No. 81
Memorandum by the Counselor of the Department of State (MacArthur) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret


  • “Volunteer Freedom Corps”
[Page 221]

In the light of the Pravda editorial which links recent events in Korea and East Germany, and makes specific mention of US activities under the Kersten Amendment,2 I have definite reservations regarding the wisdom of raising the question of the “Volunteer Freedom Corps” with our European friends and allies at this particular time.

The Communist propaganda apparatus will, of course, exploit to the hilt our efforts to establish a Volunteer Freedom Corps. This worries me less than the fact that I fear some of our friends will think that by our actions we are responsible for keeping the East-West temperature at a very high level. In essence, I fear that by pushing the Volunteer Freedom Corps at this time we will produce exactly the opposite psychological effect from the one we desire.3

Douglas MacArthur II
  1. Also sent to Under Secretary Smith. In the margin of the source text O’Connor wrote: “Doug—Sec saw 24 June—RLO’C”.
  2. Section 101(a)(1) of the Mutual Security Act of 1951, P.L. 82–165 (65 Stat. 373), Oct. 10, 1951.
  3. In spite of this memorandum, the Department of State in circular airgram 3146, June 26, instructed the Chiefs of Mission in London, Paris, and Bonn to proceed with the approach outlined in circular airgram 7, June 1 (see footnote 2, supra ). (740.5/6–2653)