136. Letter From the Representative at the United Nations (Lodge) to the Secretary of the Treasury (Humphrey)1

Dear George: Thank you for your letter of December 5th concerning the question of an International Development Fund.2

I wholeheartedly share your desire for a mutual understanding of what our policy is with regard to this matter. I think I am correct in stating that there has been no real change in our policy—a policy outlined by the President in his speech of April 16, 1953. Until the peoples of the world have joined in a disarmament system which results in substantial savings in the burdens of armaments, there will be no funds from this country or any of the other countries from whom funds would have to come that can go into such a large world project for aid and reconstruction as has been contemplated by the under-developed countries.3

On the other hand, the position we were in during the debate on SUNFED was potentially dangerous to the United States in the international arena because of the possibility that a resolution would have been voted which would have been most repugnant to us. I believe that, as a result of the statements made this year by Congressman Hays in the Second Committee dealing with economic and financial matters, we have not only thwarted that potential danger but turned the situation into one where the United States position is clear in substance and, at the same time, our posture appears to be much more consistent with our genuine concern for the well-being of peoples throughout the world. We also obtained a resolution which enables us to exert a constructive influence on the future.

In this forum we have to take account of the prevailing sentiment, no matter how much we disagree with it, and guide it in the correct direction. When you favor a thing conditionally, it seems to me it is always better to say so and to assert those conditions strongly, rather than to say you are against it unless such and such happens. This is the only new element in the situation and represents no change at all in our fundamental policy or the understanding of it throughout the world.

While I agree that any possibility of a substantial contribution to an International Development Fund is in the very dim future, it [Page 351] seems proper to spend a certain amount of time in discussing it. We must keep our position on the record as clear as possible so that it will appear in the best possible light before the rest of the world and particularly in the eyes of the countries who want an International Development Fund to assist in the establishment of relatively healthy economies in these newly independent areas.

That is just the price one pays for belonging to an international organization such as the United Nations.4

With all best wishes,

Sincerely yours,

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.5
  1. Source: Department of State, E Files: Lot 60 D 68, International Development Fund, 1950–1957, W.J. Stibravy. A note on the source text indicates the letter was signed and mailed on December 16.
  2. Not printed. (Ibid., Central Files, 398.051/12–755)
  3. This section reflects the position Humphrey took in his December 5 letter.
  4. In a letter of December 19, Secretary Humphrey replied in part as follows: “I think we both fully agree on the situation. However, we just don’t want to be so diplomatic and agreeable in handling it that we actually become involved in commitments for expenditures before the time really comes that we can greatly reduce military expenditures and thus make some part of our saving available for this purpose.” (Department of State, Central Files, 340/2–356)
  5. Printed from a copy which bears this typed signature.