139. Letter From the Secretary of the Treasury (Humphrey) to the Secretary of State1

Dear Foster: With reference to our conversation this morning about SUNFED, the President in his speech of April 16, 1953 stated that when the people of the world had joined in a disarmament system which resulted in substantial savings in the burdens of armaments, we would be glad to use some of our savings toward increasing peaceful pursuits throughout the world.

The subject was up for discussion in the United Nations last fall when Cabot Lodge handled it on this basis. He wrote me under date of December 13, 19552 that he understood our policy to be that there would be no funds available for SUNFED for such purposes until the conditions laid down by the President had been complied with. I wrote him as per copy enclosed on December 19th,3 in confirmation.

You are in receipt of a telegram from him, dated January 13th,4 suggesting that now the “U.S. offer to contribute …5 independently of achievement of internationally controlled disarmament on the same percentage basis as U.S. share of UN regular budget” provided others do so.

I think it would be a great mistake for us to do this. We are far better off to handle our own economic assistance throughout the world in the way that will best serve our interests, and preserve whatever credit there is in it for ourselves, rather than to turn the use of our money over to SUNFED management, which I believe is not as competent as our own.

This is a matter of important policy to be determined. Cabot should have a reply, and I will be most interested in your feeling about it as I think it would be most unfortunate to still further [Page 365]complicate our budget situation in this field before Congress at this time.6

Yours very truly,

George
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 398.051/1–2656.
  2. Document 136.
  3. See footnote 4, ibid.
  4. Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 346.31/1–1356)
  5. Ellipsis in the source text.
  6. In a letter dated January 31, Dulles replied: “I have your letter of January 26th. Thank you for the additional information about SUNFED. I am looking into the matter raised by Cabot in the telegram you mention.” (Department of State, E Files: Lot 60 D 68, International Development Fund, 1950–1957, W.J. Stibravy)