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Letter to Committee Chairmen on Determining To Increase Defense Assistance to France, Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.

February 05, 1952

My dear Mr. Chairman:

It has become clear during the past two months that additional resources must be made available to France, Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia during this fiscal year to permit them to meet their present and projected defense plans. Each of these countries is an important part of the defense plans of the free world; France and the United Kingdom are joined with the other countries of NATO in a common defense plan with a common strategy under the supreme commands set up by the NATO, Greece and Turkey possess military forces that have been built up and equipped with United States assistance over several years and will shortly become members of NATO, Yugoslavia occupies a vital strategic position on the flank of Western European defense. It is in the interest of our national defense and our mutual security with the other nations of the free world that the defense programs of those countries should be carried out.

I have therefore determined, pursuant to the provisions of Section 101(b) of the Mutual Security Act of 1951, that it is necessary for the purpose of that Act to transfer $478,160,000 from the appropriations granted pursuant to Section 101(a)(1) thereof for military assistance to Europe, to the appropriations granted pursuant to Section 101(a)(2) thereof for economic assistance to Europe. I am satisfied that this transfer of funds will in fact contribute more to military strength in Europe than if the same funds were to be used to procure military end-items for delivery to the countries concerned. The military effort on the part of these countries which will be made possible by this transfer will be considerably larger than the amount of funds transferred.

Of the amount so transferred, $300,000,000 will be allotted to the United Kingdom for the importation of commodities essential to the maintenance of the defense effort of the United Kingdom as set forth in Mr. Harriman's letter to you of January 28, 1952; $100,000,000 will be allotted to France under the terms of the understanding reached with the french Government last November as reported to you in a letter from the Office of the Director for Mutual Security dated December 11, 1951, with the counterpart funds accruing from such assistance to be used by the french Government for procurement of supplies for the campaign in Indochina; and the remainder will be allotted to Greece, Turkey, and Yugoslavia, to assist those countries in carrying out the defense programs discussed between their governments and the Government of the United States.

I have made this determination upon the recommendation of the Director for Mutual Security with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Defense.

This letter is intended to constitute the notification to your Committee required by Section 101(b) of the Mutual Security Act of 1951.

I am enclosing for the information of your Committee the recommendation I received From the Director for Mutual Security.

Sincerely,

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 James P. Richards, Chairman of the House Committee on foreign Affairs, the Honorable Richard B. Russell, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and the Honorable Carl Vinson, Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services.

The letter of W. Averell Harriman, Director for Mutual Security, and his recommendations for providing military and economic assistance to the five countries were also released.

For the President's statement upon signing the Mutual Security Act of 1951, see 1951 volume, this series, Item 250.

Harry S. Truman, Letter to Committee Chairmen on Determining To Increase Defense Assistance to France, Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230606

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