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Letter to Committee Chairmen on the Need for Assistance to Yugoslavia.

April 16, 1951

My dear Mr. Chairman:

As you know, the United States has provided emergency food assistance to Yugoslavia during the past months to meet the threat to the security of that country caused by the recent drought: initially, under the provisions of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act, the Economic Cooperation Act, and through loans made by the Export-Import Bank; and then under the provisions of the Yugoslav Emergency Relief Assistance Act.

The drought which gave rise to the need for assistance, however, not only caused a shortage in the availability of food for consumption in Yugoslavia, but also has made it impossible for Yugoslavia to export the agricultural products with which Yugoslavia normally obtains the resources to pay for imports of critically needed raw materials. The consequent shortage of raw materials, which includes those basic to the needs of the Yugoslav armed forces, is so acute as to jeopardize the combat effectiveness of the Yugoslav armed forces and to weaken the ability of Yugoslavia to defend itself against aggression. This development seriously affects the security of the North Atlantic area.

As I explained to you in my letter of November 24, 1950 and for the reasons stated therein, I have found that Yugoslavia is a nation whose strategic location makes it of direct importance to the defense of the North Atlantic area, and that an immediate increase in its ability to defend itself over that which exists if no assistance is supplied will contribute to the preservation of the peace and security of the North Atlantic area.

I have determined, therefore, after consultation with the Governments of the other consultations which are parties to the North Atlantic Treaty, that in order effectively to carry out the purposes of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949, as amended, it is essential as an immediate measure to use not to exceed $29 million of the funds appropriated for the purposes of Title I of that Act to provide raw materials and similar supplies for Yugoslavia in amounts and kinds equivalent to certain consumption

needs for supporting its armed forces. I am, under the authority of that Act, approving the procurement and shipment of such materials and supplies.

This letter constitutes the notification required by Section 408(c) of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act, as amended.

Sincerely yours,


Note: This is the text Of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Richard B. Russell, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Honorable Tom Connally, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Honorable Carl Vinson, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and the Honorable John Kee, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

For the President's letter of November 24, 1950, see 1950 volume, this series, Item 290.

Harry S. Truman, Letter to Committee Chairmen on the Need for Assistance to Yugoslavia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230416

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