868.20/2–1148: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the American Mission for Aid to Greece

top secret   us urgent

Gama 224. Dept under extreme pressure hold aid request PL 75 fiscal year 1949 to absolute minimum.1 Taking full account this pressure Harper recommends and Clay concurs Greek military aid requirements totaling $245,066,555 exclusive administration, with breakdown as follows:

Ground Force total $201,245,000 including $156,745,000 to project present program through 1949 plus $25,000,000 FY 1948 deficiency and $19,500,000 FY 1949 for increase size GNA to 150,000, and increase equipment.
Air Force total $32,151,555 including $10,605,000 to project present program through FY 1949 plus $21,546,555 to permit expansion Air Force essentially as follows: increase number fighter-bomber squadrons from 2½ to 6, increase number recco and transport squadrons from 1 to 2, increase number supply and transport squadrons from 1 to 2, improve air field support 4 fields and improve conditions at 3 fields, provide AA defense 7 fields, increase ceiling from 6,500 to 12,000 men, improve radio command net, improve logistical support, accelerate pilot training.
Navy total cost $12,000,000 less $330,000 administration or $11,670,000 net, the total being cost projecting present Naval Program through fiscal year 1949.

For your information estimated administrative cost USAGG $3,075,500, and Navy Group $330,000. These estimates will be combined with estimates other administrative expense PL 75 and you will be advised and consulted further.

Advise whether you regard foregoing amounts estimated military programs exclusive administration would be adequate to support present US policy toward Greece and whether amounts stated are in your view the minimum amounts or might be further reduced without serious risks attainment policy objectives Greece. Since Dept will present appropriation request to Congress as soon after Feb 15 as Congress wishes, reply requested as matter of urgency.2

  1. In a memorandum of January 30 to Mr. Lovett, Ambassador Douglas and four high ranking officers of the Department, Mr. McGhee noted that after April 1, 1948, full reliance would be placed on the European Recovery Program as the source of funds for all economic assistance to Greece and Turkey and that requests for military assistance to the two nations for fiscal year 1949 would be sought under Public Law 75 (840.50 Recovery/1–3048). Lewis W. Douglas, the Ambassador to the United Kingdom, was in Washington to assist in the presentation to the Congress of the European Recovery Program.
  2. A similar telegram was sent to Ambassador Wilson on February 10 suggesting formulation of an alternative program totaling $78 million for Turkish aid: “Air Force $40 millions; Ground Force $26 millions; Navy $8 millions; Arsenal $1 million”; and highway system $3 millions. The Department solicited the Ambassador’s views as to whether this program would be adequate to support the present policy toward Turkey, particularly since deliveries under the present program would carry into the following year (No. 66, Patsu 61, 867.00/2–1048).

    In reply, on February 12, Ambassador Wilson expressed his regret concerning the proposed reduction as it would reduce the benefits from a program already at a minimum. He stated, however, that if the Department considered the reduction essential, then he concurred in the proposed breakdown. He noted also that the $75 millions proposed for the armed services and Arsenal “will of course be of considerable assistance in supporting our policy towards Turkey.” (telegram 121, Ustap 80, 867.00/2–1248)