Department of State Press Release

No. 1066

In the course of conversations which have taken place during the last few days between Messrs. Dean G. Acheson, Secretary of State; John W. Snyder, Secretary of the Treasury; George C. Marshall, Secretary of Defense; and William C. Foster, Economic Cooperation Administrator, on behalf of the United States, and Messrs. Jules Moch, Minister of Defense, and Maurice Petsche, Minister of Finance, on behalf of France, a review has been made of the United States contribution to the implementation of the French Rearmament Program within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This review has included the question of additional United States military aid to Indochina.

The United States Government has expressed the view that a military effort of the general magnitude and character planned by the French Government would be a vital contribution to the defensive strength of the North Atlantic area. Out of the sums appropriated by the United States Congress under the Mutual Defense Assistance Act for fiscal years 1950 and 1951, about $5 billions have been earmarked for military equipment to be delivered to the European members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. France has been assigned by far the largest single part of these amounts.

In addition, the United States Congress has appropriated for military assistance in the Far East approximately one-half billion dollars. In view of the importance of the operations in Indochina, the major part of this sum is being used to provide military equipment, including light bombers, for the armed forces both of France and of the Associated States of Indochina.

This assistance will provide a very important part of the equipment required by the forces contemplated for activation in 1951 in France and for current operations in Indochina. Deliveries of equipment are being expedited and, with respect to Indochina, a particularly high priority has been assigned.

Moreover, the following agreement has been reached during the talks with respect to production assistance:

On an interim basis, and within the funds already appropriated under the Mutual Defense Assistance Act by the Congress for the fiscal year 1951, the Government of the United States will make available [Page 1428] in support of the French Government’s increased military production program assistance in the amount of $200 million, these funds to be obligated prior to June 30, 1951.
The final amount of American assistance to support the expanded French defense effort will, subject to future provision of funds by the Congress, be determined on the basis of multilateral discussions within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization directed toward an equitable distribution among all the North Atlantic Treaty members of the economic burdens of the common rearmament effort.