34. Telegram From the Embassy in Brazil to the Department of State 1

1329. For the Secretary from Harriman.

The Final Act of the Conference was signed today with considerable enthusiasm.2 Carrillo Flores spoke for the conference members, underlining progress in the social and economic fields. Throughout the conference he has been far more cooperative than previous Mexican ministers.

Chairman Leitao concluded the session with a brief, businesslike speech summarizing the real achievements of the conference. In addition, he returned to Castello Branco’s theme of collective security and the need to equip the OAS with means for dealing with the new kind of threat we face today, namely, aggression by subversion. He handled skillfully the question of new members by expressing the hope that Canada, Trinidad, and Jamaica would soon join the organization and suggested that they be welcomed by acclamation. All, including the Guatemalan, clapped enthusiastically. This I believe satisfies the assurances you gave to the Jamaica and Trinidad representatives who can now report to their governments that conference expressed unanimous welcome if they indicated desire to join.3

The Economic and Social Act was approved without a dissenting voice. The Latinos agreed to a series of actions which they themselves are to take to promote development by self help and particularly by mutual assistance. They were not looking solely towards Uncle Sam, but with new emphasis on self help and particularly mutual aid among Latin Americans. Jack Vaughn and Walt Rostow deserve much credit in helping to hammer out the principles agreed to. Recalling the inestimable value of mutual assistance in Europe in Marshall Plan days, all this appeals to me as being a major forward step.

On the political side, the guidelines to the preparatory committee for the amendment of the charter on organization went along without much hitch except for the paragraph on the responsibilities that might [Page 89] be assigned to the council “relative to the maintenance of peace and the peaceful settlement of disputes”, a phrase proposed by Guatemala and passed by split vote in committee one. Our delegation felt since it had been included we should stick to those who had supported it, and not give in to the soft group. After some rather heated discussion, the paragraph was approved 12 to 1 with 6 abstentions. Some appeared to be afraid that “maintenance of peace” was a first step to a peace force. Nevertheless, the whole section was unanimously approved.

There have been, however, a few reservations attached to the final document.

The resolution on human rights was constructive and the resolution on consultation prior to recognition of governments resulting from coups was innocuous.

Old hands here say that there was greater consensus and less argument than usual, and a good spirit of confidence in the progressive steps taken, particularly those relating to integration, mutual aid and area development.

The discordant note was the rigidities of countries such as Peru, Chile, Uruguay in the field of peaceful settlements. The majority, however, recognized that the long-festering disputes must be got out of the way if there is to be real economic integration and mutual aid. Peru’s failure to get Lima as a conference site was a lesson to the conference, and the conference was profoundly impressed by our recent settlements with Panama and Mexico.

President Johnson’s proposal to extend the duration of the Alliance has been warmly received and was frequently referred to with appreciation.4 There is no doubt your own week of consultation here had a highly salutary influence and your parting statement set the tone for the conference. The effective teamwork of the delegation could not have been better and the assistance of efficient Embassy was invaluable.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 3 IA. Confidential; Immediate; Limdis. Passed to the White House.
  2. The text of the first two resolutions of the Final Act, a proposal to amend the OAS Charter and the Economic and Social Act, are in Department of State Bulletin, December 20, 1965, pp. 996–1001. The full text of the Final Act, which included 30 resolutions, is in The OAS Chronicle, February 1966, pp. 5–29.
  3. All three countries eventually joined the OAS: Trinidad and Tobago (1967), Jamaica (1969), Canada (1990).
  4. Rusk read the President’s message to the delegates, including the following passage: “Recognizing that fulfillment of our goals will require the continuation of the joint effort beyond 1971, I wish to inform the Conference—and through you, your respective governments—that the United States will be prepared to extend mutual commitments beyond the time period foreseen in the charter of Punta del Este.” (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, Book II, pp. 1123–1124) The text of the Secretary’s address to the conference, November 22, is in Department of State Bulletin, December 20, 1965, pp. 985–995.