720. 5–MSP/12–1451: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Offices in the American Republics1


535. Re State–Defense circ agam, Nov 6, 1951, 2:05 p. m.2 Re procedures carry out grant mil assistance Program under Mutual Security Act of 1951. President has found that country to which you are accredited, along with certain other Amer Republics, may be furnished mil assistance under section 401 Mutual Security Act of 1951 in accordance with Defense plans establishing a need for its participation in Missions important to defense Western Hemisphere. You are requested inquire FonMin whether his Govt desires enter into dipl-mil conversations aimed at reaching bilateral mil assistance agreement required by Act, as well as separate mil plan relative to prep unit or units its armed forces for hemisphere defense missions and to provision grant aid by US to assist in such prep. Plans under which Presidential authorization has been given, which constitute basis for initiation of program, contemplate US assistance in prep of unit or units all three armed services countries being approached, except Cuba, where air [Page 1031] force alone involved, and Ecuador and Mexico, where naval units not rpt not involved.

You shld explain to FonMin if his Govt approves initiation these conversations, you will be assisted in them by reps Dept Defense, who will also be auth carry on necessary supplementary negots with mil reps his Govt, and these negotiators are prep arrive in that country promptly, shld his Govt approve. Mil negot teams include one officer Gen or flag rank, assisted by 2 or 3 other officers. Entirely your discretion, you may wish confirm your inquiry by aide-mémoire with view eliciting favorable written response.

Fol for your background info re above approach:

Copies of draft bilateral agreement, dated Nov 20, 1951,3 of type contemplated for negot with LA countries, together with explanatory comments on Agreement in gen and each of its provisions have been sent by air pouch. This draft corresponds to those negotiated with countries now receiving US grant mil assistance, except for certain adaptations required either because of nature LA program or recent changes in pertinent Acts US Congress. While you shld refrain from presentation this draft until after initiation detailed negots, you may wish refer in gen to its provisions, emphasizing their similarity those negotiated in detail with other Govts receiving US grant aid. You will note final Art draft stipulates it must be registered with UNSYG and will be, therefore, a public doc. Mil plan, however, will be classified Secret and treated accordingly.
Emb will have noted that program involves prep units armed forces of countries receiving grant aid for possible use, in event of war or grave emergency in which Rio Treaty wld be applicable, for missions important to defense Western Hemisphere which may involve utilization of forces outside natl terr but within hemisphere. Shld questions as to nature these missions and the circumstances under which they wld be performed be raised, you shld indicate our hope and belief that any problem which may arise this connection can be resolved satis during detailed negots.
Strictly for your own info, precise nature of mutual undertakings, including those for utilization forces, will be spelled out in bilateral mil plans as finally negotiated. These plans will be tied closely to provisions of Rio Treaty. Fulfillment of undertakings will in gen depend upon subsequent agreement when specific situation calling for joint action arises. Therefore, unless it appears that Govt is clearly unwilling even consider possibility preparing units for hemisphere defense missions which may involve utilization (subj to that Govts agreement at that time) forces outside natl terr, related questions shld not constitute obstacle to initiation of negots.
It is US view that finally negotiated bilateral mil plan shld be in consonance with Inter-American Defense Board Common Defense Scheme and the gen mil plan. Latter was recently approved by Council of Delgs of IADB for submission to Govts. Again strictly FYI, for [Page 1032] those Govts which have not yet approved Common Defense Scheme, substantive approval of this doc or gen mil plan will be a prerequisite to our making available grant mil assistance. Of countries now being approached, Braz, Mexico and Urug have not as yet indicated approval.

Shld question be raised re publicity re negots, you may say that, while every reasonable effort will be made to conform to desires of FonMins Govt in this respect, and while we wish avoid heavy publicity until actual results can be reported, it will probably prove necessary and desirable that there be brief gen announcement in Wash, which can be timed to coincide with local release, when the mil negotiating team arrives in that country. This wld be confined to brief statement that conversations re mil matters related to US Mutual Security Program and to defense Western Hemisphere being carried on. You shld emphasize importance maintenance secrecy info as to specific Govts being approached until that time.

Report by tel results your approach including, if response favorable, date on which FonMin Govt desires conversations begin.

Request you pass info in this message to US service attachés and Chiefs US service missions.

FYI only this tel being sent to Mexico City, Habana, Bogota, Rio, Lima, Quito, Santiago, Montevideo.

  1. Drafted by Mr. Jamison and Mr. Schoenfeld; cleared by the Offices of South American Affairs and Middle. American Affairs, the Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Economic Affairs, the Office of the Director, International Security Affairs, and the Department of Defense.
  2. Not printed (720.5–MAP/11–651).
  3. An annotated draft of a model Military Assistance Bilateral Agreement is attached to a memorandum by Mr. Jamison to Mr. Miller, dated November 23, 1951, not printed (720.5–MAP/11–2351).