700.5 MAP/5–2851

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Webb) to the President

secret

Subject: Transfer of Fiscal Year 1951 Title I Funds in the Amount of $14,800,000 to Title II, and $75,489,107 [79,489,107] to Title III of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act, as Amended.1

The continuing review by the Department of Defense of the changing military situation in various theaters, in some of which hostilities are now going on, has revealed the necessity for undertaking immediately programs of increased military assistance to Indochina, Turkey, and Greece in the respective amounts of $79,489,107, $15,800,000, [Page 319]and $2,000,000.2 The increased program for Indochina, and most of that for Turkey, had been heretofore programmed for a later time. The increased Greek program had not been considered necessary under earlier conditions.

It is considered advisable to provide this increased aid immediately for the reasons set forth below.

Indochina

On June 27, 1950, you directed the acceleration of military assistance to the forces of France and the Associated States in Indochina.3 This acceleration has been governed by the tactical requirements of our own forces and of another area holding a supply priority above that of Indochina, and by the growth of forces in Indochina which can use the equipment supplied them.

The operational needs of the French ground forces presently engaged in combat in the Tonkin area have increased urgently and unexpectedly for certain categories of equipment and ammunition. To meet these needs there is required $49,520,000.

The activation of native forces in Indochina during calendar year 1951 has increased faster than anticipated. To provide equipment for these forces, for which funds have not been made available previously, there is required $10,659,107.

To provide the French forces in Indochina with twenty-three landing craft and six picket craft, which, because of accelerated requirements due to increased operational needs should be delivered earlier than previously contemplated, there is required $7,000,000.

The French have urgently requested a B-26 light bomber squadron to bolster forces campaigning against the Viet Minh. To achieve the greatest effectiveness this year, these aircraft should be delivered in time for use during the winter dry season. $12,300,000 is required for this program.

Turkey

To advance the delivery date of a submarine tender needed to increase the mobility of the Turkish submarine fleet previously furnished by the U.S., there is required $8,000,000.

To provide common use items urgently needed to support increases in the Turkish armed forces, there is required $7,800,000. It was previously contemplated that these items would be paid for with ECA Fiscal Year 1951 funds. The Bureau of the Budget has recently determined, however, that they are properly chargeable to Mutual Defense Assistance Funds.

[Page 320]

Greece

To provide a portion of the harbor defense equipment for Souda Bay Crete, recently set by CINCNELM as the highest priority for Greece, and upon which long production lead-times require the earliest implementation, there is required $2,000,000.

The foregoing programs total $79,489,107 for Title III, and $17,800,000 for Title II. There are $4,000,000 available in Title III Fiscal Year 1951 unprogrammed funds. There are $3,000,000 available in Title II Fiscal Year 1950 and 1951 unprogrammed funds. To secure the balance required to meet the programs proposed above, the Departments of State and Defense recommend that, by signing the memorandum attached as Annex A,4 you transfer from funds appropriated for use in accordance with Title I of the MDA Act, as amended, $75,489,107 to Title III (appropriation symbol 1110049) and $14,800,000 to Title II (appropriation symbol 1110046). Such a transfer is authorized by Section 408(c) of the Act, as amended.

Although, as a general rule, it is considered undesirable to divert any significant amount of funds from their intended use in Europe, it is believed desirable to do so in this instance.

The long-term objective of assisting the creation of an integrated military force of the North Atlantic Treaty powers (Title I) involves the transfer of large amounts of complex new equipment (having in many cases long production lead-times) coordinated with the provision of assistance to increase indigenous military production. These measures must all be carefully coordinated with expanding European mobilization programs. This concept differs from that governing military assistance to the Far East and to a lesser extent from that governing military assistance to the Middle East. The military situation in Asia ranges from full scale combat operations in Korea and Indochina, through the threat of invasion in Formosa, to minor police action in other countries.

Pressure from the North on the Near East is relentless. The threat of a limited, Soviet-inspired, satellite attack along North Korean lines is ever present in that area.

Accordingly, the needs of these areas, unlike Europe’s, are largely for individual items or installations required for immediate and specific operational purposes.

In the present case, therefore, it is believed that the temporary diversion of a relatively small amount of funds from use in Europe to use in the Far and Middle East will not seriously affect the build-up of European defenses. This is so partly because of the short-term unavailability of many of the items required by our European partners. On the other hand, the situation in the Far and Middle East and the nature of the items required to meet these situations are such that it [Page 321]is greatly in our interest to fill immediately the programs here proposed.

It is recommended that you allocate $79,489,107 out of appropriation symbol 1110049 to the Department of Defense for use under Section 303. All the funds transferred to Titles II and III will be used to implement the above programs, subject to refinements to be approved by the Director, International Security Affairs. The Department of Defense (and the ECA in the case of the program of common-use items for Turkey) will prepare and submit fiscal and supply reports on these programs to the Department of State, under procedures approved by the International Security Affairs Committee.

Section 408(c) of the Act, as amended, also provides that notice of any action thereunder shall be given by the President to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the House, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House.

I have attached as Annex B5 a copy of a draft letter on this matter which I recommend you transmit to the interested Chairmen.

James E. Webb
  1. By letter of June 8 to the Secretary of State, President Truman approved the recommended transfer of funds (700.5 MAP/6-851).
  2. For documentation on U.S. policy with respect to Indochina, including material on military assistance, see vol.vi, Part 1, pp. 332 ff.; documentation on U.S. relations with Greece and Turkey appears in volume v.
  3. For documentation on U.S. policy with respect to Indochina during 1950, including material on military assistance, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, pp. 690 ff.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed.