Paris Peace Conf. 184/84

Mr. E. L. Dresel to the Secretary General of the Commission to Negotiate Peace ( Grew )10

Subject: Organization of new department to handle correspondence.

The following is suggested as a rough outline of the organization proposed:

The name of the bureau will be “Division of Current Diplomatic and Political Correspondence”.
The objects of the bureau will be as follows:
To act as a receiving agency for all correspondence, telegraphic or otherwise, coming to the Commission from the file and index room, which is not either personal in its nature, relative to administrative matters, or appertaining to special technical departments such as the military, financial, supply and relief divisions, etc.
In case immediate action is desirable or possible, to draft letters and telegrams for the approval and signature of the Secretary.
To transmit to the Commissioners such communications as should have their personal attention. For this purpose appropriate covering blanks will be used, which will be filled out with such recommendations as seem advisable, and which will be approved by the Secretary and personally presented by him.
Where further information is needed in order to draft answers or to recommend action to the Commission, to refer the communication to the “Inquiry” or to other appropriate source of information with a request to return the same with a reply. After receipt of this, the bureau will take action as under (b).
Where the communication only conveys information needing no action, to refer the communication to such organization or organizations as is interested in the subject matter, after which the communication will go to file.
When no action is necessary and no information of value is conveyed, to send the communications to file at once.
To prepare memoranda and data based on recent communications for the use of the Commissioners at conferences.
The Division should be charged with the duty of preventing duplication of action. For this purpose all outgoing telegrams and important written communications should pass through this office before being sent out.
Flimsies (so-called) of all outgoing as well as incoming telegrams should be filed with the Division after their dispatch or receipt. In this connection, it is recommended that either outgoing or incoming flimsies shall be prepared on colored paper in order to prevent confusion.
While the fields of the “Inquiry” and the correspondence division are entirely distinct, the former being responsible for technical information and the latter an executive body, the two should work in the closest possible cooperation.
The Division should be in as close touch as possible with other departments in order to enable it to act competently and therefore proposes to assign a liaison officer to the work of coordination and reciprocal information. The Division should have copies of the minutes of the daily meetings of the Commission. It should also, as far as possible, be informed in advance as to the subjects to be taken up at Inter-Ally Conferences in order that it may prepare memoranda and data embodying the latest current information.
The personnel of the Division cannot yet be given and the following skeleton organization is merely tentative:
  • E. L. Dresel, Director of Division.
  • A. W. Dulles, Executive Officer.
  • E. T. Williams, Chief of Far Eastern Division.
  • J. G. D. Paul, Specialist on Northern Neutrals, etc.
  • S. Y. Smith, Drafting Officer.
  • Lieutenant E. Pottle, Liaison Officer.
The Division will endeavor to separate the work according to countries or groups of countries, but no hard and fast classification will be attempted at present, and possibly none will be found to be practicable. It is evident that at certain times the bulk of the work will be absorbed by two or three countries, and a considerable latitude as to assignments to different countries is therefore advisable.

  1. This memorandum bears the initials “R. L.” and the notation “Approved, J. C. G.”