United States. Dept. of State. Office of Public Co.

Department of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) online

. (page 56 of 116)
Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) → online text (page 56 of 116)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

few years, it has made itself increasingly heard
in political matters. Nobody knows how large
the labor movement is in Latin America; I have
heai'd estimates that vary by more than 100 per-
cent. But, even if we accept that so far the move-
ment is small in total numbers, we must allow
that its importance is great. This is particularly
true in those countries where the great bulk of the
people are uninformed and politically inarticu-
late. Organized labor speaks in the name of the
people and must take special care to work for the
true aspirations of the people.

You, I know, are interested in the promotion of
democratic ideals and institutions in this country
and abroad. So am I. So is the Department of
State. But liberal groups here and in Latin
America have sometimes not understood some of
our policies. I think it is because they do not
fully appreciate the reasoning behind those pol-
icies. I won't say, as I might be tempted to, that
it is the fashion today to jump on the State De-
partment. Just remember that most of the tough
situations in the world have complex and deep-
rooted causes. They can't be solved overnight.
Precisely because our policies are misimderstood
by some groups that claim to champion demo-
ci'atic ideals, I'd like to talk to you for a few
minutes about two matters of public concern: one
is why we maintain diplomatic relations with gov-
ernments that are not so democratic as we'd like
them to be ; the other is why we cooperate in the
economic field with governments of this type.

Our policies are the result of long and serious
study, of trial and error, of practical application
of our fundamental principles. I believe that

' An address made before the Pennsylvania Federa-
tion of Labor, Philadelphia, Pa., May 9, 1950, and re-
leased to the press on the same date.

they are sound, that tliey are designed to get us
where we all want to go as fast as the hurdles in
our way will let us travel.

One basis for establishing diplomatic relations
with a government has to do with whether it can
maintain civil order. That is, of course, the first
test of any government. Also, we want to know
whether the government can be depended on to
respect its international obligations, which is to
say, to honor its treaties, to abide by the prin-
ciples of international law. Generally speaking,
whether we approve of the form of that govern-
ment has nothing to do with the matter. When
a government has been overthrown by force, we
are faced with the problem of whether to recog-
nize the new government that takes its place. It
is our policy to consult with the other governments
of the hemisphere, so that in so far as possible the
action of the American community of nations may
be united. We have had great success with this
sort of consultation, and I believe that our coun-
tries have been brought closer together by such
negotiations. Moreover, this method has brought
greater public understanding of the problem and
of our policy.

To argue against this policy would immediately
bring up the question as to what is "intervention
in the internal affairs" of a country, and I do not
intend to go into that hotly debatable question.
Let me just say that diplomatic recognition of a
government should not be used as a moral force to
bring about internal reform. It is obvious that
we do and that we should maintain relations with
many countries whose governments do not con-
form to our ideals. The fact that we do not agree
on principles is all the more reason for keeping
open the channels for interchange. The progress
of civilization has come from the movement of
people and ideas. Let us lower no Iron Curtain.
If we are to work toward international under-
standing, we must have the way open.

Some of our friends in Latin America have been
unhappy because we have not offered aid to them

May 22, 1950


on the scale of our Marshall Plan for Europe or
our aid to certain Asiatic areas. These same
friends, and some people in this country, have pro-
tested because we have not confined to those coun-
tries, whose govermnents fit our standards of
democracy, the aid we could give. These ques-
tions bring up a fundamental point which I shall
discuss in a moment. But first, let me point out
gome special differences between Latin America
and Europe.

Differences Between Latin America and Europe

In the first place, our hemisphere is truly united
by something we call the Inter- American system,
represented by the Organization of American
States. Unless we look at the evolution of this or-
ganization in the perspective of history, we may
underestimate the very real and great achieve-
ments that have been made in welding our com-
munity since the days when James G. Blaine and
his collaborators throughout the hemisphere
founded the Pan American Union. Indeed, to go
further back, it is safe to say that the great South
American leader Bolivar would approve most en-
thusiastically what has been done to realize his
ideal of a united hemisphere. In the conferences
at Montevideo in 1933, at Buenos Aires in 1936,
at Lima in 1938, at Panama in 1939, and at Ha-
bana in 1940, great steps were taken toward unity
among the American nations. At Rio in 1942,
at Mexico City in 1945, at Rio again in 1947, and
at Bogota in 1948, the solidarity of the community
was proved time and again.

