Aid to Asia

January 26, 1955

Report Outline
Present Emphasis on Economic Aid to Asia
Free Asia's Economic Needs and Capacities
Scope of Current Aid Programs in the East

Present Emphasis on Economic Aid to Asia

Increased emphasis was placed on economic assistance to free countries of Asia in the foreign aid estimates transmitted to Congress by President Eisenhower, Jan. 17, with the federal budget for the fiscal year 1956. The total of $3.5 billion requested for the mutual security program was slightly below what the administration asked last year, but it was about $700 million more than Congress actually appropriated. The proportion of new funds sought for military aid to Europe has declined sharply, while the share slated for economic assistance to underdeveloped areas in general, and to Asia in particular, shows a significant increase.

President Eisenhower said in his budget message that he would send a special message to Congress later, proposing overall changes in the Mutual Security Act and outlining an expanded economic assistance program for Asia. Although the budget gave no details of the projected Asian program, it reflected what the President called a “coordinated plan” for the conduct of foreign affairs, including long-range programs for mutual security, economic assistance, and expansion of foreign trade and investment.

Several features of the coordinated plan indicate a change in administration thinking about American policy in the world-wide competition with Communism, as well as a shift of emphasis in current overseas operations. First, the administration is proposing to continue indefinitely certain types of defense support and economic assistance for foreign countries, rather than agree to early termination of economic aid on a grant basis. Second, it gradually is shifting the emphasis in foreign aid from military to economic defense measures. Third, it is giving higher priority to the needs of those free nations, particularly in the leas developed areas of the Middle East, South Asia, and the Pacific, that are trying to raise their living standards.

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Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia