41. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, May 10, 19561


  • Guatemala: United Fruit Company Anti-Trust Case


  • Ambassador Cruz-Salazar of Guatemala
  • ARA:MID—Mr. John W. Fisher, Guatemalan Desk Officer; Mr. Bayard King

Ambassador Cruz said that officers of the United Fruit Company had approached him to seek assistance in their efforts to reach a satisfactory settlement of the anti-trust action filed against them by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ambassador Cruz said that he would like to help the company in this matter, but any such help would have to be given in the most discreet way because of disastrous political repercussions in Guatemala, both for the Administration and for himself, were it to [Page 118] become known publicly that any help had been given the United Fruit Company. The Ambassador said that anti-company propaganda generated in the past by communists in Guatemala had been successful in causing deep dislike of the company there. He said he would have to proceed with extreme caution in taking any action or in recommending to his Government that it take any measures, and he asked Mr. Fisher for any suggestions he might have.

Mr. Fisher agreed that it is a most delicate problem and said he intended to make a confidential memorandum of this conversation which would circulate through channels, and that the Ambassador’s desires with regard to helping the company, as well as the necessity for secrecy in his doing so, would come to the attention of his superiors in the Department. He would inquire of them whether they had any suggestions, and if so, he would inform the Ambassador accordingly.

  1. Source: Department of State, Holland Files: Lot 57 D 295, Guatemala. Secret. Drafted by Fisher.