Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Arthur Z. Gardiner of the Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs1

Subject: Near East and South Asia Aid Program

Participants: NEA—Mr. George McGhee
  Mr. A. Z. Gardiner
SOA—Mr. E. G. Mathews
  Pepper (Fla.)
  Ferguson (Mich.)
  Smith (New Jersey)
  Poage (Texas)

Mr. McGhee introduced the subject with the statement that the President had authorized consultation with Congressional leaders on a program for the Middle East and South Asia, and that he was pleased to consult with the group assembled, who were considering a trip to this area. In his judgment their trip could make a most useful contribution to the development of the program. Their observations would be most valuable, both to the Department and the Congress. The case was presented along lines identical with those used before the House Subcommittee in the morning. (See attached Memorandum of Conversation of meeting with the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee.)2

The reaction of this group was principally one of acquiescence. There was no enthusiastic affirmative support of the program, which is, it is believed, largely explained by the fact that they considered the meeting more a briefing for their trip than a consultation. Mr. McGhee offered what assistance he could make available with the military authorities in order to assure adequate air transportation. He also promised that an officer representing NEA would accompany the Congressional group. It was tentatively planned that they should visit the capitals of the countries which are involved in the program and should in the first instance go to New Delhi, working back to the United States by way of Karachi and Tehran, so that adequate attention could be given to the three countries so closely involved in the program: India, Pakistan, and Iran. An excursion of five or six weeks is contemplated. Senator Smith decided that in the light of the contemplated [Page 186] schedule he could not go. The others, however, and Congressman Cooley have firm plans, and they hope to interest others.3

  1. Copies to S/S, H, S/P, FE, EUR, NEA, SOA, NE, AF, GTI, A, L.
  2. Supra.
  3. Documentation on the journey of Senator Pepper and Representatives Cooley and Poage to the Near East and South Asia in October 1950, is in Department of State file 033.1100.