[Page 749]

367. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Summary of Judge Clark’s Meeting with Prime Minister Manuel Ulloa of Peru


  • William P. Clark, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Roger W. Fontaine, Senior Staff Member National Security Council
  • Manuel Ulloa, Prime Minister of Peru
  • Roberto Danino, Secretary-General of the Ministry of the Economy, Peru
  • Alfonso Rivero, Minister-Counselor, Embassy of Peru

Judge Clark welcomed Prime Minister Ulloa to the White House and conveyed the President’s regards.

Prime Minister Ulloa remarked that with the events in the South Atlantic, the way might be cleared for fresh approaches and thus create the possibility of a dialogue. The Prime Minister remarked he had only talked to Secretary Haig by phone, but he had met with Secretary-designate Shultz 2 on several occasions.

Prime Minister Ulloa then conveyed the feelings and mood of the region as he expressed these to Deputy Secretary Stoessel at State.3 He stated the problem of Argentina is a problem for us all. He is not optimistic about Argentina being able to pull together an effective government and that this would have a negative impact financially, inter alia, on the world system. If Argentina slides into anarchy, this will have a negative effect on all of us trying to make democracy more permanent.

Judge Clark stated our support for democratic and constitutional government and that we are helping as much as we can. He expressed the hope that our interruption of relations—in the broad sense of that [Page 750]term—will be short lived. But it depends on what government emerges. The Judge then asked the Prime Minister, what should we be doing that we are not doing?

Prime Minister Ulloa said that it was a delicate matter. There is a limit as to what the U.S. can do. Brazil and Peru can speak more directly and openly about political matters.

As for change in the OAS and the inter-American system, that should be played very coolly. The issue should remain dormant for a while. There is no unanimity of views, in any case.

The U.S. might place more emphasis on multilateral institutions. Issues like graduation that affect Mexico and Argentina are best handled by the World Bank, the IDB, and the IMF.

In general, nerves are irritated. Some realize there is no preferred relationship and that the U.S. has a global strategy. Argentina’s defeat also caused Latin resentment against the U.S. and the British.

But there are fundamental ties, and setbacks are inevitable. The U.S. should try to soothe feelings and still not be patronizing. In the meantime, Brazil can exert a quiet influence.

At the same time, the left will fish in Argentina’s muddied waters, but we should remain cautious and careful.

Finally, we should maintain our bilateral relations with individual countries in Latin America.

Returning to the Argentinian problem, the Prime Minister added that they have brought much of this upon themselves, but we cannot let Argentina go. Argentina remains a western nation—more so than most.

Judge Clark thanked the Prime Minister for his views and expressed strong support for U.S. Ambassador Frank Ortiz.

Prime Minister Ulloa said the U.S. Ambassador was doing well and had come out of his first months in Lima relatively unscathed.

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Roger W. Fontaine Files, Peru [May 1982–July 1982]. Confidential. The meeting took place in Clark’s office at the White House.
  2. Reagan announced Haig’s resignation as Secretary of State on June 25. For the text of this announcement, see Public Papers: Reagan, 1982, Book I, p. 819. In his memoirs, Haig wrote that his “efforts in the Falklands ultimately cost me my job as Secretary of State. As I had forewarned my wife, the work I had done was perceived to be a failure, and those in the Administration who had been looking for an issue on which to bring me down recognized that I had given them one. Knowing that this would be so, I accepted the consequences when they came, very soon afterward.” (Haig, Caveat, p. 298) Haig’s resignation formally took effect on July 5, and Stoessel served as Acting Secretary from July 5 until July 16. Shultz, whom Reagan nominated on June 25, succeeded Haig as Secretary of State on July 16.
  3. No memorandum of conversation of Ulloa’s meeting with Stoessel has been found.