The Secretary of Defense (Wilson) to the
Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: I have approved a recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the following vessels and craft be loaned to the National Government of the Republic of China for the purpose of aiding in the defense of offshore islands held by that government:
- 10 patrol-type craft.
- 2 landing craft repair ships (ARL).
- Not more than 100 small landing craft (LCM/LCVP).
- Not more than 10 additional patrol-type craft, consistent with increase in NGRC capability to operate and maintain them.
These vessels and craft would be in addition to the two destroyers already scheduled for loan to the NGRC, and in addition to 100 small landing craft included in the Navy 1953 military grant aid program but not yet delivered. Of the maximum number of 200 small craft, it is planned to deliver only 32 (24 LCVP’s and 8 LCM’s) in the near future; the remainder will be delivered only after further consideration of requirements and capabilities.
The loan of the vessels and craft covered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommendation would be for a period not to exceed five [Page 340] years and subject to other terms and conditions similar to those which have been used to govern loans of vessels to other countries. Your concurrence in the loan is requested.
It would be appreciated if you would treat this as a matter of the highest priority, and, if you concur in the proposed loan, would advise the Department of Defense and the Director, Foreign Operations Administration, concurrently, in order that the Director may take action to obtain the approval of the President for the loan.1
- A letter from Acting Secretary Smith to Wilson, Dec. 12, informed him of Department of State concurrence. (794A.5/12–753) A memorandum from FOA Director Stassen to Secretary Dulles, Dec. 28, informed him that the President had given his approval. (794A.5/12–2853) An agreement between the United States and the Republic of China concerning the loan of the vessels was effected by an exchange of notes at Taipei on May 14, 1954; for text, see TIAS 2979 or 5 UST 892.↩