Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Regarding Mutual Security Assistance to Yugoslavia.
[Released October 16, 1956. Dated October 15, 1956]
Dear Mr. :
Section 143 of the Mutual Security Act of 1954, as amended, provides for a suspension of assistance to Yugoslavia as therein specified unless I find and report to the Congress with my reasons therefor: "(1) that there has been no change in the Yugoslavian policies on the basis of which assistance under this Act has been furnished to Yugoslavia in the past, and that Yugoslavia is independent of control by the Soviet Union, (2) that Yugoslavia is not participating in any policy or program for the Communist conquest of the world, and (3) that it is in the interest of the national security of the United States to continue the furnishing of assistance to Yugoslavia under this Act."
After careful study and examination of all the relevant facts available to me, I hereby find and report to the Congress affirmatively with respect to the three matters above mentioned.
My reasons therefor are the following:
1. The policy of assisting Yugoslavia was begun by this Government in 1949. That policy was not based upon approval of, or affinity with, the internal policies of the Government of Yugoslavia. It was undertaken because, despite such internal policies, it was then deemed in the interests of the United States to support the independence of Yugoslavia against a major effort by the Soviet Union to dominate that country. The balance of available evidence leads me to find that Yugoslavia remains independent of control by the Soviet Union and desires to continue to be independent; that it is still subject to efforts by the Soviet Union to compromise that independence; and that some assistance from the United States continues to be required and is desired by the Government of Yugoslavia to assure the maintenance of its independence.
I am aware of the fact that the designs of the Soviet Union against Yugoslavia are more subtle than heretofore, and that perhaps those designs are not adequately appreciated, or defended against, by Yugoslavia. Nevertheless, there remain the basic factors, i.e., the independence of Yugoslavia; the dedication of Yugoslavia to its independence; and the Soviet endangering of that independence.
2. My finding that Yugoslavia is not participating in any policy or program for Communist conquest of the world is based upon the fact that the ideology and doctrine of the Yugoslav Communist Party appear to adhere to the concept that each nation should determine for itself which kind of a society it wishes and that there should be no interference by one nation in the internal affairs of another.
3. My reason for finding that it is in the interests of the national security of the United States to continue to furnish at least limited assistance to Yugoslavia is that otherwise, in my opinion, there is a danger that Yugoslavia will be unable to maintain its independence. I believe, moreover, that the United States policies inaugurated in 1949 to enable Yugoslavia to maintain its independence remain valid.
This determination on my part meets the statutory requirement in Section 143 regarding the utilization of the public funds allotted to Yugoslavia under the Mutual Security Act of 1954, as amended, and under prior mutual security legislation. Its primary immediate effect will be to clear the way for conversations with appropriate Yugoslav officials to examine the various possibilities for bilateral cooperation in the economic field thus made feasible under our laws. In the military field, the various departments of the government have, since the enactment of Section 143 in July of this year, at my direction, followed a policy of permitting only small, routine and long-planned deliveries of equipment. I intend that this attitude, which implies the non-delivery of jet planes and other items of heavy equipment, shall be maintained until the situation can be more accurately appraised during the days to come. I believe, however, that economic aid for the people of Yugoslavia, primarily in the form of foodstuffs, may now prudently and wisely be proceeded with.
In any case, I shall not consider that my action herewith definitely settles the various questions pertaining to United States-Yugloslav relations. These problems will, on the contrary, remain under my constant review, and I have, in addition, directed that those officers who conduct our day-to-day relations with Yugoslavia vigilantly apply the very helpful criteria established by the Congress in Section 143 to ensure that the decision which I have now made remains justified in future circumstances. I have made it clear, furthermore, that my determination is not, even in economic matters, to be taken as a continuing directive necessitating the obligation or expenditure of the funds available for Yugoslavia, regardless of circumstances, but is one which restores discretion in this area to me and my subordinates to take such actions as accord with the applicable national policy relating to Yugoslavia and serve the national interest. Such an approach will, I am sure, serve the foreign policy interests of our country and, at the same time, afford adequate protection against the unwise expenditure of public funds.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Richard M. Nixon, President of the Senate, and the Honorable Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Regarding Mutual Security Assistance to Yugoslavia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233460