S/SNSC Files: Lot 63D351: NSC 56 Series

Memorandum by the Deputy Under Secretary of State ( Matthews ) to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council ( Lay )

top secret

Subject: First Progress Report on NSC 56/2. “United States Policy Toward Inter-American Military Collaboration”.

NSC 56/2 was approved as Governmental policy on May 19, 1950. It is requested that this Progress Report dated July 1, 1950 be circulated to the members of the Council for their information.

The Department of State, Defense, Army, Navy, and Air Force have each designated a responsible officer1 to facilitate contact and collaboration among the Departments in the execution of the policy and procedures set forth in the paper. Two meetings of representatives have been held.
The policy incorporated in the above-mentioned paper continues the main policies and activities in effect prior to the adoption of NSC 56/2. The chief activities which are therefore being continued are: (a) maintenance of training missions in Latin America; (b) training of Latin American nationals in the United States; (c) joint planning for hemisphere defense; (d) transfer of military equipment. Progress may be noted in all of these matters with the exception of the transfer of military equipment, which has been seriously hampered by the low priority accorded Latin American nations under MDAP and the high costs of equipment under that program.
The staff of the Inter-American Defense Board has completed a current plan2 for a hemisphere defense scheme as called for in [Page 641] NSC 56/2. The document has been distributed to representatives of all American republics, with a view to its approval following careful study and discussion.

The Department of State has just received a copy of this plan and it is now under joint study by the Departments of State and Defense.3

H. Freeman Matthews
  1. James E. Webb, Under Secretary of State, said in a letter of June 2, 1950, to Secretary Johnson that Mr. Dreier would have primary responsibility within the State Department for implementation of the policy embodied in NSC 56/2. (720.5 MAP/6–250)
  2. Document T–03, June 20, 1950 (not printed).
  3. Documentation on discussion within the Department of the preliminary draft (Document T–03) of the hemisphere defense scheme is in file 371.5 for 1950.