1. Memorandum of Discussion at the 245th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, April 21, 19552
The following were present at the 245th Council meeting: The President of the United States, presiding; the Vice President of the United States; the Acting Secretary of State; the Acting Secretary of Defense; the Director, Foreign Operations Administration; and the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization. Also present were the Secretary of the Treasury; the Director, Bureau of the Budget; the Director, U.S. Information Agency (for Items 2–6); General John E. Hull, USA (Ret.), (for Item 3); the Acting Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, the Acting Secretary of the Air Force, and Assistant Secretary of Defense Hensel (for Items 3 and 4); Admiral Carney for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, and the Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (for Items 3 and 4); Brig. Gen G.O.N. Lodoen, Capt. W.A. Sanders, Col. Marshall E. Sanders, Col. Ellsworth Cundiff, Col. John A. Frye, Lt. Cdr. L.W. Walker, Lt. Col. T.B. Roelofs, Lt. Col. John J. Greer, Department of Defense (for Item 4); the Director of Central Intelligence; the Assistant to the President; Dillon Anderson, Joseph M. Dodge, and Nelson A. Rockefeller, Special Assistants to the President; the Deputy Assistant to the President; Robert R. Bowie, Department of State; the White House Staff Secretary; the Executive Secretary, NSC; and the Deputy Executive Secretary, NSC.[Page 2]
There follows a summary of the discussion at the meeting and the main points taken.
[Here follows discussion of agenda items 1–3, a CIA Quarterly Report, significant world developments affecting United States security, and a presentation by General Hull. Item 3 is scheduled for publication in a forthcoming Foreign Relations volume.]
4. Review of Military Assistance Program (NSC 5434/1; Memo for NSC from Acting Executive Secretary, subject “Foreign Military Assistance”, dated August 30, 1954; NSC Action Nos. 1029–c, 1210, 1301–c, 1338–c and 1367; NSC 5439; NSC 5509, Part 2—The Mutual Security Program; NSC 5510/1, par. 20–a)3
After Mr. Dillon Anderson had briefed the Council, he called on Admiral Carney, as Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for the reference presentation. Admiral Carney introduced General Lodoen, and indicated that he would conduct the presentation.
At the conclusion of General Lodoen’s report, the President indicated particular concern that our allies undertake a greater proportion of the job of maintenance and repair of weapons that we would provide for them, particularly in time for war. The United States could certainly not be the sole source of such equipment. If it were, as he had once warned certain allied leaders, the United States would in practice be in the position of a dictator. The President added that he believed the United States must do more to make this position clear to its allies.
Secretary Hoover indicated some concern with General Lodoen’s presentation. He pointed out that in the original concept of force goals in Europe, our strategy was based in part on the ability of the recipient countries to carry their own weight, both in economic and military capabilities. However, said Secretary Hoover, he very much doubted if our current strategy, particularly in the Far East, was realistically based on an appraisal of the economic capabilities of the various countries to support the force levels which we had set.
Mr. Dillon Anderson then pointed out that the Council had before it the task of approving the statement of priorities prepared [Page 3] by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the delivery of military end items, which he indicated on a chart.
Governor Stassen said that the current statement of priorities contained a significant change. The priority accorded to allied NATO D-day forces had been dropped from the second priority to the third priority. U.S. NATO D-day forces remained in the second priority. Governor Stassen expressed the fear that the drop in priority for the NATO D-day forces would involve a serious delay in General Gruenther’s desired build-up of NATO air strength.
The President, in discussing the problem of priorities in practice as opposed to priorities in theory, said that in point of fact the United States was likely to begin to deliver matériel in the third priority before it had completed delivery of all matériel in the second priority. Governor Stassen nevertheless insisted that putting the NATO D-day forces in the third priority would seriously slow up the desired rapid build-up of NATO air strength. He recommended, therefore, that the allied NATO D-day forces be replaced in the second priority along with U.S. NATO D-day forces.
The President agreed with Governor Stassen to the point of stating that allied forces who were actually manning the front lines and were stationed in areas vital to U.S. security should be accorded the same priority for the receipt of war matériel as did U.S. forces stationed in similar areas. It was “silly” thought the President, not to have both U.S. and allied NATO forces in the same state of readiness on D-day.
Secretary Anderson commented that the whole problem was one of emphasis rather that of precise priority. He did not believe that the JCS list of priorities was intended to be rigid.
Governor Stassen replied that the President’s last statement seemed to him to establish the most desirable priority for the NATO D-day forces. He reiterated his belief that this was the only way to deal with General Gruenther’s problem of trying to build up the air strength in NATO. The President agreed with Governor Stassen’s remark.
Admiral Carney said that these priorities and, indeed, the whole assistance program, would have to be reviewed in the light of a current strategic concept which was quite different from the strategic concept under which the priority lists and the military assistance programs had originally been established. Such a review, he said, was already under way in the Defense Department. Admiral Carney expressed agreement with Secretary Anderson’s earlier statement that the issue was one of emphasis rather than of exact priorities. He added that the United States must take into consideration the capacity of the recipient countries to absorb and maintain military end items from the United States.[Page 4]
The President repeated that if these countries demonstrate that they have the capacity mentioned by Admiral Carney, they should be placed right up in the second priority. He again said that he meant those countries that are actually ready to fight on D-day.
