Memorandum by the Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Nitze) to the Secretary of State
Subject: Comments on Mr. McGhee’s Memorandum of June 7, 19501 on Economic Aid to South Asia and the Near East
S/P generally supports the point of view put forward in Mr. McGhee’s memorandum. It believes, however, that:
- A program should be developed for the Near East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia as a whole. The problems are similar enough, both in fact and in the public view, that it would be a mistake to make the program conform to the geographical division of responsibilities within State.
- The memorandum under reference does not adequately present the need for this program, i.e., the need is stronger than the memorandum indicates.
- The development of the program should be more closely tied in with the work of Gordon Gray2 than the memorandum appears to provide.
- The problem of laying a foundation in public opinion for the program should be deferred until the character of the program is more definitely established.
- The conception of the program, as developed in the memorandum, is not adequate to justify accepting the memorandum as the basis for planning.
S/P therefore recommends that:
- A working group be established to study what program of assistance to the Near East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia is needed to support the achievement of U.S. objectives in this area. The group should consist of representatives from NEA, FE, E, S/P and E under a chairman selected by NEA and FE.
- The working group should immediately develop an outline of the information needed to elaborate the program and take steps to obtain this information, using the Diplomatic Missions and such other sources as may be available.
- The working group should establish a relationship with Mr. Gray which will ensure that the Department’s work will fit into the work being done by Mr. Gray.
- The working group should develop a program designed to supplement and reinforce the efforts of the countries themselves, either independently or under the Commonwealth program.
- The working group include in its report recommendations on the development of public support for the program, and that for this purpose P should designate an officer to work with the group.3
- Reference is to the Gordon Gray Report to the President on foreign economic policies; for documentation, see vol. i, pp. 831 ff.↩
- In a memorandum of June 15, not printed, Under Secretary of State James Webb informed McGhee that his memorandum of June 7 together with Nitze’s comments had been received. “While I have not tried to go into the question in detail,” Webb added, “I agree with Mr. Nitze’s analysis and recommendation as to the method of procedure.” Recommendations 2 and 3 of the McGhee memorandum, he felt, should be considered by the proposed working group as part of the broad problem, and when the working group developed a coordinated plan, “it should be processed upward through the Under Secretary’s Staff Meeting” (890.00 TA/6–750). At the Under Secretary’s Meeting of August 2, McGhee “reported that he had furnished the Secretary a proposed aid program to South Asia and wondered whether it would be appropriate for him to talk to his Congressional subcommittees about this program in a very general way. Mr. McFall stated that he thought it would be advisable to obtain clearance from the White House before any Congressional consultation takes place. The Secretary agreed with Mr. McFall. Mr. Webb stated that a meeting would be set up to discuss this proposed program after the Secretary has studied it.” (Under Secretary’s Meetings, Lot 53 D 250, “Under Secretary’s Meetings, 1949–1952, UM M–227”) Jack K. McFall was Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations.↩