258. Editorial Note

On May 14, 1964, the Special Group considered a proposal to increase the funds available for covert use in the Chilean presidential elections. In a May 13 memorandum for the Special Group the Central Intelligence Agency maintained that “recent political developments and additional information” indicated that an additional $1,250,000 was needed for the program to defeat Salvador Allende Gossens, [Page 576] the candidate of the Popular Action Front (FRAP). The proposal was designed primarily to increase financial support to Eduardo Frei Montalva, the Christian Democratic candidate, thereby allowing his party to “campaign at its full potential.” The CIA also argued, however, that its assistance was “instrumental” in maintaining the Radical candidate, Julio Durán Neumann, who had recently avoided an attempt within his party to endorse Allende. (Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Special Group Files, May 14, 1964) The Special Group approved the proposal at its meeting on May 14, including a “tentative breakdown” for the additional funds. (Memorandum from the CIA, May 13; ibid.) According to the minutes of the meeting, the Special Group, while agreeing to the “overall amount” of the program, endorsed “the principle of financial flexibility,” a principle which was explained as follows: “if, as the campaign develops, one segment needs additional support and another less, authority exists to shift the subsidy in the needed direction.” Bundy informed the participants that “higher authority was aware of the seriousness of this election.” (Memorandum for the Record, May 14; ibid., May 21, 1964)