State–JCS Meetings, lot 61 D 417

Memorandum on Substance of Discussion at a Department of State–Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting, Held in the Pentagon, 2 p.m., February 26, 19541

top secret

[Here follow a list of those present (11) and discussion of matters relating to the Berlin Conference and Trieste.]

Reimbursement of Logistic Support for the Colombians in Korea

Mr. Murphy mentioned this matter had been discussed with Admiral Davis. We would like to pare down the charges against the Colombians, by way of making a gesture to them at the opening of the Caracas Conference.2 Ambassador Lodge was supporting a bill which would give the President a freer hand in reducing the financial burdens of foreign forces supplied from U.S. logistic support. The Colombians had raised the question of their capacity to pay and even though this may [Page 809] not be a valid consideration, we had hoped that some relief might be given them before the Caracas Conference, but this now seems impossible.

Admiral Carney favored relief for the Colombians, expressing admiration for their willingness to participate in Korea.

Admiral Radford pointed out that we control the amounts charged. Out of $10 million expenses incurred, we had already billed the Colombians for $5 million and presumably it might be possible to arrange the matter in their interest. Some other nations, particularly the Philippines, had indicated they might pull out of Korea owing to the heavy expenses involved.

Mr. Murphy suggested the possibility that Secretary Dulles might confidentially work out some arrangement with the Colombians at Caracas.

Admiral Radford pointed out that it was fair to charge the U.K. for the logistic support since they were receiving other military aid. The Colombian case might be different.

Mr. Murphy mentioned that financial questions will assume importance at Caracas, particularly Export-Import Bank loan policy. The State Department wished to put the Colombian problem before the JCS and would appreciate any help which the latter might give.3

[Here follows discussion of a matter unrelated to Colombia.]

  1. Admirals Radford (Chairman) and Carney, and Generals Ridgway and Twining were present. Mr. Murphy headed the Department of State group.

    A note on the source text reads as follows: “(State Draft. Not cleared with any of participants.)”

  2. Reference is to the Tenth Inter-American Conference, held at Caracas, Mar. 1–28, 1954; for documentation on the conference, see pp. 264 ff.
  3. The notes of the Secretary’s staff meeting, held on Mar. 4, 1952, designated SM N–211, read in part as follows:

    “4. The Acting Secretary [Mr. Smith] and Mr. Murphy pointed out that the JCS and Defense were taking contradictory positions on the question of Colombian reimbursement. General Ridgway had informed Mr. Murphy that the JCS was ready to concur in any recommendation which the Department might make to reduce the Colombian payments while Mr. Kyes, on the other hand, had stated to the Acting Secretary that such payments could not be scaled down.” (Secretary’s Staff Meetings, lot 63 D 75)

    The notes of the meeting also indicate that Acting Secretary Smith directed Mr. Murphy to draft a letter to Secretary of Defense Wilson to obtain a clarification of the matter, in order that the Secretary might be in a position to discuss it with Colombian Foreign Minister Sourdis at Caracas. No such letter was found, however, in Department of State files.