ECA Telegram Files, FRC Acc. No. 53A278, Paris Toeca: Telegram

The Chief of the ECA Mission in France ( Bingham ) to the Administrator for Economic Cooperation ( Hoffman )


Toeca 1302. French Mission has been seriously concerned for several months over disturbing reports alleging waste and misuse of ECA financed imports, particularly equipment, in French West Africa. On basis earlier reports, particularly dispatches from Consul General Jester,1 Mission has taken following steps:

Informed French Government six weeks ago of our concern at disturbing reports received, and requested government investigation.
Representative Controller’s office this mission now in Dakar on second end-use check visit.
George Clemens, construction engineer OSR proceeding to Dakar October 28 for examination construction projects and use ECA equipment.

Since above, have received Dakar Consul General dispatch 852 which includes lengthy and detailed report by Moreland and Robinson, members Consular staff, on basis three months’ 9000-mile trip through French West Africa. This report furnishes abundant information concerning alleged improper planning and wasteful utilization equipment, much of it presumably ECA-financed. Report thus affirms and documents earlier more general allegations. Mission now has under consideration three steps for pursuing this matter if further inquiry warrants.

Recommendation withhold procurement authorizations under new allocations French West Africa pending further investigation.
Formal notification French Government our concern and insistence remedies be promptly sought.
Dispatch to West Africa of strong mission team to review situation and develop remedies in consultation local authorities.3

These three steps, now under consideration, have very serious implications both US and France, and will not be decided until after consultation with Hoffman and Harriman in Paris early next week.

In meantime, would appreciate your discussing with State Department possibility our disclosing to French authorities appropriate portions Moreland-Robinson report.…

In view delicacy this subject, request distribution this telegram be limited.

  1. Perry N. Jester, Consul General at Dakar.
  2. Not printed.
  3. In telegram Ecato 935 of October 28 the Acting ECA Administrator (C. Tyler Wood) expressed agreement in general with the recommendations and commented: “We also believe that insufficiency of information on overall overseas territories program must be remedied. As result West African reports strongly urge that you should use all means you consider desirable to obtain full and adequate knowledge of programs, plans, intentions, and use of ECA materials in all overseas territories.” (ECA Telegram Files, FRC Acc. No. 53A278, Paris Ecato)