19. Editorial Note

On June 30, Congress enacted the Mutual Security Act of 1958 (Public Law 85–477; 72 Stat. 275). Section 502(k) of that act, known as the Mansfield Amendment after Senator Mike Mansfield, prohibited personnel of U.S. military missions abroad from receiving and accepting any kind of compensation or emoluments directly from the governments to which they were assigned. This prohibition required changes in existing military mission agreements on or before March 31, 1959 (the act became effective April 1, 1959), to establish the necessary procedures for direct payment to the U.S. Government.

On February 10, 1959, the Department of State instructed the missions at Asunción, Bogotá, La Paz, Managua, Montevideo, Panamá, Port-au-Prince, Quito, San José, and San Salvador to present notes to their respective host governments proposing the necessary changes. These notes also contained provisions for effecting lump-sum payments during the period after April 1, 1959, the effective date of the act. (Circular airgram 6828, February 10, 1959; Department of [Page 153] State, Central Files, 720.58/2–1059) In circular telegram 1034, March 11, 1959, a joint State-Defense message, the Department of State clarified portions of circular airgram 6828, particularly with respect to travel expenses, medical benefits, benefits in kind, and questions concerning the amount of payments by host governments after April 1. (ibid., 720.58/3–1159) The Department circulated further instructions under cover of circular airgram 8245, March 26, 1959, concerning the procedures Embassies must follow in accounting for contributions of host governments to overall support of the military missions. (ibid., 720.58/3–2659)

In a memorandum to Ambassador Dreier, April 7, 1959, reporting on the status of Mansfield Amendment negotiations in Latin American countries, Weldon Litsey reported: five countries had agreed to the necessary changes in payment procedures (Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, and Paraguay); two had been requested to cease payments to individual mission members pending negotiation of a new military mission agreement (Chile and Guatemala); and that negotiations had been initiated with the remaining eleven (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela). Litsey also reported that all governments had reacted favorably to the requests to revise the military mission agreements, with the possible exception of Brazil, where there were technical questions concerning whether Brazilian budgetary law would permit payment directly to the U.S. Government rather than to individual military mission members. (ibid., ARA/ISA Files: Lot 65 D 285, Mansfield Amendment)