Under Secretary’s Meetings, Lot 53 D 2502

Record of the Under Secretary’s Meeting,3 Department of State, December 22, 1950

Report on Executive Branch Planning for Foreign Aid Legislation (no document)

Mr. Thorp described the organization of the Executive Branch into a Steering Group with eight subsidiary Task Forces, all under State Department leadership.4 Present plans envisage a single-package foreign aid legislation and one basic presentation to the Congress. The main theme would be that of building necessary strength in the free world through the necessary military and related economic activities and to strengthen areas against possible aggression. February 23 is the target date for submission of the legislative plan to the Bureau of the Budget. Although this is a tight deadline, it is hoped that the non-European items will be ready sooner than that. March 1 is the deadline for submission of the legislative [Page 265]proposal to the Congress. It is planned that the Departments of State and Defense will make the basic presentation with the other agencies coming in later. He mentioned that one fundamental problem not yet resolved is whether to take a primarily geographic approach or to approach the legislation according to types of programs. The Exim Bank legislation will be separate but perhaps submitted at the same time. Mr. Miller5 suggested that the extensive lending program which affects his area should be mentioned in the President’s message.6 He also raised the question of what effect materials shortages would have on overseas developmental work, through grants or loans. He felt that loans should not be made under tighter criteria than grants. Mr. McGhee7 and Mr. Rusk8 expressed a preference for the regional approach to the legislation.

Mr. Ohly9 pointed out the difference between organizing (1) the method of presentation and (2) the structure of the bill, saying that the presentation probably should be on area basis but that the bill itself might be organized differently because of the varying conditions which would probably be attached to different kinds of aid.

[Here follows discussion of other subjects.]

  1. Master file of records of meetings, documents, summaries, and agendas of the Under Secretary’s Meetings for the years 1949–1952 as retired by the Executive Secretariat of the Department of State.
  2. James E. Webb, Under Secretary of State, customarily met several times a week with the Assistant Secretaries and other principal officers of the Department of State (or their representatives) for the primary purpose of exchanging information on issues before the Department.
  3. Reference is to the Foreign Aid Steering Group which was charged with the preparation of foreign economic and military assistance legislation for Fiscal Year 1952. The group included representatives of the Departments of State, Treasury, and Defense; the Economic Cooperation Administration; the Bureau of the Budget; and the office of W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President. Willard L. Thorp, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, served as Chairman. The Foreign Aid Steering Group held twelve meetings between November 21, 1950, and April 13, 1951. Records of the group and its task forces are located in FRC Acc. No. 62A613, boxes 102 and 124.
  4. Edward G. Miller, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs.
  5. For information on the President’s budget message of January 15, see editorial note, p. 269.
  6. George C. McGhee, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs.
  7. Dean Rusk, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs.
  8. John H. Ohly, Acting Director, Mutual Defense Assistance Program.