185. Memorandum of conversation, October 19, between Foreign Minister Tello and Under Secretary Bowles1

[Facsimile Page 1]


  • International Developments


  • Foreign Minister Tello
  • Under Secretary Bowles
  • Ambassador Mann

The Under Secretary commenced the conversation by expressing his interest in Mexico’s plans for the development of low-cost housing as explained by Luis Quintanilla and made some complimentary remarks about Mexico’s economic growth and its efforts to better distribute the national product. He told the Foreign Minister that he expected to make a speech on the Alliance for Progress at the Bi-National Center and offered to send him an advance copy of it. The Foreign Minister expressed his thanks.

The Under Secretary then spoke in general terms concerning the Berlin question making two principal points: (a) The Russians had internal difficulties of their own; had substantially failed to accomplish their objectives in the less developed countries of Africa and Asia and faced problems with Red China which could possibly become more [Typeset Page 442] acute with time and (b) The apparent Soviet intention was to frighten the U.S. and its NATO allies by bellicose speeches and nuclear testing. The Under Secretary said that the U.S. people firmly supported President Kennedy’s policy of firmness and said that the U.S. was always willing to negotiate for a settlement on a fair and equitable basis.

Minister Tello expressed interest in the Under Secretary’s statements, referred to two letters which President Lopez Mateos [Facsimile Page 2] had recently addressed to the Soviet Union on the subjects of Berlin and Troika. He said that in the case of Berlin, Mexican policy was based on the principles of self-determination and non-intervention and in respect to Troika, on the principle that the U.N. could not function effectively without a Secretary General who had the authority to appoint his own staff.

  1. Berlin question; Troika (UN). Secret. 2 pp. DOS, CF, 611.12/10–1961.