Under Secretary under cover of a memorandum dated August 13, prepared in the Office of the Operations Coordinator. The memorandum of August 13 concurred with the recommendation that the Under Secretary move approval of the OCB paper and its implementation under the supervision of the Director of the International Cooperation Administration, John B. Hollister. (Ibid.)

The OCB held its regular weekly meeting on August 15 with Dillon Anderson, the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, acting as chairman and Deputy Under Secretary of State Robert Murphy representing the Department of State. A memorandum of this meeting, prepared by Landreth Harrison of the Office of the Operations Coordinator, includes the following summary of the deliberations on the Costa Rica paper:

“This paper was discussed at some length, particularly Paragraph 47. The Acting Chairman raised the questions as to the nature and cost of the proposed survey. Mr. Murphy commented that the estimated $50–60,000 included only $6–8,000 as the cost of the survey itself and the remaining amount was the estimated costs of training Costa Rican personnel in Costa Rica and in the United States, and the cost of providing necessary equipment to Costa Rican security forces. Mr. Anderson thought that Paragraph 47 should be rephrased to reflect this. Mr. Wyeth for Defense [George A. Wyeth, Jr., [Page 19] of the Office of Operations Coordinating Board Affairs of the Department of Defense] raised the question of the priority of a Costa Rican program stating that Defense felt that available personnel could be used to better advantage elsewhere. Mr. Allen Dulles said that three priorities were involved in 1290–d activities, namely (a) preparation of papers, (b) examination on the spot of needs, and (c) implementation of individual countries in relation to the others. Mr. Murphy suggested that the survey should be made, spending only the required amount of money, and then the other questions should be examined. Selected timing should be used.

“It was agreed to approve the paper and authorize the survey, but that no further action should be authorized at the present time.” (Ibid.)