47. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Dillon) to the Under Secretary of State (Herter)1
- Proposed Program for Palestine Refugees
The attached memorandum from IO and NEA gives a total figure for the U.S. share for the Palestine refugee program of $850 million. By the use of various statistical assumptions of highly doubtful validity the memorandum reduces this figure to a total of $290 million, which is labeled “Net cost of program to U.S.” I think this figure is highly unrealistic.
A fairer analysis would seem to be the following:
Total cost of U.S. share approximately $800 million. (This eliminates the $55 million which we will in any event be required to contribute to UNRWA prior to June 30, 1960.)[Page 109]
An estimate of $300 million representing the U.S. cost of continuing care for the Palestine refugees in the ten year period 1960–1970 at the present scale, assuming no resettlement takes place. This would leave a net cost for the U.S. for the resettlement program over and above that of keeping the refugees in their present state of approximately $500 million.
I doubt if the Congress would approve such a $500 million program unless it was enthusiastically accepted by both Israel and the Arab states, and unless there was some shift in the present orientation of the UAR toward the Soviet Union. In any event this program should be considered in an inter-agency forum, such as the OCB so that views of other interested departments, i.e., Treasury, could be obtained before any decision is taken to encourage the Israelis that we will in fact proceed with a program of this magnitude.
- Source: Department of State, NEA Files: Lot 70 D 229. Secret.↩
- Secret. Drafted on September 24 in IO and NEA and initialed by Wilcox and Rountree. Sent through S/S.↩
- An undated copy of this memorandum is in Department of State, NEA Files: Lot 59 D 582, Israel—General, 1958.↩
- Only Annex I (Tab A) is printed here.↩