Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation, lot 65 D 238, “February 1952”

No. 503
Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State (Battle)1


Mr. Lovett called the Secretary this afternoon following the earlier conversations2 and said he had a couple of ideas on how to handle the French situation. He said that out of some $580 million of the end item account which could be transferred, we have transferred a little over 478 million, plus 27 million for Indochina. This leaves approximately 75 million. Mr. Lovett said he thought under the Secretary’s theory (the business of what would be required for 14 divisions instead of 17) if we could stick to hard items such as trucks, etc., and leave off such items as blankets, we might be able to shrink down deliveries to the lower figure. He said this might give us some funds to enable us to go in to off-shore procurement. He mentioned that of the 150 million already approved for offshore, we were unable actually to make the purchases for one reason or another. He said that what we must find out is some reliable information on the actual items which the French would want purchased. The Secretary promised to speak to Mr. Harriman and try to send something back to Mr. Lovett next Friday.

  1. Copies of this memorandum were sent to Bonbright, Merchant, and Matthews.
  2. For a record of an earlier telephone conversation, see Document 501. No record of other conversations has been found in Department of State files.