S/ISA Files, Lot 52–51

Minutes of the First Meeting of the Expediting Group,1 Held at the Department of State, 3:00 p. m., April 18, 1951

top secret
EG M–1

[Here follow a list of those present (35) and discussion of several matters unrelated to Latin America.]

Proposed Revisions on Title IV Programs ( FWG IV D–1)2

Colonel Bonesteel 3 said the FWG had recommended three appeals: (1) to restore the military program to $70 million; (2) to raise the technical cooperation programs by $1.9 million over the markings; and (3) to request the restoration of new authorization for the Inter-American highway in the amount of $4 million.4

[Here follows a brief discussion of the military grant aid program appeal.]

Inter-American Highway

Mr. Mann 5 explained that the paper treats the problem with the same approach that was used in the original submission, and that the only new element is that we request half as much as we did before. He said that ARA would prefer to be over-ruled than to agree to a 16-year program for the highway which a $4 million annual expenditure rate would necessitate. Colonel Bonesteel was concerned about asking the Secretary or Under Secretary of State6 to go through an appeal process since nothing new had been added. Ambassador Wood 7 felt that the only way to gain a restoration in the highway will be to request it at a high level on a frankly political basis. Therefore, no extensive figures would be required. Mr. Mann indicated that he expects Congressional [Page 1059] support for the highway, but Ambassador Wood cautioned that the Executive position must be properly established before the hearings. Mr. Lincoln Gordon expressed the belief that support for the program within the White House is stronger than the Budget attitude indicates, and that it would therefore be a mistake not to appeal it. Colonel Bonesteel made it clear that his only concern is to provide the top appealing officer with a good case. Mr. Mann agreed to rewrite the appeal justification emphasizing the importance of the program for the prevention of social unrest and political revolution.8 Colonel Bonesteel felt that Mr. Webb would go along with a properly constructed paper emphasizing the significance of the highway in the general context of Latin American policy, its effect as a deterrent on political unrest and the domestic political interest in it. Ambassador Wood felt it is important to introduce something new before a high level appeal is made. Colonel Lincoln 9 proposed that the last sentence of 1 under Problem be deleted and that the last paragraph on page 2 be removed altogether. Colonel Bonesteel informed the group that Mr. Webb had indicated generally that he would be willing to make the $4 million appeal.

Technical Cooperation ( OAS )

Mr. Stinebower explained that the only appeal is in the bilateral Point IV material.

Mr. Mann said that this section is only an outline which will require revision. An additional paper on UN programs will also be prepared. Mr. Iverson 10 explained that the working group had cut to a figure for grants but the finally requested amount was about $600,000 more than the Budget markings ($5,116,000 compared to $4.5 million in the markings). He said that the IIAA 11 programs have generally increased over the past year but noted that programs in recent year [Page 1060] have been marginal. There has been some feeling in Latin America that we should raise our contribution since the participating countries often put in 6 or 7 times more than we do. Colonel Bonesteel understood from the Budget markings that the Bureau would go along with a considerable program but wanted a realistic evaluation as to whether 1952 personnel can be processed by July 1. Mr. Iverson replied that: (1) there is already a program going on in the hemisphere; (2) they have had no trouble with finding the necessary people; (3) the figure here already includes a lapse of three months; (4) we are building programs with the Point IV money available and our proposal would increase the FY 1951 programs by a third. Therefore, he felt that there are reasonable answers to the comment on lapses. Colonel Bonesteel suggested that general points of this kind be put on top of the details of our justification, so as to indicate that we accept generally the Burget position but account for the specific points. Mr. Iverson agreed to do so.

The deadline for the preparation of the three “rebuttals” to Budget, military Inter-American highway and technical assistance was agreed to be Friday noon. The appeal of $1.9 million was accepted by the group subject to re-drafting of a justification.

Mr. Stinebower felt that any appeal papers prepared for Mr. Webb should be couched in more general terms. Colonel Bonesteel agreed and said that two or three main points should suffice. It was agreed that the appeals would be re-written in the form of a memorandum from Colonel Bonesteel to Mr. Webb for the Under Secretary to use in making an oral appeal to the Director of the Budget.12 The memorandum should state that the Executive Group recommend an appeal (a) on the military program (with the main arguments stated and the details tabbed in); (b) on the highway (about a paragraph with three of four strongly stated points plus a table on programs); and (c) technical assistance (in summary, synthesized form).13

[Page 1061]

[Here follows additional discussion of matters unrelated to Latin America.]

