CONTACT REPORT

Created: 11/28/1953

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CONTACT83 Office of EC I

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED

PRESENT: EC I

lt

Senator Bourke B. Hickenlooperowa)

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DISCUSSION:

1. At tho request of

were invited to participate in fee, of Senttor Ricnen-looperesult of the letter's recent tour of Latin America. No specific instructions were provided. Accordingly, the following significant ccmoonts are recorded as having been made by Hlckenlooper:

Impressions

Speaking of South America, it was his impression that there existed at the presentavorable atmosphere concerning relations vion the United States, and that as for Communism ve were holding our own. American business participation, although obviously handicapped by many labor benefits, in general appears to be healthy, and the Latins appeared to desire toay to participate nore fully ln American capitalist venturos. However, social legislation on such matters as severance and pay for workerserious handicap to American businessmen and vas not one which could easily bo resolved. Protectionerican investment vas recognised in most countrieseasonable requirement in order to Induce more investments to come into their countries. In the southernmost part of South Aaerica he noted considerable orientation towards Europe and, surprisingly, towards Canada. In general, however, most countries In South America look to the united States for economic and social progress. In Central America ho vas struck by the seriousness of the Communist situation in Guatemala and recognized lt as an immediate danger to our country and one vhieh something should be done about.

Argentina

In an houralf conversation with Peron, their topics vere light and general for the most part; however, he quoted Peron as saying that he was aware of the Russian menace and that he was fighting Communism in every way that he could. Peron stated to

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hiai that, his country could be counted upon to fulfill its role in the Hemispheric defense program and that thoy would devote every resource to this end. He stated in this connection that what they needed most at this tine was ship repair facilities and that they had neither the know-how nor the means to develop same, and accordingly,trong bid far American support in this direction. Referring to other activities in Argentina, Peron stated that his people had the ability and the wherewithal necessary to develop its own oil and other resources. Peron was described as being very cordial and effusive about his friendship towards the United States. The Senator observed that thererend away from idolizing Evita, that fewer signs were appearing and for the most part, no new onesthose previously put up. New signs simply stated Peron's "cumple" instead of the former "yBvlta dignifine." atter of comment, he said this may, of course, be due to feron's new love interest (probably referring to Maria Teran den general there appeared to be prosperity and stability in Argentina. The Senator, without qualifying the source, stated he had heard the rumor that Peron was going to restore La. Prenss somewhat to its former status, although nothing specific was mentioned. However, it appeared to be understood that this would not include the return of Galnza Pas.

Brazil

The Senator had no particular comment to make about Brazil except he seemed to be aware that all was not going well. His only remarks were confined to the experience of Americanwho tried to closeotel but found it almost impossible to do so due to the exorbitant cost involved in paying severance salaries. Thus, the hotel was continued in business. This was cited as an example of the difficulties of doing business under such conditions.

' Chile

Ko particular impressions of any significance were mentioned, although the Senator again cited an example of an American businessman engagedercantile business being confrontedimilar experience as the foregoing in Brazil.

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Colcff-.bia

In his brief visit et the airport in Call, he had several discussions with the Governor of the Department and the Chief of Protocol, during which he ascertained that In their opinion the Government waa presentlyeriod of stability and tranquility which they thought would continue, providing the new President did not resort to overexerclsing his authority as happonod In the past. He reviewed briefly the recent events in Colombia concerning the guerrilla activity in the llanos and how lt had boen broughtuccessful conclusion, thus restoring peace and order throughout tho country.

Peru

He cited the present oil negotiations in Peru as being an excellent example of how It is possible to work with American capital in Latin America, and that the Peruvians appear to be very contented with it.

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Aside from general cements about the successful economic relationships between the oil companies and the Venezuelan Government, the Senator remarked that he noticed thoirapprehension and interest in tho affairs of Guatemala. The Venezuelans he talked to appeared quite concerned about the dangora of the Communist advances ln Guatemala.

In his talks with Batista, the latter evidenced considerable intereat in imducing'American investmentu and working out satisfactory arrangements in order to help build up his economy. Batista seemed concerned also about the Communist activity ln Guatemala, and he and others made frequent reference to it.

Costa lica

The Senator met Jose Figueres and had an interesting converse tion with him and learned of the letter's plans for the social and economic benefits of the people and his unveiled attitude towards tha United Fruit Company in Costa Rics. Figueres was quoted as

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having made it quite clear that it wo3 his intention to follow the pattern of Guatemala in respect to the United Fruit Company.

Nicaragua.

