Memorandum Prepared in the Management Staff2
Subject: Point 4 Regional Organization for the Near East
To resolve the difference between TCA and NEA as to whether there should be a regional office for technical assistance in the Near East.
A. TCA and NEA Proposals
1. TCA Proposal for Regional Coordination in Washington
TCA proposes to appoint Country Directors of Technical Cooperation in each of the Arab states, Iran and Israel who will be responsible to TCA Washington on program operational matters. An Assistant Administrator of TCA in charge of the Near East Development Service (NEDS) will coordinate regional programs in Washington. In addition, TCA proposes to establish a pool of technical personnel at Beirut to be assigned for temporary duty as required by country programs.[Page 1658]
2. NEA Proposal for Regional Director in Field
NEA strongly urges the appointment of a Regional Director in the field, of at least ministerial rank, to whom the Country Directors would be responsible and who would supervise the technical pool at Beirut. He would administer the program in his area with a minimum of control from Washington.
B. Opposing Arguments
1. NEA Arguments for Regional Director in Field
- Economic development in the Near East will involve international river systems which can best be dealt with on a regional level.
- Coordination between the UN Palestine Refugee Program and Point 4 country programs could be facilitated by a field Regional Director.
- To secure the services of men like Dr. Frank Graham, Gordon Clapp, and other highly qualified experts in the field of economic development for duty in the Near East, it will be necessary to give them responsibility for all Point 4 programs in the region, with a minimum of control from Washington. It is important to place such a man in charge of the program if the desired quick economic impact in the region is to be achieved.
- The British used a highly successful regional organization in the Middle East for economic matters during the last war.
2. TCA Arguments Against Regional Director in Field
- Appointment of a largely autonomous Regional Director in the field would deprive the Administrator of control necessary to carry out his responsibility for integration of all U.S. technical assistance programs.
- River development projects are not, and may not be for some time, part of the program for the Middle East.
- Coordination between Point 4 and the UN Palestine Refugee Program can be effectively achieved by a regional minister without placing him in the TCA line of command.
- The concept of a high-powered regional organization in the field runs counter to the village-level, grass-roots approach of the Point 4 program.
- Hostility between Israel and the Arab states makes impartial, country-by-country administration of programs imperative. In the absence of a basic political unity in the area, a regional merger of the Point 4 Programs might well prove detrimental to the total effort. For example, it would be difficult to fix a headquarters for the Regional Director without incurring the displeasure of one or the other side in the Arab-Israel controversy, or even without arousing jealousies among the Arab countries should one of them be selected for such headquarters. All countries, however, are willing to look to Washington.
1. That you determine whether Messrs. McGhee and Bennett have any further views on this matter they may wish to express to you.
2. If no further considerations come to light, the information presently available would suggest that you decide against the establishment of a Regional Director in the field because [Page 1659]
- The step would weaken the Administrator’s control of Point 4 operations;
- It would interpose an additional organizational layer in the TCA line of command which is not justified by the arguments advanced; and
- It would create a field organization beyond the supervisory control of the Chiefs of Mission, with the possibility of another OSR type of operation.