The Deputy Secretary of Defense ( Foster ) to the Secretary of State


Dear Mr. Secretary: Reference is made to a draft position paper,1 prepared by the Department of State to serve as guidance in conducting [Page 791] negotiations with Colombia concerning reimbursement for logistic support furnished Colombian ground and naval units in Korea. The draft was forwarded for clearance by the Department of Defense on 15 September 1952.

The Department of Defense concurs in the conclusions of the paper, subject to the following comment. Agreement by the United States to a settlement with Colombia providing for other than full reimbursement on a current basis would involve the exercise of the President’s emergency powers. A letter from the Department of Defense to the Department of State dated 27 September 1952,2 which was concerned with the general subject of reimbursement, expressed the view of this Department that the decision to utilize the President’s emergency powers in such cases should be made by the President. This Department accordingly does not agree with the concept underlying paragraph 4(b) of the Conclusions that the President’s approval should not be sought unless a complete waiver of reimbursement is involved. This Department interposes no objection, however, to proceeding with the negotiations and resolving any difference of opinion on that point at a later time if it should become necessary to do so.

The draft position paper refers on page 1 to the Colombian note of 14 November 1950,3 in which Colombia recognized an obligation to reimburse the United States. That note refers, however, only to reimbursement for logistic support and services furnished to the Colombian infantry battalion. Assurances concerning payment for logistic support provided by the United States Navy are contained in separate correspondence between the Chief of Naval Operations and the Colombian Naval Attaché, Washington.

It is requested that the Department of Defense be given as much advance notice as possible of the date selected for the negotiations with Colombia in order that representatives to take part in the negotiations may be designated. Informal notification will be acceptable.4

Sincerely yours,

William C. Foster
  1. Ante, p. 783.
  2. Not printed.
  3. See footnote 3, p. 784.
  4. A memorandum of conversation, dated Dec. 3, 1952, drafted by Mr. Goldstein, reads in part as follows:

    “It was agreed that the Department of State should proceed with negotiations with Colombia in accordance with the letter of November 28, 1952 from the Department of Defense. Mr. Goldstein was asked to make necessary arrangements with the Department of Defense. (After the meeting Mr. Goldstein called Col. Craig Davis, established the date of December 15 as the target for the start of negotiations, and obtained assurances from Col. Davis that financial data on the claim of U.S. against Colombia would be assembled before that date.)” (795B.5/12–352)