541. Memorandum From the Secretary of State to the President 2


  • Proposal that Uruguayan President be Invited to the United States this Year

I strongly recommend that you authorize that an invitation be extended to Senor Luis Batlle Berres, President of the National Council of Government of Uruguay, to visit the United States in the early fall of 1955.3 You have authorized four visits from Chiefs of State each year. The President of Haiti,4 who came in January 1955, was ascribed to the 1954 quota because his visit was actually scheduled for the fall of that year. With the exception of President Magsaysay of the Philippines who has so far been lukewarm to the invitation I extended to him in March, but who may accept a visit sometime in May, there are no other Chief of State visits now scheduled for 1955 from any country.

While Batlle Berres is to be President of the nine-man National Council of Government for only one year, he will continue to be a member of the Council and he and his followers will continue to dominate the Executive power for the next four years. We could, therefore, expect that our relations with Uruguay during this period would be significantly improved by the proposed invitation. Our relations with Uruguay have always been friendly, but they have cooled in recent years to such an extent that cooperation between our Governments has suffered.

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Batlle’s visit would be symbolic of our interest in the small democracies and would counteract the allegations frequently made that the United States is indifferent to them. The Batlle family has been of foremost importance in the development of democratic government in Uruguay, and in honoring Luis Batlle Berres the point would not be lost that we were encouraging the democratic way of life generally. Batlle could be counted on during his visit to make statements condemning international communist aggression, which would have a good effect throughout the Hemisphere.

Your entertainment of President Batlle could appropriately consist of (1) having him as your guest at the White House for one night, during which you would be host at a dinner in his honor and (2) attending a state dinner given by him in your honor.

John Foster Dulles 5
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 733.11/4–755. Confidential. Drafted by Henry Dearborn.
  2. In a memorandum of April 7, the President’s Personal Secretary, Ann Whitman, informed Secretary Dulles that Eisenhower approved the recommendation. (Ibid.)
  3. Paul E. Magloire.
  4. Printed from a copy which bears this stamped signature.