S/SNSC Files: Lot 63D351: NSC 14 Series1

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Webb) to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Lay)2


Subject: First Progress Report on NSC 14/1, “The Position of the United States with Respect to Providing Military Assistance to Nations of the Non-Soviet World.”3

NSC 14/1 was approved as governmental policy on July 10, 1948. It is requested that this Progress Report dated March 24, 1950, be circulated to the members of the Council for their information.

The conclusions of NSC 14/1 were implemented by the enactment on October 6 of Public Law 329, 81st Congress—the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949, and by Public Law 430, which made (appropriations authorized by the enabling act. This legislation was prepared for presentation to Congress by the Foreign Assistance Correlation Committee, composed of representatives of the Departments of State and Defense and the ECA.

The Mutual Defense Assistance Program authorized by Public Law 329 is now being carried out jointly by the Departments of State and Defense and the ECA, under the general direction of the Department of State. Firm programs for military assistance to North Atlantic Treaty countries were established following the signing of bilateral agreements with those countries on January 27 and the simultaneous approval by the President of the concept for integrated defense of the North Atlantic area. Shipments of military materiel to Western Europe were begun on March 8 and will be continued in ever-increasing volume. Projects are being initiated for limited increases in military [Page 212] production in Western Europe (through provision under the Act of dollars for the purchase of machine tools, raw materials, components, sub-assemblies and technical services.

The status of the military aid programs for Greece and Turkey and for Korea is reported in the first Progress Reports on NSC 42/14 and NSC 8/2.5

The program for Iran and the bilateral agreement with that country are the subject of current discussions with Iranian officials. The Philippine program is in general satisfactory to the Philippine Government and will be initiated at an early date inasmuch as the bilateral agreement was concluded on March 11, 1950.

With respect to the program for the “general area of China,” the Departments of State and Defense have developed various proposals for assisting the countries in this area. Presidential approval of military assistance programs in the general area of China has been obtained for a $5 million dollar program for Indonesia, a $15 million program for Indo-China and a $10 million program for Thailand. A program for Burma comprising river patrol craft, approved in principle by the Secretary of State, has been presented to Defense for clearance. Additional non-military programs for Burma approximating $2 million are in process of being cleared by the interested governmental agencies. Definitive programs for these countries, including precise lists of equipment and supplies, are in the process of development. A small United States mission is in Southeast Asia to determine the types of projects most immediately needed and feasible under this program in the fields of technical and economic assistance.

Several requests from Latin American countries for military assistance on a reimbursable basis under Section 408(e) of the Act are under consideration. The general problem of United States military cooperation with Latin American countries is under study by the National Security Council Staff, which is preparing a paper on the subject (NSC 56).6

An arrangement has been concluded enabling Canada to obtain certain military procurement assistance under Section 408(e) of the Act.

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A Mutual Defense Assistance Program for Fiscal Year 1951 is being developed for presentation to Congress in the near future. Plans and policies for the 1951 program will be based on a comprehensive review of our overall political and strategic objectives and the fundamental considerations underlying United States military assistance.

Since the action contemplated by NSC 14/1 was completed by the enactment of Public Law 329, and since the developments in Mutual Defense Assistance will be the subject of a semiannual report by the President to Congress, Progress Reports on NSC 14/1 are being discontinued.

James E. Webb
  1. Serial master files of National Security Council documentation and related Department of State material for the years 1947–1961, retired by the Executive Secretariat of the Department of State.
  2. Transmitted to the members of the National Security Council on March 31.
  3. For text of NSC 14/1, July 1, 1948, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. i, Part 2, p. 585.
  4. For text of NSC 42/1, March 22, 1949, “U.S. Objectives with Respect to Greece and Turkey to Counter Soviet Threats to U.S. Security,” see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vi, p. 269; the progress report on NSC 42/1 of March 6, 1950 is scheduled for publication in volume v.
  5. For text of NSC 8/2, March 22, 1949, “The Position of the U.S. with Respect to Korea,” see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vii, Part 2, p. 969; the progress reports are not printed.
  6. For text of NSC 56, August 31, 1949, a National Security Council staff study titled “U.S. Policy Concerning Military Collaboration Under the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance,” see p. 601. For NSC 56/2, May 18, 1950, a report to the President on the same subject, see p. 628.