310. Letter From the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Mutual Security Affairs (Barnes) to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Gray)1

Dear Mr. Gray: The Department of State has received from the Dominican Ambassador notes No. 2658 and No. 2659 dated November 5, 1956,2 copies of which are attached, expressing the desire of the Dominican Government to obtain from the United States twenty type PCS ships and six steam-turbine destroyers. The former are to be used for coastguard service and potentially for antisubmarine warfare and the latter to replace units the repair of which is stated to be uneconomical.

It is my understanding that at the time the ship loan program for Latin America was developed, the Department of Defense did not include the Dominican Republic in the program since it was of the opinion that the Dominican Republic was not capable at that [Page 880] time of absorbing additional naval vessels. I should therefore appreciate the views of the Department of Defense as to the present needs of the Dominican Republic for additional naval vessels and specifically its views with regard to these particular requests.

For your information, the Department of State would not object in principle to the furnishing of additional naval vessels to the Dominican Republic in numbers not in excess of those proposed by the Department of Defense for other Latin American countries in the Caribbean area, provided that the Department of Defense considers that such vessels come within the military requirements of the Dominican Republic.3

Robert G. Barnes
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 739.5–MSP/11–556. Confidential.
  2. Neither printed. (Ibid.)
  3. In a letter dated March 4, 1957, William M. Leffingwell writing for Thomas P. Pike informed Barnes that “The Joint Chiefs of Staff have determined that there is no military requirement in the Dominican Republic for these vessels at this time. Therefore, the Department of Defense does not favor the provision of the twenty PCS ships and six destroyers requested, on either a grant aid or a reimbursable aid basis.” (Ibid., 739.5–MSP/3–457) Leffingwell and Pike were Special Assistants to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.