710.J/4–2348: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State (Lovett)

top secret

Martel 89. Personal eyes only for Lovett from Marshall. Re your Telmar 93. I am in agreement with the procedure you recommend. Ridgway1 questions the desirability in paragraph 2 of publicly expressing willingness to participate in military conversations and recommends omitting the words “and expression of willingness” and so on to the end of the sentence, on the grounds that it might lessen US public support and increase the chance of precipitating hostile armed reaction. He feels such conversations could be held secret, initially on a bilateral basis, with a reasonable chance of preventing leaks. At first blush, I am inclined to agree with Ridgway.

Armour2 and I are of the initial opinion that paragraph 3 involving Greece and Turkey or Iran should not be included at this time. In the first place it seems to us that a regional arrangement which includes the US is rather difficult to justify in this area. Second, it tends to spread our sphere of activity over far too widespread an area. In other words, to involve the danger and the invitation for a dispersal of our forces when concentration appears to be the wisest cause especially in view of our present limitations. Thirdly, we are already doing a great deal in a military way for these countries, except Iran, and I see no compelling reason for being pressured into dangerous efforts, concurrently with our Atlantic discussions.

The foregoing are not fixed opinions but indicate my present thinking. If the matter can wait until I return, I suggest we discuss it at more length then.

I now plan confidentially to arrive in Washington Saturday morning.3

  1. Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, U.S. Army, member of the U.S. delegation to the Ninth International Conference of American States at Bogotá.
  2. Norman Armour, Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs, member of the U.S. delegation at Bogotá.
  3. Marshall arrived in Washington April 24 at 9 a. m.