The effectiveness of the system that we have
created has survived its first great test in the
notably successful way in which the Organization
of American States, acting under the Rio treaty,
has dealt with recent disputes in the Caribbean.
This achievement could not have been realized if
the American community were divided into blocks
based upon ideological differences among the
member nations. We believe in the system, and
bj' we, I mean the Department of State and the
people of the United States. We are determined
to strengthen it, to see that our hemispheric hos-
tilities and frictions are resolved peacefully for
our mutual benefit, to raise the general well-being.
We intend to do nothing to set us one against the

We all remember the tragic emergency that
made us adopt measures to help Europe. The
war had devastated Western Europe, an indus-
trial area with a complex Economy. The facto-
ries in which the workers made their living were
destroyed. There was no capital to rebuild the
factories. The workers were destitute. They
could not go out and grow food; there was not
space. They had to be fed. We helped to feed
them. They had to have work that they could do ;
Ave helped to restore the factories, so trade could

begin again, and the farmers and the workers
could exchange their products. Thus, we helped
to avert a catastrophe.

The situation in Latin America is entirely dif-
ferent. There, the problem is not to rebuild great
industrial nations but to help to stimulate the full
growth of economies. This growth takes time.
Permanent institutions such as the Export-Im-
port Bank, the International Bank, and the Inter-
national Monetary Fund, whose lives will not
expire upon the expiration of an emergency, as
in the case of the Economic Cooperation Adminis-
tration, afford one form of help. We believe that
these institutions offer the financial assistance
which can properly be made available from gov-
ernmental sources for development.

Another gi'eat need of Latin America is tech-
nical assistance. For 8 years, our Government
has supported the Institute of Inter- American
Affairs. The work of this organization is highly
regarded in Washington, and its life was extended
for 5 years in the last session of Congress with-
out a dissenting vote. The Institute of Inter-
American Affairs and the Interdepartmental
Committee on Scientific and Cultural Cooperation
have been a proving ground of President Tru-
man's Point 4 Program. An expanded program
of technical assistance, along the lines now before
the Congress, will offer to Latin America, as it will
to other parts of the world, an opportunity to
obtain, at little expense, technical assistance to
develop agriculture and industries with either lo-
cal or foreign capital. In the absence of over-
riding political considerations, our financial as-
sistance to Latin American countries has been in-
tended to further development and prevent the
stagnation of trade without trying to impose our
views on their internal affairs.

At this point, I should like to say that during
my 10 months as Assistant Secretary of State for
Inter- American Affairs, I have thought very hard
about the role that governments play in interna-
tional relations. In the world of today, the rela-
tions between countries are not confined to govern-
ments but transcend government at every moment.
Our commercial relations, our tourist relations,
our cultural relations, the indirect effect of our
actions on public opinion, all are beyond the power
of government to dictate.

In my opinion, there is a tendency in our think-
ing, in our political writing, to overemphasize
the role of government and to confuse a people
or countrj' with the government that happens to
be in power. If our programs of cooperation in
this hemisphere are to be effective, they must be
continuous. We must not be misled by distaste
for a government that comes into power. I dare
say that there is nothing we could do in this hem-
isphere which would go further to make our ene-
mies happy than to shackle ourselves with self-
rigiitcousness. If we believe in our power to do
good in the American community, we must use it.


