95. Record of a Delegation Meeting, Santiago, August 14, 1959, 9:15 a.m.1

The Secretary, Chairman

1. Conference Developments

Mr. Rubottom reported that members of seven delegations (Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, the U.S., Mexico and Brazil) met last night to discuss the future course of the conference. Mr. Rubottom commented that he was sanguine about the outcome of the conference because of the attitude of most delegates that they hoped to make a success of the meeting. Mr. Rubottom said that he was reasonably well pleased with the development of the conference to this point. It had 1) a deterring effect on various invasion attempts in the Caribbean and 2) had made delegations from countries not immediately involved in the Caribbean difficulties aware of the serious problem in the hemisphere.

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The Brazilians, he continued, have taken a quiet lead to bring the Dominicans and Cubans to agree on some kind of document calling for a commission to which problems in the Caribbean area could be referred. Last night the Brazilian Foreign Minister roughed out a general idea for a resolution. Ambassador Dreier commented that this was a bad draft and would need further refinement. He thought that the Cubans and Venezuelans would accept the idea of a commission provided that 1) it was not limited to problems in the Caribbean basin and 2) there was no indication that an investigation was being set up at the urging of the Dominicans. Ambassador Dreier thought it would be possible to create a committee which would satisfy the Cubans and Venezuelans as well as ourselves. The Secretary observed that this proposal would create a body to handle these problems and wondered whether there would be a resolution along general lines. Ambassador Dreier indicated that there would likely be other resolutions passed.

In response to the Secretary’s inquiry, Mr. Luboeansky said that 24 draft resolutions and proposals were received by the deadline last night.2 The Secretary then observed that he felt that the only differences at this point are those of language and that there are no major matters of principle involved. Ambassador Dreier said that now that the Cubans have agreed to the idea of a commission, a major stumbling block may be out of the way. Mr. Rubottom added that the Venezuelans may now prove to be most difficult of the delegations.

2. Creation of Working Groups

Ambassador Dreier said that some subcommittees will be set up in the General Committee as working groups to handle resolutions on Agenda Items I and II. (Later in the morning it was decided to establish a third subcommittee on economic underdevelopment and political instability.)

3. Secretary’s Contacts with Other Delegations

Mr. Rubottom noted that we have made contacts for the Secretary directly with about half of the delegations, leaving about 10 Foreign Ministers with whom appointments should be scheduled. He noted that the Secretary would be seeing the Brazilian, Argentine and Mexican Foreign Ministers today.3

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4. Incident at Yesterday’s Plenary

In connection with an observation by Mr. Rubottom that Castro may still come to Santiago, the Secretary said that if he did so the other delegations should ask for more seats to prevent the Cubans from packing the hall with their own claque. He observed that the incident yesterday was outrageous and said that it resembled a political convention rather than a meeting of Foreign Ministers. Ambassador Dreier said that the Secretariat officials are meeting with the Carabinieri to discuss how to prevent disturbances such as occurred yesterday.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1434. Secret. Drafted by James.
  2. Copies of the 24 draft resolutions are ibid., CF 1422 and CF 1423.
  3. Secretary Herter met with Brazilian Foreign Minister Láfer, Argentine Foreign Minister Taboada, and Mexican Foreign Minister Tello during lunch at the U.S. Embassy residence, August 14, 1959. No record of this meeting has been found in Department of State files.