Eisenhower Library, Dulles papers, “Telephone Conversations”

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Prepared in the Department of State

1. The President telephoned to ask the Secretary about the McCarran Act, could he say that they agreed that it should be flexible enough to allow the Executive Department to allocate unused quotas? The Secretary said he doesn’t know enough about the Act to comment very intelligently. The President said that for instance the British have a quota of about 40,000 which they do not use and the Italians have only 5,600 and are overloaded with applications. Why couldn’t they transfer the unused quota to one that needed it, on the basis of usual standards of morality, intelligence, etc. The Secretary did not see any reason why we should not, and mentioned that there should be more flexibility in the mechanics as they applied to sailors, etc., as brought out by the Norwegian Ambassador.1

[Here follows brief discussion concerning a conversation between the Secretary and Scott McLeod, Administrator of the Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs]

  1. In a memorandum by Sherman Adams to Joseph M. Dodge, Special Assistant to the President, dated Mar. 23, 1953, Adams described the legislative leadership conference held at the White House that morning and wrote that “the President restated his campaign pledge to work for greater flexibility with respect to transferring to certain countries quotas unused by others.” According to Adams, Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, the Majority Leader, “indicated that such flexibility would constitute a major change in the quota system, such as he felt Congress would not approve.” (Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, White House Office records, “Legislative Leadership Meetings”)