Memorandum by Mr. Carl M. Marcy, Assistant Legislative Counsel, Office of the Counselor, to the Acting Secretary of State


Subject: Underlying draft policy memorandum regarding the transfer of arms to Latin America.

The attached memorandum (from Mr. Daniels, ARA, to the Secretary)1 recommends that military assistance for the American republics be made a part of any broad military aid legislation that may be presented to Congress. In the event such legislation is not enacted ARA recommends that separate legislation be sought for the Americas.

This office does not believe that any action should be taken at this time to approve or reject the ABA recommendations. The arms recommendations for the American republics should not be considered except in the context of the total military aid picture, including military aid for Western Europe and for China.

Congress will certainly want to know the total military aid picture regardless of whether Western Europe, China and the American republics are included in separate legislation. Congress will want to know the overall cost and the justifications for each segment of military aid.

At the present time the following items of “military-foreign policy” legislation are pending in one stage or another at one place or another:

Arms Legislation for Western Europe.
Latin-American Arms Legislation.
Greek-Turkish Military Aid.
Military Aid for China.
Canadian Arms Problems.
Admission of Aliens to Military Schools in the United States (To be sponsored by N.M.E.).
Authority for American Military Missions to Assist Foreign Governments (To be sponsored by N.M.E.).

The interrelation of these programs to each other, not only substantively, but with respect to their presentation to Congress, is such that no final decisions can be made with respect to them and this office [Page 225] cannot effectively coordinate their presentation until the nature and scope of the program of military aid for Western Europe is known.

It is recommended, therefore, that for the present, policy decisions with respect to the program for military aid to the American republics be held in abeyance, but that prior to final decision on legislation for military aid to Western Europe, all proposed legislation in the military aid field be reviewed to determine:

extent to which it might be included in the Western European measure;
total amounts involved;
importance to over-all foreign policy objectives.2

  1. Supra.
  2. A memorandum of January 5, 1949 by Mr. George O. Spencer, of the Division of Special Inter-American Affairs, to the Legal Adviser (Gross), transmitted Mr. Daniels’ memorandum of October 5 (to the Secretary) for possible use in connection with the overall study then being made of arms legislation; no action had been taken by the Secretary on this memorandum in 1948 because it was felt that any decision made on the question of arms for Latin America would necessarily involve a consideration of the programs being planned for other areas (820.24/1–549).