550. Editorial Note

On July 10 and 11, President Eisenhower devoted considerable attention during his stay at Newport, Rhode Island, to the preparation of a statement proposing a large-scale economic assistance program for Latin America. On July 10, from 5:44 to 6:53 p.m., he met with Secretary Herter, Rubottom, Hagerty, and Goodpaster. The following morning he met with Herter and Rubottom from 7:52 to 9:52 a.m. (Eisenhower Library, President’s Appointment Book)

In a memorandum, July 13, Goodpaster focused primarily on the July 11 morning meeting as follows:

“The group resumed discussion of the proposed statement by the President on a new program for Latin America. On arrival at 6 PM the previous day the same group had met with the President for an initial consideration of the draft at his quarters, and then on the launch en route to the Naval War College. In addition, Mr. Herter and I had reported to the President and discussed with him the Khrushchev threat to extend aid to Cuba, and, at considerable length, developments in the situation in the Congo.

“During discussion of the proposed statement, I had raised with the President questions posed by Secretary Anderson regarding passages stating that there would be a need for substantial additional public funds, and that a message would be sent to the Congress in August. At that time, the President indicated he was not inclined to modify the draft. In the morning, I showed him written suggestions by Secretary Anderson, and advised him of supporting comments by Mr. Stans [Page 999] and General Persons. I also showed him minor revisions worked out with Mr. Herter and Mr. Rubottom late the previous night. The President then made certain revisions to incorporate, in part, the points made by Secretary Anderson. In particular, he recognized uncertainties in timing, as a result of which it might prove to be impossible to send the message to the Congress until after the Bogota meeting of the OAS in September. With these and other amendments he then approved the statement.

“While a reading copy of the statement was being prepared for his use with the press, Mr. Herter took up a number of additional items affecting foreign policy questions. He said that a number of people had suggested, and he had discussed with Mr. McCone, pressing the church to take a more active anti-Castro role in Cuba. Mr. McCone had suggested that he might make a trip to the Vatican to discuss the matter with authorities there. Mr. Herter said that, after checking the matter out with the hierarchy in the United States, this action was considered to be undesirable. As an alternative, he suggested that Mr. Bohlen talk to the Papal Nuncio in Washington. The difficulty is that the top church authority in Cuba is passive and indifferent to the situation there. The President approved this action.”

After discussing several other matters, Herter told the President that the Cuban Government might file a complaint in the United Nations against the United States. Herter said that the Cuban Government appeared “to be trying to bypass the OAS, where such matters should first be considered.” President Eisenhower observed that, “if the Cubans can make a case against us that will have any weight with the other nations of the world, then he could only conclude that he does not know what the terms ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ mean.” (ibid., Whitman File, DDE Diaries)

At his press conference, which began at 10 a.m. on July 11, the President first read the prepared statement in which he announced that he soon would be submitting to Congress a request for additional public funds “to assist free men and neighbors in Latin America in cooperative efforts to develop their nations and achieve better lives.” The question-and-answer period that followed included several exchanges. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960–61, pages 568–575)