186. Memorandum for the Record by C.C. Kirkpatrick of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs1

The Pakistan Ambassador, Syed Amjed Ali, requested an appointment with Admiral Radford. The appointment was arranged for 1530 today, Tuesday 18 January. Present were Admiral Radford, Captain Kirkpatrick, the Pakistan Ambassador and the Pakistan Attaché, Brigadier M.G. Jilani.

The Ambassador asked if Admiral Radford discussed recent Pakistan military maneuvers with anyone while the Admiral was in Karachi. The Admiral replied that he heard of the maneuvers and that they were successful; that he thought Brigadier General Sexton, USA, had attended; but that he had not discussed this subject as such with anyone. The Admiral explained that his time in Karachi was short and that most of the talks were with the American Ambassador and his staff, US-MAAG personnel and Pakistan officials concerning mutual problems and understanding, mainly in the area of U.S. assistance programs. The Ambassador then wanted to know if the various ramifications of the assistance programs were found in order and if, on the U.S. side, we had made up our minds as to the details of the program. He said that Pakistan had now signed both agreements under our Laws PL 6652 and PL 480;3 the former had been signed several days ago and the latter was signed yesterday, 17 January. He said that he was very happy that Pakistan was the first country to sign both agreements; especially so, since it was sometimes difficult for the people not acquainted with our legal processes, to intelligently comprehend the “ins and outs” of the working mechanisms. The Ambassador also wanted to know if we, the U.S., had settled on the military assistance program as a whole. Admiral Radford then scanned a paper before him which was a brief of Pakistan military assistance program situation as of now, and then informed the Ambassador that this year’s program seemed to be well in hand and well on the road to complete resolution. The Admiral informed the Ambassador that the U.S. did have a complete program [Page 414] of military assistance for Pakistan and that we were working from that program; that the present information was available both to Pakistan officials and U.S. officials in Pakistan. The Admiral explained that this complete program was not necessarily the final version since desirable changes as time went by might be suggested by either the U.S. or Pakistan and would, of course, be adopted if agreed to by both.

The Ambassador then brought up the subject of completion of a Pakistan Armory (arms and/or ammunition factory). He wondered if this subject had been discussed; and in particular in the light of possible U.S. assistance in this regard if this Armory seemed advisable. Admiral Radford said that the subject had been mentioned while he was in Karachi; that no military discussions were held; that he understood a Survey Team was to go to Pakistan shortly to look into this matter and report; this matter was being considered but no decisions had been made. The Ambassador and the Attaché both confirmed their understanding that a U.S. Team was shortly to look into this matter.

The Ambassador then said that he understood from the newspapers at the time of Admiral Radford’s visit to Karachi, that Admiral Radford had made statements to the Press to the effect that Pakistan had a most important part to play in SEATO.4 Admiral Radford explained that he really did not remember making such a statement; that his only contact with the Press was for a very short period at the airport upon arrival; that if he did make such a statement in substance, it no doubt was in reply to questions asked by newsmen and not an “off the cuff” declaration of Pakistan’s importance to SEATO. The Admiral said that often his answers to questions appear out of context and that for example, immediately after his return to Washington he was quoted widely in the newspapers as having again advocated a blockade of Communist China. The fact of the matter was that he made no such comment or recommendation. The Ambassador smiled and said, yes, he understood how things were twisted from time to time. Admiral Radford then explained that it had been gratifying to see Pakistan sign the SEATO Pact and that, of course, her membership was important to all.

The Ambassador then gave a brief of his ideas concerning SEATO. He said that apparently there were two schools of thought as to security against Communist encroachment. First, there were those peoples and countries who tended to accept the Communist word and who avoided defensive measures and mutual security [Page 415] arrangements since they believed or feared such actions would antagonize the Communists. These people might eventually feel it better to join than to resist. Then, on the other hand, there were those people and countries like Pakistan, who believe in appropriate defensive measures and believe and hope for sound mutual security arrangements. The Ambassador expressed concern that SEATO, so far, had not provided definitive security arrangements. He thought that SEATO, so far, lacked strength in that there had been no clear cut agreements as to when action would be taken; how it would and could be taken; and to what extent SEATO members would be supported by the rest of the Free World. He seemed to think there was danger in words without conviction and in security arrangements which did not clearly indicate a will to resist if need be. He said that the U.S. and the Free World were well organized and in sound condition in Europe and, through recent arrangements in the Middle East, in that locality also. However, he pointed out that we, the U.S. and the rest of the Free World, were in very bad shape in Southeast Asia and the Far East. He was firmly convinced that definitive arrangements were now an urgent necessity. In particular, whereas he held great hope for SEATO, he thought it most important that the coming SEATO meetings at Bangkok5 definitely should produce some clear understandings at the Ministerial level which would give strength and meaning to SEATO. Admiral Radford was silent for a moment, and then explained that whereas he understood the Ambassador’s concern, the Admiral felt that the problems stated by the Ambassador were properly problems on the political and diplomatic levels and that the military were only advisers. The Admiral stated that the military problems were relatively simple when compared to political, diplomatic, and economic problems. In the military area we could always see what it would take and how a job would have to be done. It was true that the execution of the military decisions might involve many complex problems, but in that area we pretty well knew what could and could not be done and how. Militarily speaking, we had built up strength around the world; that strength was still growing; the use of that strength is something else again. The Admiral concluded that he too hoped the Bangkok meetings of SEATO would be fruitful.

The Ambassador then said he had fears concerning the Asia-Afro conferences and he pointed out that Burma seemed to be drifting toward Communism. In particular, he said that at one time he had thought the Prime Minister of Burma6 would eventually [Page 416] come around and join SEATO, whereas now it seemed fairly clear that the Prime Minister and Burma were drifting toward the Communists. Admiral Radford said, yes, that he too had hoped Burma would join SEATO.

The Ambassador expressed his appreciation for the conference, said his “goodbye’s” and departed.

C.C. Kirkpatrick7
Captain, USN
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.90D/1–2155. Top Secret. Colonel John L. Throckmorton of ISA forwarded a copy of this memorandum to Nicholas G. Thacher, under cover of a memorandum of January 21.
  2. The Mutual Security Act of 1954, P.L. 665, approved on August 26, 1954. (68 Stat. 832)
  3. The Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, approved on July 10, 1954, was designed to help dispose of U.S. agricultural surpluses by increasing the consumption of U.S. agricultural commodities abroad. (68 Stat. 454)
  4. Pakistan was an original member of the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization formed by the Southeast Asian Collective Defense Treaty, signed in Manila September 8, 1954, and entered into force February 19, 1955. (6 UST 81)
  5. The First SEATO Council meeting was scheduled to be held at Bangkok, February 23–25.
  6. U Nu.
  7. Printed from a copy which bears this typed signature.