245. Editorial Note

Congressional action on the administration’s fiscal year 1960 Mutual Security request continued from mid-June through August. During this period, President Eisenhower also forwarded three additional reports by the Draper Committee to the Congress.

The House of Representatives adopted the Mutual Security authorization for fiscal year 1960, H.R. 7500, with amendments on June 18. Four days later, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reported its version of the bill, S. 1451. (S. Rept. 412, Eighty-sixth Congress, First Session)

On June 24, the President forwarded the Draper Committee’s second interim report to Vice President Nixon, in his capacity as President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House Rayburn. In identical covering letters, Eisenhower wrote: [Page 464]

“I am in full agreement with the basic concepts enumerated by the Committee in its letter, and urge that the Congress provide for continuing authorizations for the Military Assistance Program, and hereafter make appropriations for military assistance to the Secretary of Defense under a separate title in the Department of Defense budget. In addition, I believe that legislative action along the lines suggested by the Executive Branch is necessary to clarify the administration of the Military Assistance Program.” (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959, pages 473–474)

The President reiterated his support for the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations in a letter, also dated June 24, to Committee Chairman Draper. “In these troubled times,” he wrote, “I can think of no more important problem upon which the devoted attention of outstanding citizens is needed. As I have noted many times, our Military Assistance Program is a vital part of our security effort.” For complete text, see ibid., pages 474–475.

On July 8, the Senate passed H.R. 7500 with amendments, but failed to authorize the full amount of funds the administration had requested.

The Draper Committee sent the President its third interim report on July 13. For text, see Letter to the President of the United States From President’s Committee to Study Military Assistance Program and Committee’s Third Interim Report—Economic Assistance Programs and Administration. For text of the Committee’s covering letter, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1959, pages 1584–1588. Eisenhower forwarded the report to Nixon and Rayburn on July 23; for text of his transmittal letter, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959, pages 548–549.

House and Senate conferees reported a compromise version of H.R. 7500 on July 21. For text, see Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, Selected Executive Session Hearings of the Committee, 1957–60, vol. XX, Mutual Security Program, Part 7 (Washington, 1983), pages 801–837. The following day, both the House and Senate adopted it. H.R. 7500 thus became Public Law 86–108, the Mutual Security Act of 1959. For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1959, pages 1589–1664.

On July 23, the House Appropriations Committee released testimony by Comptroller General Campbell criticizing the administration of U.S. foreign aid programs. Among the items Campbell cited was failure by the Department of Defense and the International Cooperation Administration to provide their reports to the General Accounting Office. Regarding Campbell’s statement, see The New York Times, July 24, 1959.

The following day, the Committee reported the Mutual Security appropriations bill, H.R. 8385. H.R. 8385 appropriated $743,495,000 less than President Eisenhower had originally requested, with cuts in [Page 465] military assistance, defense support, the Development Loan Fund, technical assistance, special assistance, and the President’s Contingency Fund. (H. Rept. 712, Eighty-sixth Congress, First session) The White House released a statement expressing the President’s disappointment: “The President most earnestly hopes that the ultimate action of Congress will be to restore the appropriations to the full amounts authorized.” (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959, page 549)

Also on July 24, the President signed the Mutual Security Act of 1959. For text of his signing statement, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1959, page 1664.

The House passed H.R. 8385 on July 29. Among amendments added to the bill was one forbidding expenditure of any Mutual Security funds, except those for military assistance, should the International Cooperation Administration fail to provide documents requested by the Congress or the General Accounting Office within 20 days.

On August 17, the Draper Committee submitted its final report to the President; for text, see H. Doc. 215, Eighty-sixth Congress, First Session. The Committee’s covering letter restated its support for the Mutual Security Program, asserting much of the criticism aimed at it was unjustified. Little improvement in this situation could be expected, however, without changes in the program’s administration. The Committee reiterated its previous recommendations for increased Mutual Security funds and predicted the outcome if appropriations continued to decline. It discussed the Communist effort worldwide and the response required from the United States and its economically advanced allies to combat it. “The challenge,” it concluded, “points to the need for greater unity of purpose, for a more dynamic effort, for combining and exchanging among all the free world the benefit of skills and energies of those that compose it. In such a combination and use of these skills and energies, we believe the required new dynamism can be found.” (American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1959, pages 1665–1667)

Eisenhower forwarded the report to Nixon and Rayburn August 20. In his letter of transmittal, the President pointed to the Committee’s comments about the level of fiscal year 1960 Mutual Security appropriations, noted he had already approved its recommendations for reorganizing the military assistance program, and stated the remainder of the report required further study. (Ibid., pages 1668–1669)