The Secretary of Defense (Marshall) to the Secretary of State

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Dear Acheson: I attach herewith my letter to you,1 forwarded at the suggestion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In connection with Paragraph P.,2 the exception as concerns Colombia was inserted at the suggestion of the Secretary of the Army and is not a Joint Chiefs of Staff recommendation.

From a purely military point of view, I concur in their recommendations. There is no question but what early action on cancellation of certain requirements will materially reduce expenses to all governments concerned and will ease the logistical burden on our Far East Command.3

I am, however, deeply concerned about the possible political implications in the United Nations, attendant upon certain of these cancellations and want you to know that I am fully aware of the problem confronting you in this regard.4

Faithfully yours,

G. C. Marshall
  1. In this letter of November 2, 1950, General Marshall transmitted to the Secretary for his agreement a number of recommendations by the JCS regarding reduction of forces to be deployed in Korea by other UN members; These recommendations had been made in view of the improved military situation in Korea. (795B.5/11–250)
  2. This paragraph reads: “Discontinue efforts to obtain contingents from Latin America, with the exception of the Colombian offer. I have been informed that negotiations with Colombia have proceeded so far that a cancellation of the Colombian offer at this time would be mutually embarrassing to both Governments. I therefore suggest that they be continued with a view to stimulating early Colombian participation in Korea.” Mr. Miller, in a memorandum of October 25, 1950, to Fletcher Warren, Director of the Office of South American Affairs, said in part that negotiations regarding the possible Colombian offer of one infantry battalion had already reached the technical level. (795B.5/10–2550)
  3. In a memorandum of a conversation held between Colombian and U.S. diplomatic and Army officers on October 24, 1950, Mr. Albert H. Gerberich of the Office of South American Affairs stated that in regard to U.S. logistic support of a potential Colombian contribution, Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, Deputy Army Chief of Staff for Administration, “. . . remarked that the important thing is that the Colombians recognize a commitment to reimburse us for this support; the Unified Command can only give an indication of the approximate costs, and the details can be worked out later to mutual satisfaction between the Colombians and the Department of State.” Mr. Gerberich added in part that the Colombians, whose senior representative was Dr. Jorge Mejía-Palacio, Minister Counselor of Embassy, expressed satisfaction with this arrangement. (795B.5/10–2450)
  4. According to a letter of December 9, 1950, from Mr. Merchant, writing for the Secretary, to Secretary Marshall, the Department had by that day notified the Colombian Government that the Unified Command had accepted the formal Colombian offer of the battalion, made November 14. (795B.5/12–450)

    For other information regarding Colombian assistance to UN operations in Korea, see vol. ii, p. 835.