Department of State Bulletin

strengthening Democracy in Latin America

This brings ine to a big question: How do we
think democracy can be strengtliened in Latin
America^ Let me confess right here, gentlemen,
tliat I recognize the impossibility of fully ex-
plaining democracy. Democracy is more than
the sum of its parts — it is of the spirit. It cannot
be created by any simple campaign of mind or
matter. But, if I put first things first, I believe
that true democracy depends on self-confidence,
on the belief by a people that they are the mas-
ters of their fate. "We cannot force democracy
on a docile and supine people by refusing to do
business with its government. It is true that if
we were to deny recognition to the government
of a small country and were to resort to economic
sanctions against it, we might cause the overthrow
of that government. But, this action would not
remove the causes that produced the government
in the first place. Moreover, as we have learned
from sad experience, nationalism distorts the judg-
ment and nuikes people stubborn, so that our ex-
pressions of disapproval of their government may
make them cling all the more desperately to it.

Democracy does not come merely by the violent
overthrow of government. As we all know, some
unhappy countries in Latin America liave seen
innumerable changes without any rapid advance
toward democratic freedoms. Democracy also re-
quires lawful jjrogress, the expansion of the idea
of freedom. It requires, as I said before, the self-
confidence of the people, their faith in their ability
to take care of themselves to their best advantage,
their passion for independence. Democracy de-
pends on education, on an informed electorate, on
an economy of opportunity. These are the things
we are attempting to offer to Latin America to-
day — technical assistance in education, in agricul-
ture, and in industry. "Wliat we offer Latin
.Vmerica is an opportunity to help itself.

Any political discussion, these days, eventually
gets around to communism. At the end of the last
war, the Communists held many of the most vital
positions in the labor movement in Latin America.
But, ever since then, they have been losing ground,
until, now, they control mainly those splinter labor
federations that openly and clearly acknowledge
their Communist leadership. There are notable
exceptions, as we all know. In some countries,
the fight is engaged; in others, the Communist
leadership is. for the moment, in a strong posi-
tion, although we do not consider these govern-
ments or peoples as true adherents to communism,
nor do we expect the Communists to long retain
control of the labor movements in them.

In this connection, I take pleasure in noting
the growth of the Inter- American Confederation
of Labor since its organization in 1948. The
growth of the CIT has certainly been an impor-
tant factor in the steadv decline of the Moscow-
directed CTAL. Now tiiat the AFL and the CIO
are collaborating in the ICFTU and are extend-

ing this cooperation to their relations with Latin
American unions, the situation is still more im-
proved. 1 should like to take this opi^rtunity
to express my deep hope that the AFL and the
CIO will continue to exjjand their cooperation in
the international labor movement.

I have rejected the idea that we express our dis-
approval of an autocratic government by denying
it aiplomatic recognition or economic cooperation.
This idea is a negative answer to our problem;
and, so, I feel I must ask myself: How do we ex-
ert moral force for democracy in Latin America'^
Naturally, we must affirm and ever reaffirm our
belief in democratic principles, and w-e must use
our influence to further them. We play our part
by working for more and better democracy at
home. We should continue to demonstrate to the
world that our system is the best in practice. We
must continue to work by peaceful and friendly
means with the people of Latin America to de-
velop their countries to a place where all the men
of the Americas may face life confident in their
strength and in their faith in our way of life.

U.S. Dentist Visits Colombia

Dr. Lester W. Burket, professor of oral medi-
cine and chairman of the Department of Oral
Medicine at the School of Dentistry and Gradu-
ate School of Medicine, University of Pennsyl-
vania, has been awarded a grant-in-aid by the
Department of State, in cooi^eration with the W.
K. Kellogg Foundation, to enable him to serve as
visiting professor of dentistry for a period of .3
months at the University of Colombia and the
University of Antioquia in Medellin. Dr. Burket
will leave for Colombia from New York on
May 21.

Visit of Finnish Engineer

Arvo Eino Leino, chief of the Scientific Man-
agement Bureau, Administration of Roads and
Waterways in Helsinki, arrived in Washington,
D.C., on May 10, 1950, for a period of several
weeks for the purpose of observing and confer-
ring with colleagues in his field.

