MSA telegram files, lot W–130, “Paris Repto”: Telegram

No. 832
The Acting Special Representative in Europe (Porter) to the Mutual Security Agency


Repto 86. Limit Distribution. For Bissel and Wood from Porter. Subsequent cable1 will develop OSR views on econ policy which shld govern prospective US aid to Spain. This cable concerned primarily with broader political and public relations aspects. Fol represents concerted OSR view, including Riddleberger, information, labor information and labor.

Bilateral agreement shld contain clause to effect that aid program will conform to gen objectives defined in Mutual Security Act2 and Econ Cooperation Act.3 Some such provision presumably called for by statutory requirements re bilaterals in section 115 (B) Econ Cooperation Act as construed in light of Spanish aid clause in appropriation act.4 Wld seem desirable on policy grounds even if not legally required. “Objectives” thus referred to wld of course include [Page 1782] those set forth in Benton amendment.5 It is fully recognized that issue of free trade unions must be handled with patience, careful preparation and timing, and diplomatic skill. Encouragement of free private enterprise will probably also encounter some strong resistance from certain element within Spanish Govt.
We must recognize, however, that large segment of Eur opinion whose support of Mutual Security objectives is essential to their success, will find inclusion of Spain in any aspect of Mutual Security program distasteful, and will not be reconciled to US policy in Spain, until there is tangible evidence that Spanish internal policy is itself liberalized. Internal changes which wld make Spain less objectionable to Western Eur opinion cannot, of course, be expected to come quickly. On other hand, they are by no means irrelevant to US objectives in extending econ aid.
In light of above, as well as paramount military considerations and directly related econ factors, it seems to us that great care shld be used in selection of MSA mission leadership. Mission chief shld fully understand US interest in its broadest aspects and shld have unusual diplomatic skill. This does not necessarily mean that mission chief shld be well known public figure. There wld be at least some advantage if contrary were true. Business experience is of course one useful qualification but not the most important. Prior experience ECA wld be extremely helpful. Believe person selected as mission chief shld be well regarded by free Amer labor unions as well as others representative of that part of Amer opinion dubious of benefits to US in giving aid to Spain.
  1. Not further identified.
  2. Mutual Security Act of 1951, P.L. 82–165 (65 Stat. 373), Oct. 10, 1951.
  3. Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, P.L. 80–472 (62 Stat. 137), Apr. 3, 1948.
  4. Mutual Security Appropriation Act of 1952, P.L. 82–249 (65 Stat. 730), Oct. 31, 1951.
  5. Section 516 of the Mutual Security Act of 1951 (see footnote 2 above); it stipulated that free enterprise and free labor union movements “where suitable” were to be encouraged, and cartel and monopolistic practices discouraged “to the extent that it is feasible” in the administration of the Mutual Security Act.