72. Memorandum of a Conference With the President, Augusta, Georgia, December 29, 1959, 10:15 a.m..1


  • Secretary Herter
  • Secretary Dillon
  • General Goodpaster

Mr. Herter commented that it is remarkable that the President has experienced no physical letdown after his recent trip. The President said he is feeling fine and is not tired. He reiterated earlier comments that we must get into the State of the Union message something making clear that the wealthy nations must exert great effort to help the less developed nations to advance.2

Mr. Dillon brought up questions concerning the trip to South America which the President is considering making. The President had asked whether there would be any seriously adverse reactions to his going to some countries and not to others. Mr. Dillon said the evaluation in the State Department is that some of the countries skipped will not be happy, but there will be no adverse reactions so serious that we would have to take account of them. Others of the countries skipped will be pleased at this recognition of South America even though they were not visited. The President asked if all American Presidents were likely to go to the dedication of the Brasilia. If so, he thought perhaps Frondizi could get them all together for a talk [Page 273] before going up to Brazil. Mr. Dillon said that no one else wants to have an overall meeting of this kind. The practical problems and enmities between the various Chiefs of State are too great.

The President said that every one of these countries has a vote in the UN. He did not think it would be worthwhile to make four of the countries happy if we lose the support of the other seventeen. Mr. Dillon and Mr. Herter thought that the four countries the President should visit should be, in order, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina. Mr. Herter raised the idea of the President taking with him the Advisory Committee on Latin America which he recently appointed. The President thought this was an excellent idea and said the Committee could stay behind and visit some of the other countries. He would leave a plane with them for this purpose. He asked Mr. Herter to see if they could be made available for two weeks.

The President also asked Mr. Herter to get in the Ambassadors from the other South American countries and ask them what the reaction of their country would be if he went to four countries, taking the Committee with him, with the Committee then visiting other countries.

Mr. Dillon thought the trip might take ten days in all. The President thought there would be advantage in spending the night in Puerto Rico both ways. He could plan to take Mrs. Eisenhower on that basis. He said he would like to use helicopters at least one way between the airport and the city at each stop.

The President said he would like to know what ceremonies are foreseen, what length of stay in each place, what speeches, meetings, etc. After further discussion he said he was inclined to think that he had better go ahead and undertake the trip.

[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]

Brigadier General USA
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries. Secret. Drafted by Goodpaster on December 31.
  2. President Eisenhower delivered his State of the Union Message on January 7, 1960; for text, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960–61, p. 3.