  1. An interdepartmental group called into existence for several days to resolve questions relating to the redrafting of the foreign aid program for appeal to the Bureau of the Budget.
  2. Reference is to a paper prepared in the Department of State by the Final Working Group (FWG) for Title IV (Latin America) of the proposed foreign aid bill, dated April 17, 1951, and designated FWG IV D–1, for use in connection with hearings on the bill at the Bureau of the Budget; a copy is in Lot 52–51, Box 128.
  3. Charles H. Bonesteel, III, Executive Director of the European Coordinating Committee, temporarily designated Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, effective March 16, 1951, to assist in preparing the foreign aid program for presentation to Congress. Mr. Bonesteel served as the Department of State’s representative on the Executive Group for Foreign Aid; for documentation on the Executive Group, see vol. i, pp. 266 ff.
  4. The original requests submitted to the Bureau of the Budget by the Department of State were as follows: $80,000,000 for military grant aid, of which $10,000,000 was allowed; $33,781,000 for the technical cooperation program, of which $17,000,000 was allowed; and $8,000,000 for the Inter-American Highway program, which was disallowed.
  5. Thomas C. Mann, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs.
  6. James E. Webb.
  7. C. Tyler Wood, Deputy United States Representative in Europe, Economic Cooperation Administration, and member of the Executive Group on Foreign Aid.
  8. In a memorandum to Mr. Webb, dated April 25, 1951, Mr. Mann stated in part that the principal basis for the appeal on the Inter-American Highway request “is that the five Central American countries concerned, and Panama, have extremely low living and health standards and, in varying degrees, are already suffering from social and political unrest. The greatest single contribution which this Government can make to their economic progress and stability is to complete the highway which will provide the only overland means of communication between all of them, open up new areas to agricultural development and complement the Point IV program in the area.” (Lot 52–51, Box 128)
  9. George A. Lincoln, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, and member of the Executive Group on Foreign Aid.
  10. Kenneth R. Iverson, President, Institute of Inter-American Affairs (IIAA).
  11. The Institute of Inter-American Affairs was originally incorporated in 1942 and became a U.S. Government corporation in 1947. It was established to aid governments in the Western Hemisphere by promoting technical programs and projects for health, sanitation, and food supply. As of mid-1950, the IIAA operated in conjunction with the Technical Cooperation Administration (TCA) in Latin America. For background information on the IIAA, see the statement made by Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Willard L. Thorp before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 10, 1949, printed in the Department of State Bulletin, June 19, 1949, pp. 795–797. For information on the IIAA’s activities and its relationship with TCA in 1950, see the editorial note in Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. ii, p. 679.
  12. Frederick J. Lawton.
  13. The appeal to the Bureau of the Budget was embodied in a paper prepared by the Final Working Group for Title IV, dated April 23, 1951, and designated FWG IV D-l a, not printed; a copy is in Lot 52–51, Box 128.

    As a result of appeals by the Department of State, the Bureau of the Budget increased the FY 1952 budget marking for technical assistance programs in Latin America to $22,000,000, which the Department proposed as of late August to apportion in the following manner: $18,000,000 for bilateral technical cooperation programs (all countries except Argentina), $1,000,000 for OAS programs, and $3, 000,000 for multilateral programs administered through the UN (820.00–TA/8–2851).

    The Mutual Security Act of 1951 (Public Law 165), approved October 10, 1951, however, authorized a limit of $21,250,000 for technical assistance programs under Title IV (American Republics); for text, see 65 Stat. 373. The actual appropriation included in the Military Security Appropriation Act of 1952 (Public Law 249), approved October 31, 1951, was for $21,245,653; for text of the act, see 65 Stat. 731.

    Pertinent documents relating to contributions by the United States for technical assistance programs in the individual Latin American countries are in Department of State decimal file 820.00–TA for 1951 and S/ISA Files, FRO Accession 62 A 613.