155. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations (Dutton) to the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Tyler)0

I urge that before finally acting on the proposed determination permitting military sales to Yugoslavia under section 620 (f),1 that steps should be related more fully and explicitly in our own thinking to the potential effect on the foreign aid legislation now before Congress and to the request of the President for restoration of the MFN clause to Poland and Yugoslavia.

I recognize that the pending military sale to Yugoslavia is only for spare parts in connection with previous sales to that country, and the precedent is well established in both a legal and political sense. At the [Page 340] same time, the action could trigger serious Congressional repercussions.

The point will almost certainly be made by Congressional critics that if the Administration is not willing to make the necessary finding under the 1962 authorization bill that the extension of foreign aid to Yugoslavia is in our national interest, how can we nevertheless justify the delivery of additional military supplies at this time to the Yugoslavs? The military sale, of course, is not subject to the provision requiring the finding necessary before aid can be extended—but most members of Congress will consider that this fact is an idle legalism, and that if we are not ready to provide the necessary finding to justify “soft” aid, we can hardly justify, as a matter of policy, further military assistance. As a political matter, it seems to me to be dubious to refuse to take the political heat of making a finding on foreign assistance while being willing to take the much greater heat likely in connection with the military sale.

The mere fact of extending more military hardware for Yugoslavia will be used by opponents of foreign aid as an added excuse to urge that aid of any kind to communist countries be prohibited in the aid bill this year. The attendant stir will also be used to oppose restoration of MFN to Yugoslavia.

I urge that if all possible the pending military sale be delayed until next October after Congress has adjourned.

More fundamentally, I believe that the Administration needs to pull together a more coherent aid policy towards Yugoslavia. We apparently are going to provide military assistance but not make the finding necessary to make “soft” assistance. I would think that underlying political and economic objectives toward that country would require more consistency and coherence as among these various types of aid. Certainly our critics in Congress will club us over these contributions.

Frederick G. Dutton2
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Yugoslavia. Secret. Copies were sent to Kaysen and AID.
  2. For text of Section 620 (f) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, P.L. 87–565, approved August 1, 1962, see 76 Stat. 261.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.