The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Army (Royall)


My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have your letter of August 61 concerning military assistance programs for various nations. I agree that the imminent submission of requirement estimates for France and other Western European nations makes it desirable that the planning and the necessary administrative steps be undertaken now in order that programs for them may be implemented as speedily as possible after final approval, with the first priority envisaged in NSC 14/1. If this can be done only by giving the requirements of the Western European nations a priority over the programs for the other countries named in your letter, then I agree that such a priority should be given to them.

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Since your letter was written, you have undoubtedly received mine of August 92 indicating the relative priorities which this Department considers should be accorded the other programs mentioned in your letter. You may take my letter as still representing this Department’s views.

I trust that the National Military Establishment is taking the administrative steps necessary to insure that the additional assistance programs anticipated for the implementation of NSC 14/1 can be processed speedily, and that all programs can be carried out without one causing delay to another.

Faithfully yours,

G. C. Marshall
  1. Ante, p. 601.
  2. Marshall’s letter of August 9 read in part as follows:

    “An over-all determination of priorities anticipating inter-Departmental agreement is now in process. Pending completion of this study it is my opinion that priorities for existing, military assistance programs for the five countries specified in your letter should be in the following order: Greece, Turkey, Iran (present commitments only), China, Argentina. Present commitments to Iran are understood to include the repair, packing and shipment of items already declared surplus and allocated to that country.

    Every effort should be made to meet the most urgent Chinese requests under the 125 million dollar grants. In view of the imminent completion of the Iranian program, the foregoing order of priorities accords a high priority to China immediately following that of Greece and Turkey. It is suggested that these high priority projects may be implemented concurrently. I am told that many of the Chinese requirements do not conflict with Greece and Turkey items. Furthermore the progress of the campaign in Greece and season of the year matériel would be delivered in Greece may warrant a decision in favor of China for some items in which a dual requirement exists. In cases of clear conflict with regard to urgently required matériel, preference should be given to Greece and Turkey.

    If the Secretary of Defense concurs in these priorities, they may be considered as agreed upon priorities of this Government for these five programs.” (800.24/7–2448)