Assistant Secretary of Defense Hensel expressed agreement to the proposal to move the NATO D-day forces into the second priority, but said he doubted whether this move would have very much practical effect on the movement of items. The President said that he was inclined to agree that this would be the case. The President went on to say that this upping of priority should be confined at the present time to NATO D-day forces, though perhaps later on Japan could also be moved into the second priority. He indicated that Mr. Dillon Anderson should discuss with the Joint Chiefs the actual wording of the NSC Action on this point before the action was submitted to the President for his approval.
Mr. Dillon Anderson then reminded the Council that there were two other pieces of unfinished business which the Council should consider today in connection with the review of the military assistance program. The first of these was a decision on the long-range force goals for Formosa. The second was a decision as to the amount of assistance to be made available by the U.S. to Turkey for FY 1955 in accordance with the commitment by the United States to Turkey in the Aide-Mémoire of June 4, 1954.4
Secretary Anderson indicated that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were working on the problem of long-range force goals for the Chinese Nationalist armed forces on Formosa. Unhappily, in present circumstances this was a purely academic exercise and would remain so until the situation in the Formosa Straits had been clarified. He therefore recommended that the Council defer action on this matter.
With respect to Turkey, Secretary Anderson indicated that the Department of Defense was in a position to make available $180 million worth of military assistance to Turkey for FY 1955 to meet our commitment to that country. On the other hand, he believed that these funds should not actually be made available to the Turks until receipt of the views of the high-level mission to Turkey, which would attempt to reach conclusions as to the capacity of the Turkish economy to absorb this amount of U.S. assistance without disastrous repercussions.
The National Security Council:
- Noted and discussed an oral presentation by the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, consisting of: [Page 5]
- An appraisal, by Services, of the current Mutual Defense Assistance Program in relation to long-range military planning.
- A survey of present effectiveness of foreign military forces in the light of approved national security policies and MDAP force objectives for FY 1956–1959.
- A statement of critical aspects of the MDA Program as they
- The attainment of combat-ready forces, both U.S. and allied.
- Post-D-day aid to allied forces which the U.S. mobilization base may have to supply.
- The attainment of a controllable program over the long range.
- Adopted the “Priorities Relative to Pre-D-Day Allocation of
Military Equipment” contained in NSC 5439 as amended by NSC 5509, Part 2, subject to the following changes;
- Add a new subparagraph 2–c, under “Second Priority”,
to read as follows:
“c. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces (other than U.S.) on active front-line duty in areas vital to U.S. security, when the nation contributing such forces has the capacity to maintain them.”
- In paragraph 3, under “Third Priority”, revise the parenthetical phrase “(other then U.S.)” following “North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces”, to read “(other than U.S. forces and those NATO forces included in paragraph 2–c above)”.
- Deferred further action on the review of force goals for Formosa requested by NSC Action No. 1301–c, pending clarification of the situation in the Formosa area.
- Noted that, pursuant to paragraph 20–a of NSC 5510/1, the Department of Defense has allocated $180 million to satisfy the commitment made by the U.S. to Turkey for FY 1955 in the Aide-Mémoire dated June 4, 1954; but that the provision of such additional aid to Turkey should await the results of the high-level mission to Turkey authorized by NSC Action No. 1338–c.
Note: The actions in b, c, and d above, as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to the Secretary of Defense for appropriate action. NSC 5439, as amended and adopted, approved by the President and subsequently circulated as NSC 5517.
[Here follows discussion of agenda items 5 and 6, United States objectives and policies with respect to Austria (scheduled for publication in a forthcoming Foreign Relations volume) and the NSC status of projects.]
- Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Prepared by S. Everett Gleason on April 22.↩
- NSC 5434/1, “Procedures for Periodic Review of Military Assistance Programs”, October 18, 1954, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. i, Part 1, p. 786. The August 30, 1954, memorandum is summarized in footnote 1, ibid., p. 740. NSC 5510/1, “U.S. Policy on Turkey, February 28, 1955” is scheduled for publication in a forthcoming Foreign Relations volume. Copies of NSC Actions are in Department of State, S/S–NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, NSC Records of Action. NSC 5439, “Priorities Relative to Pre-D-Day Allocation of Military Equipment” December 10, 1954, adopted as amended by NSC 5509, “Status of National Security Programs as of December 31, 1954” was approved by the President on April 22, 1955, and issued as amended as NSC 5517 to supersede NSC 5439. Copies of these NSC papers are ibid., S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351.↩
- Not printed; transmitted as an enclosure to airgram 245, June 8, 1954. (Ibid., Central Files, 782.5–MSP/6–854) This aide-mémoire is summarized in telegram 1351, June 5, 1954, scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, volume viii .↩