Letter to Committee Chairmen on Aid to Yugoslavia.
My dear Mr. Chairman:
The drought, the consequent crop failure and the imminence of famine in Yugoslavia is a development which seriously affects the security of the North Atlantic area. These events dangerously weaken the ability of Yugoslavia to defend itself against aggression, for, among other consequences, it imperils the combat effectiveness of the Yugoslav armed forces.
Yugoslavia, moreover, is a nation whose strategic location makes it of direct importance to the defense of the North Atlantic area. This importance derives from Yugoslavia's geographic relationship to Austria on the north, where the occupation forces of certain North Atlantic Treaty countries, including the United States, are on duty, Greece on the south, and Italy on the west.
As a result of these factors, an immediate increase in Yugoslavia's ability to defend itself over that which would exist if no assistance were supplied will contribute to the preservation of the peace and security of the North Atlantic area. The governments of the other nations which are members of the North Atlantic Treaty have been consulted on this point. It is a settled premise of our foreign policy that the peace and security of the North Atlantic area is vital to the security of the United States.
Accordingly, I have determined that it is essential in order effectively to carry out the purposes of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949, as amended, to use not to exceed $16 million of the funds appropriated for the purposes of Title I of the Act to provide food for Yugoslavia in an amount equivalent to the immediate food requirements of its armed forces. This use of these funds is part of the interim aid program to meet the immediate emergency pending further action by the Congress.
This letter constitutes the notification required by Section 408 (c) of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act, as amended.
Very sincerely yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN
Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Tom Connally, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the Honorable Millard E. Tydings, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the Honorable John Kee, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Honorable Carl Vinson, Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services.
On December 29, 1950, the President approved the Yugoslav Emergency Relief Assistance Act of 1950 (64 Stat. 1122).
See also Item 293.
Harry S. Truman, Letter to Committee Chairmen on Aid to Yugoslavia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230470