Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Memorandum on the Administration of Foreign Aid Programs.

November 06, 1954

To: The Secretary of State, The Secretary of the Treasury, The Secretary of Defense, The Secretary of Agriculture, The Secretary of Commerce, The Director of the Foreign Operations Administration, The Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization, The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of Washington, The Director of the United States Information Agency

I have today signed an Executive order which is designed to carry out the provisions of the Mutual Security Act of 1954.

My letter of June 1, 1953, regarding the organization of the executive branch for the conduct of foreign affairs, continues to represent my instructions on the subjects discussed in that letter. This letter supplements my previous letter and the Executive order signed today.

The Director of the Foreign Operations Administration is responsible for coordinating all operations of the foreign assistance programs. He should establish appropriate machinery to achieve this coordination and to assure that all aspects of the mutual security program are consistent with and further the attainment of foreign policy, military policy, and financial and monetary policy objectives. This should include provisions for the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury to receive adequate reports on the operations and projected plans with respect to each program under the Mutual Security Act.

The delegation to the Secretary of State of responsibility for negotiations with foreign governments is intended to give recognition to the central responsibility of the Department of State in this area. Other agencies directly concerned with the substance of the negotiation must continue to carry substantial responsibility in such negotiations, however. Moreover, it is assumed that these other agencies will conduct day-to-day discussions with representatives of the foreign governments in implementing basic agreements reached with such governments. Such discussions, of course, must be in conformance with the foreign policy responsibilities of the State Department and of the chiefs of our diplomatic missions.

The Director of the Foreign Operations Administration will coordinate the implementation of the statutory requirement that a certain minimum amount of the Mutual Security funds be used to finance the export and sale for foreign currencies of surplus agricultural commodities. He shall coordinate this surplus disposal program with that under the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954. He shall consult with the interagency committee established by the President to assist in the administration of that Act, but I am looking to the Director for the successful implementation of this important part of our mutual security program.

The Secretary of Commerce is designated as the officer to carry out the program to encourage travel. This assignment in no way diminishes the responsibilities of the Department of State or the Foreign Operations Administration to operate exchange and technical assistance programs, nor does it affect the responsibility of the Department of State to carry on diplomatic negotiations with other countries regarding the removal of legal barriers to international travel and similar matters.

The responsibility of finding opportunities for investment and development abroad under the Mutual Security Act is delegated to the Director of the Foreign Operations Administration. The Secretaries of State and Commerce are to continue their regular work through the Foreign Service relating to finding opportunities abroad. The Secretary of Commerce shall be responsible for the regularized publishing and circularization to American business of opportunities abroad, but the Director may continue his normal, direct contacts with individual business firms that arise as a result of his other functions under the Act, such as making investment guarantees and promoting economic development. The Departments of State and Commerce and the Foreign Operations Administration should make arrangements for appropriate consultation and cooperation in respect of their programs relating to encouraging American private investment abroad.

The arrangements described above and in the Executive order issued today are to continue in effect during fiscal year 1955 or until other arrangements for the administration of foreign aid functions are prescribed by the President after further study has been given to this problem in the executive branch of the Government.


Note: The Executive order of November 6, 1954, is published in the 1954 supplement to title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations (EO 10575, p. 79). The letter of June 1, 1953, is published in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 28, p. 855).

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memorandum on the Administration of Foreign Aid Programs. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233223

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