Mr. Leino is the first of ten specialists from
Finland to receive grants-in-aid from the Depart-
ment of State this year under Public Law 265, 81st
Congress, which makes it possible to use future
payments on Finland's World War I debt for a
reciprocal educational exchange of persons and
materials between the United States and that
country. It is also planned to award fellowships
to 35 Finnish students under this program, and
they are expected to arrive in the United States in
the late summer for a year's study here.

May 22, 1950


Importance of U.S.- Argentine Relations to Unity of Inter-American System


[Beleased to the press May 5]

The following is an exchange of letters hetioeen As-
sistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs Edward O.
Miller, Jr., and Jacoh S. Potofsky, Chairman of the Com-
mittee on Latin-American Affairs, Congress of Industrial

May 4, 1950

My Dear Mr. Potofsky : I welcome your letter
of May 2, in wliich you express concern over the
fact that credit may be extended to Argentina by
our Government, for it is important that the De-
partment of State be given the benefit of the
opinion of organizations which stand for our finest
ideals of personal independence and responsibility.

Your letter, however, came as no surprise. I
have been cognizant for some time of the attitude
of groups such as yours with respect to Argen-
tina. Our present policy toward that country has
not been arrived at haphazardly. You may be as-
sured that we are giving very serious considera-
tion to the viewpoint which you represent in the
conduct of our relations with the Argentine Re-

The Department itself is keenly aware of the
present situation in Argentina and of the history
of our past relations with that nation. We believe
that no American citizen can claim for himself
a monopoly in democratic principles. And the
fact that we in the Department of State find our-
selves in a position of official responsibility cer-
tainly does not detract from our devotion to the
democratic traditions of our country.

During the past year, the basic problem with
which we have been concei'ned in connection with
Argentina is whether we should take advantage
of the opportunity which has pi-esented itself, as
a result of a number of circumstances, to improve
mutual relations. Later today, I hope to have a
detailed discussion of these circumstances with
you and other labor leaders, during the meeting
which liad been arranged for this purpose prior
to dispatch of your letter.

It is more than obvious that relations between
the Governments of the United States and of Ar-

gentina have long been strained. I am sure you
are familiar with the historical and other circum-
stances which have brought this about. However,
I am sure you are also aware that official diffi-
culties have not affected relations between the
peoples of our two countries. It seems to me
fundamental that one of the functions of govern-
ment is to facilitate relations between peoples to
the maximum extent possible.

The Argentine nation constitutes an important
segment of our inter-American hemisphere, and
we cannot and must not exclude Argentina from
it. On the contrary, it is my profound belief
that we must work for the unity of the inter-
American system within the community of free
nations of the Western world.

I cannot imagine any action that would give
greater comfort and pleasure to our enemies else-
where in the world than for the United States, be-
cause of overzealousness respecting the political
complexion of governments of other Western
Hemisphere countries, deliberately to cut our-
selves off from contact with or influence in the
lives of the peoples of these sister nations.

I do not believe that the strength and vitality
of this Nation should be diverted into such nega-
tive and sterile channels.

If we as a government can learn to work with
the Government of Argentina, then the people
of the United States and the people of Argentina
will be enabled to learn to work together with each
other and with the other peoples of the hemisphere
and of the Western world. The force of this great
movement of peoples will surely carry all our gov-
ernments to foster more effectively the highest
aspiration of tlieir peoples. We believe that dem-
ocratic institutions are the true expression of these

For your further information, I enclose a copy
of a recent speech bj' Ilollin S. Atwood. Later, I
will send you a copy of a speech which I am to
deliver at the 48th Annual Convention of the
Pennsylvania Federation of Labor on May 9.


Department of State Bulletin

Thank you very much for your letter, and I do
hope that the materials which I am sending you
will help to clarify the important points con-
tained therein.

May £, 1950

My Dear Mr. Miller: The press carries an
item today that our Government — through the
Import-Export Bank — is contemiilating a loan of
$125,000,000 to the Peron government of Argen-
tina. The necessary consequence of this loan can
only be to help Peron and Peronist Argentina to
overcome their present economic difficulties and
to strengthen the Peronist totalitarian grip upon
the Argentine people.

