The Deputy Under Secretary of State (Matthews) to the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Foreign Military Affairs and Military Assistance (Burns)


Dear General Burns: It has become clear that little if any military contribution can be expected from the Latin American countries for the United Nations forces in Korea if the contributing countries are to be expected to assume the major share of the cost of equipping and supporting their forces. In accordance with the policy decision of the National Security Council on June 29, 1950,1 and for reasons related not only to our world policy but also to our relations with the Latin American countries, the Department is most anxious that a way be found whereby the Latin American countries may make an effective military contribution.

With this in mind, I send you the attached memorandum2 which sets forth the Department’s opinion3 on this subject and makes certain specific recommendations for action directly involving the Department of Defense.

I should appreciate it if you will inform me as soon as possible of the views of the Department of Defense on the attached memorandum.

Sincerely yours,

H. Freeman Matthews
  1. For documentation on this decision, see vol. vii, pp. 228 ff.
  2. Reference is to Dreier’s draft paper of August 3, 1950, p. 642.
  3. Marginal notations indicate that this letter and its enclosure had been cleared with the Bureaus of Inter-American Affairs, Far Eastern Affairs, and United Nations Affairs, as well as with the staff of the Mutual Defense Assistance Program.