318. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Jernegan) to the Under Secretary of State (Hoover)1

SUBJECT

  • NSC 5510—US Policy on Turkey 2—Item No. 3, NSC Meeting February 24, 1955

Discussion:

This is the first revision of the NSC statement of policy toward Turkey since prior to its adherence to NATO. Among other matters, it discusses and makes recommendations concerning: (1) the role Turkey is playing in developing Middle East defense arrangements; (2) the desirability of and the US commitment for building up the strength of the Turkish armed forces; and (3) current Turkish economic difficulties.

With respect to economic difficulties, Turkey is developing many segments of its economy at once, and at a faster rate than it can finance without inflation. Prices have advanced by at least 20 [Page 611]percent in the past year, and Turkey has accumulated over $150 million of arrears in payments due to foreign suppliers. Turkey recognizes that it is in difficulties and has asked the US for a $300 million loan. It is our opinion (see paragraph 22 3) that Turkey can put its own house in order without loans of this nature.

Menderes, the Turkish Prime Minister, discussed Turkish military and economic matters in the US, particularly with Mr. Stassen, in June 1954. Menderes asked that the US increase the amount of military end items to be delivered to Turkey so that in four years the Turkish armed forces would be at a modified United States TO & E; this was estimated to require $200 million aid per year for the four years.

Menderes was told that the US intends to continue to base its military aid to Turkey toward meeting the requirements of the NATO approved force goals and, subject to certain caveats, the US was prepared in FY 1955 to meet one-fourth of the requirements to bring Turkish armed forces to NATO standards (a modified United States TO & E).

The Department of Defense believes it was not adequately consulted when the US made the commitment to Turkey as to military aid, and the Joint Chiefs go so far in their opposition as to question whether this Government made any commitment at all. The issue is posed in paragraph 20. 4 The left side, supported by State, [Page 612]proposes that we find out how much money we do have and then determine how best to carry out an existing, but not precisely delineated, commitment. The right side, advanced by the military, in effect proposes that we determine how much money is available and, regardless of the probable inadequacy of the amount, do nothing more about it. The considerations listed on the right side are obviously incomplete as they do not take into account political effects in Turkey and elsewhere in the Near East.

  1. Source: Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5510 Memoranda. Top Secret. Drafted by Lincoln and transmitted through the Executive Secretariat.
  2. NSC 5510, February 14, was drafted in the Department of State. For text of the draft, see ibid.
  3. The approved version of paragraph 22, NSC 5510/1, February 28, 1955, differed only from the draft paragraph in that in subparagraph 22a. the phrase “rely primarily upon Turkey’s taking” was substituted for the phrase “rely primarily upon encouraging Turkey to take”. See Document 320.
  4. Paragraph 20 reads as follows:

    “20. With respect to the commitment made by the US to Turkey for FY 1955:*

    • First Alternative (Proposed by the State, FOA and ODM Members and the CIA Adviser)

      “a. Determine by April 1, 1955, as part of the review of military assistance programs called for by NSC 5434/1, how best to fulfill such commitment.

    • Second Alternative (Proposed by the Defense and Treasury Members and the JCS and Budget Advisers)
      • “a. Determine by April 1, 1955, as part of the review of military assistance programs called for by NSC 5434/1, the nature of such commitment and the extent to which the US can fulfill it, taking into consideration:
        • “(1) Whether necessary mutual security funds and equipment can be made available without seriously affecting other country programs.
        • “(2) The ability of the Turkish armed forces to absorb the increased military assistance.
        • “(3) The necessity for not seriously harming the Turkish economy.
      • “b. Further action on such four-year program should be subject to a reassessment based on the combined US–UK–Turkey military staff talks and on the USRO (Holcombe) study now in preparation.”

    The asterisk footnote in paragraph 20 reads: “See para. 8 above and the aide-mémoire of June 4, 1954, attached as an Annex.” In the source text alternative paragraphs “a” were typed in two columns.