I hasten to express profound concern with re-
spect to such a proposed loan and our opposition
thereto. Millions of freedom-loving Americans
inside and outside the CIO feel strongly that by
such favors to Peron, we are jeopardizing our
moral leadership among the democratic nations
and thus depriving the peoples of the world of
one of their dearest hopes for a better future.

It is perhaps superfluous at this date to point
out that the Peron dictatorship is opposed to
everything we cherish. It has made and still
makes a mockery of the Four Freedoms and is
steadily violating the Charter of the United Na-
tions. It has imposed an atmosphere of fear,
terror, and suspicion on one of the great nations
of South America. Spokesmen of the opposition
are hunted and persecuted and forced to leave the
country. Leaders of free labor are crushed, im-
prisoned, or banished for no other reasons but
their love of freedom; and free labor itself fights
an unequal struggle against the final aim of the
Peron government to destroy free unions. Ironi-

cally this proposed loan from our great democ-
racy will help tighten the iron grip of Peron upon
the people of Argentina.

During the last war, Peron was on the side of the
Nazist-Fascist Axis. During and after the war,
Peron and his companions have peddled their
brand of Fascism and anti-Americanism through-
out the hemisphere. Today, they cooperate close-
ly with the military juntas in Peru and Venezuela
which they have helped, at least spiritually, to
bring into existence. Hispanism, finally, of which
Peron is a main promoter, is designed to under-
mine and destroy our present system of Pan Amer-
ican relations which comprises all the nations of
the hemisphere.

I respectfully submit: what reason is there in
morals, in honor, in democratic principles, in
sound economics, for espousing a loan to a regime
which is so openly opposed to our aims of peace-
ful inter-American cooperation?

Such a loan would inevitably be construed as a
compromise with democratic principles and an
appeasement of dictatorships. Totalitarianism,
whether of the left or right, must be fought to
the end — not strengthened. It is axiomatic that
strong dictatorships are a menace to the free peo-
ples of the world.

President Truman once said : "Events have
brought our American democracy to new influence
and new responsibilities. They will test our
courage, our devotion to duty, and our concept of

The moment has coine where we must prove
ourselves worthy of the task assigned to our
democracy in these days of decision. A loan to
the Argentine of Peron falls wretchedly short of
that goal set for ourselves.

U.S.-Argentine Economic Relations: 1950

by Rollin S. Atwood,

Director, OiJice of North and West Coast Affairs, American Republics Area '

It has taken generations for the inter- American
policy of nonintervention to take hold in this hemi-
sphere. Certainly, it is policy which now has the
full support of the United States. During the last
quarter century, the multinational policy of "col-
lective responsibility" has been added to the policy
of nonintervention. These basic international doc-
trines have been universally received by all of the
peoples of the 21 American Kepubhcs. Three

' An address made before the Export Managers' Club,
New York, on May 2, 1950, and released to the press on
the same date.

MaY 22, 1950

888772— BO 8

hundred million people on two rich continents
stand back of the inter-American system! This
system, brought about by the free participation
of all the nations of this hemisphere, is a realiza-
tion of community responsibility for the mainte-
nance of peace and security.

Assistant Secretary Miller, in a speech at Boston
last week, said:

The twenty-one American states together face the chal-
lenfre of Communist political aggression against the
hemisphere. The ability of our community to meet that
challenge, depends on its own inward strength and, of


course, on the inward strength of its individual mem-
bers. . . . Governments should be self-reliant and able to
command the support of their people so that they can
maintain intrinsic order and deal effectively with Com-
munist attempts at subversion.

It is the aim of United States foreign policy to
encourage the economic, political, social, and psy-
chological elements that strengthen and create con-
fidence in the democratic way of life. This policy
does not require that other countries have exactly
the same kinds of institutions that we have. Nor
does it mean that the political, economic, and so-
cial climate must be a replica of those which we
enjoy here in the United States. It means, at very

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) → online text (page 56 of 116)