The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of Defense (Forrestal)
My Dear Mr. Secretary: At a meeting on October 15, 1948, of the Public Advisory Board21 created under the China Aid Act, Mr. Roger Lapham, Chief of the Economic Cooperation Administration Mission to China, presented orally and confidentially an interim report on his Mission in China in the course of which he recommended that upon the expiration of the present program, the U. S. Government extend further aid to China under a combined economic and military program of assistance along the lines of the Greek Aid Program.22 Under Secretary of the Army Draper, General Timberman23 and Captain Dennison24 who were present at the meeting would be in a position to give you details regarding Mr. Lapham’s recommendations.
For purposes of planning, this Department would appreciate the National Military Establishment’s furnishing it as soon as possible an estimate of the cost of a military aid program such as that envisaged by Mr. Lapham in his recommendation. It would also be desirable to have for planning purposes the National Military Establishment’s estimate of the cost of military aid programs of the following two types: (1) A program to provide for: The replacement and maintenance of American ground, naval and air equipment presently in Chinese possession and equipment to be furnished from the $125 million grants25 under Section 404(b) of the China Aid Act of 1948; the furnishing of ammunition for American weapons in possession of Chinese forces, and of aviation gas to enable the Government to meet its essential combat and transport needs; (2) An all-out military aid program including the services of U. S. military advisers on a scale similar to that in Greece, which would be of a type and dimension to provide the Chinese Government with the facilities for stopping the Chinese Communist advance and for stabilizing the military situation sufficiently to permit the establishment of a basis for the eventual destruction of organized Communist military strength and to make possible the assumption of Chinese Government control over all China.
It is understood that an accurate forecast of the requirements of [Page 673] the programs set forth in this letter would necessitate detailed planning of considerable magnitude. The rough estimates of the National Military Establishment would be sufficient to provide this Department with the information to meet its current needs.26
- Established under section 107 of the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, approved April 3, 1948; 62 Stat. 137.↩
- Authorized under the Greek-Turkish Assistance Act of 1948, approved April 3, 1948; 62 Stat. 157. For documentation, see vol. iv, pp. 1 ff.↩
- Brig. Gen. Thomas S. Timberman, Chief, Operations Group, Plans and Operations Division, General Staff, U. S. Army.↩
- Robert L. Dennison, Naval Aide to President Truman.↩
- For correspondence on this subject, see pp. 73 ff.↩
- No response from the Department of Defense found in Department files. In his memorandum of November 15 to Mr. Labouisse, Mr. Ben T. Moore of Mr. Labouisse’s staff indicated his “understanding that no reply has been received by the Department and that in view of the changed situation since the letter was drafted there will probably be none.” (893.50 Recovery/11–1548)↩