559. Notes on the Secretary of State’s Staff Meeting, Department of State, Washington, July 18, 1960, 9:15 a.m.1

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

15. Freezing of Cuban Assets

Mr. Mann asked whether the Secretary agreed that he (Mr. Mann) talk to Under Secretary Scribner about a limited freezing of Cuban assets in the States. The Secretary said that Mr. Mann should coordinate his action in this regard with Mr. Rubottom. Mr. Mann agreed with the Secretary that the matter is urgent and that the exact timing of any such action in relation to UN and OAS action on Cuba is important. Mr. Mann and Mr. Hager confirmed, in response to a question from the Secretary, that assurance could not be given that compensation sought or obtained through third party suits or other means would not affect later claims for compensation for American assets seized by Cubans. The Secretary said that the Federal Reserves supplying the Bank of Nova Scotia with large sums in $100 bills for transmission to Cuba should be investigated in connection with the consideration of freezing Cuban assets. Mr. Hager commented that the so-called “rifle approach” of a limited freezing of assets may cause more legal difficulties than the general freezing of assets. The Secretary said that he felt instinctively that we did not have a good case for a limited freezing since we were dealing with money owed for goods [Page 1020] received; that is, debts owed by American recipients in payment for sugar already received. He said that he had serious doubts about the political wisdom of such a move and he felt that Mr. Mann and Mr. Rubottom ought to look at the matter carefully before proceeding.

  1. Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Staff Meetings: Lot 63 D 75, July 1960. Secret. Drafted by Thomas W. McElhiney. A list of attendees is attached to the source text.