752.5 MAP/8–1050

Memorandum by the Secretary of Defense to the President 1


With reference to the provision of military aid to Spain under the Mutual Defense Assistance Act, as amended by Public Law 621 which you signed on 27 July 1950, 1 respectfully call your attention to your broadened authority under Section 408(c) of the Act. The President is now authorized to transfer military assistance up to the extent of 10% of the funds made available for any Title of the Act, to any other European nation not now specified in the Act. The conditions upon the exercise of this power are:

It can be exercised only “in the event of a development seriously affecting the security of the North Atlantic area.”;
The strategic location of the nation must make it “of direct importance to the defense of the North Atlantic area”; and
“After consultation with the Governments of the other nations which are members of the North Atlantic Treaty,” the President must find that the increased ability of such a nation to defend itself “contributes to the preservation of the peace and security of the North Atlantic area and is vital to the security of the United States.” When the President makes such a determination he shall forthwith notify the appropriate Congressional Committees.

Accordingly, in my opinion and subject to the above conditions, you are authorized to transfer military aid to Spain in an amount not to exceed 10% of the aggregate of the funds and contract authority made available under each of the three Titles of the Act. This discretionary power would also extend to 10% of any amounts which may be made available under the Act in the future.


Louis Johnson
  1. The source text was attached to a memorandum to Adrian S. Fisher, Legal Adviser in the Department of State, asking for his views on the provision of military aid to Spain, and to a memorandum from Lay, stating that Johnson’s memorandum was being circulated in connection with the study of NSC 72 and 72/1, neither printed (752.5 MAP/8–1050).