At the time of his visit. President Somoza was in Argentina; therefore, the Senator talked only to his two sons, the Vice President and Tico. Doth of Somoza's boys evidenced considerable enthusiasm and cordiality towards the United States and explained their plans for opening up new lands for development by Nicaraguan farmers and how Somoza was attempting to improve the economy by building up his cattle stock and other activities.

El Salvador

Again spendingew hours at the airport, the Senator received the Impression from those he talked with that the Salvadorans were very apprehensive over the threat which they recognized in the Communist Government of Guatemala.

Guatemala

At one time in the discussion the Senator said he did"riot actually visit Guatemala. Yet, he later described the visituseum in Guatemala City. In the latter he mentioned how this; American curator, in responseuestion regarding the lack of organization among the people against the Communists, pointed out to him the highly diversified society which exists, in which so many different languages and dialogues were spoken and how the Indian culture was still tribal and for the most part confined to their respective valleys. The Senator seemed to be fully aware of the danger of Communism in Guatemala and reiterated several times the need for some positive action, but made no specific mention of what form this action should take.

2. The Senator described in detail anschool in Guatemala which had beenmaintained fpraa number of years by the Iowa StateAgriculture and Mechanical Arts (land-grant college in to experiment with various corn seeds. One ofof this experimental farm was said to betype of corn which had been developed now representedcent of all the com raised in Guatemala. Thisinitiated through the efforts of ProfessorE. Friley of Iowa State College,umber of years

ago conceived of the idea and obtained financial support through the former owner of the fercrreen Seed Company of Shenandoah, Iowa.

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the Senatorlose personal friend of Friley's and feltagricultural farm represented an excellent example ofUnited States could influence the Guatemalans and statedexperimental farm project was presentlyireas the original sponsor had died and the collegelonger able to maintain it as they were prohibited Lhe usefunds for this purpose. Tho Senator added that thisa very worthy undertaking for some foundation, such asFoundation, to take over and sponsor. Mr.interest in this experimental farm andlook into it further to see whether there is

anytning tnat could be done.

Report to Congress

The Senator explained that he does not plan to makespeeches on his tour until Congress convenes inhas not yet said whether he would make two separateor one, a3 lt was necessary for him to report onof his trip pertaining to the activities ofService. under Mr. Dulles1 prodding, thethat if he had more factual information concerningof the Guatemalan Communists outside of theand their influence and potential danger to thewould greatly welcome such information and incorporatehis official address. it was agreed that suchbe provided and Kr. Dulles askedsuggested material for this

said he would be back in Washington onhh of December and would be happy to have the information at that time.

DECISIONS:

investigate thementioned anove to aotermine whether it containedfor CIA's program, either propaganda-wise or for

prepare suggested notesDulles' approvalsubsequent transmittal toon or abouteccoiber. The latter notesonly such general factual data as would servethe threat imposed by the present CommunistGuatemala City and would appear to be that whichmight have acquired on his Lour.

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CCKXKJITS:

The above discussion was mostly goneral and jumped from one subject lo another. The Senator had few factual comments to make' and gave the impression that for the most part his interviews, although with important people, were somewhat spperficial. He did, however, describe an interesting discussion with Peron on the Point Four program, in which he pointed out that the basic principle involved in this programimply one of adopting the very neons which, enabled the United States in its infancy to develop its own resources and which playedominant role in building this country to its present status. He described bow in our early days of development it was British, French, German, Swedish, and Italian capital and engineers and specialists that helped us to develop our resources and that tho profit which they extracted In the long run was of little significance compared to the contribution they made to the progress of our country. This manner of presentation appeared to be effective and is one worthy of note. The Senator appeared aware of the danger of Communism in Guatemala and its influence in Central Americanand upon Venezuela and Cuba. He did not think that it represented any menace in the other countries of Latin America, but he was conscious of the need for further and more generous cooperation on the part of the United States if we are to expect the continued support of these countries. He seemed impressed with the fact that each conn try had its own thoughts and regional ideas and that they did not think of themselves as part of any particular bloc, inferring that thereanger of fallacious thinking by all those who considered Latin Americaolid bloc of thought and action. Thus, there was need for individual treatment country by country.

RECCKMEMOATTOHSi

Recommended that: a. the experimental farm be considered and investigated to determine whether it represents any covert asset for PBSUCCESS. b. That the notes prepared for the Senator be tailorized to fit the PBSUCCESS overt themes in order to gain the profits of bringing before the Congress and people of the United States the true danger to tho latter of unbridled Comrauhist activity on its doorstep.

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