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Letter to Secretary Gates Concerning the Effect of the President's Directive on Balance of Payments.

January 18, 1961

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I fully agree that the understandings and views outlined in your letter of January 18, 1961 with respect to the Directive of November 16, 1960 on the United States balance of payments should be placed on record.

Fundamentally, as you say, these measures were taken to improve our difficult balance of payments situation and to show our seriousness and our determination to meet this problem. It has been my constant hope that it would be possible eventually to relieve hardships occasioned by these actions, giving priority to those which involve family separation. I know that you have, for this purpose, been studying reductions in the length of overseas tours. Also, I have been in full agreement that, over any extended period of time, the treatment applied to Defense personnel must be as far as possible comparable to that applied throughout the rest of government. To this end all departments of the government are under instructions to continue to examine the size of their staffs abroad and the number of their dependents accompanying these staffs with the objective of making further reductions wherever possible.

As you know, my Directive has been viewed as one that should appropriately be under close and continued review, and at my direction specific follow-up procedures are in effect. Among the matters requiring continued attention are the further development of our balance of payments situation in light of actions taken, any possibility of making some reduction of our forces deployed overseas (thus reducing separations from dependents) and any evidence of undue adverse effect on our military forces.

In light of the above, I approve your recommendation to acquaint your successor with your letter of January 18, 1961 and this reply.



Note: Secretary Gates, in his letter released with the President's reply, noted that the Defense Department had initiated action on all of the points specified in the President's Directive of November 16, 1960 (25 F.R. 12221). With respect to dependents, he stated that the Department had recognized from the outset that it would be desirable to alleviate the problem of separation of families as soon as practicable. He further stated that the adverse impact of the separation of families was substantial and, in his opinion, relief should be sought as soon as feasible. He noted that this impact had been heightened by the fact that other agencies were not planning to reduce the number of their dependents significantly.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Secretary Gates Concerning the Effect of the President's Directive on Balance of Payments. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234974

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