Hull Papers

The Assistant Secretary of State (Berle) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary: It would seem that the problem of unifying the war effort necessitates three pieces of machinery.

I. A supreme political council.

This would be the equivalent of the Council of Three at the Versailles Peace Conference1 and ideally would be composed of the President, Mr. Winston Churchill, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek. All of these are full allies in the sense that all are fighting Japan, Italy and Germany.

Since these three men cannot, of course, leave their own countries, each would have to appoint an alternate agent to speak for him to a very large degree, but of course subject to consultation.

[Page 13]

To provide participation for the U.S.S.R. (which is only fighting Germany and Italy and is not at war with Japan), it would seem wise to divide the operations of the supreme political council into two sections, the Pacific theatre and the Atlantic-European theatre. In practice this would be little more than a device to hold meetings in respect of the Atlantic-European theatre, to which an alternate for Stalin might be invited.

This follows the practice evolved at Paris in which the five principal allies, namely, Great Britain, the United States, France, Italy and Japan, met to determine political policy; but because of the lack of interest of Japan in certain matters and of Italy in certain other matters, they appeared only as occasional members.

II. A supreme war council.

The purpose of a supreme war council, as described by Mr. Lloyd George and by Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, is to create “a staff superior to the Commanders-in-Chief and the Chiefs of Staff of each individual army.”

Such a council would consist of a soldier designated by the principal warring governments, namely, the United States, Great Britain, the U.S.S.R., China, and possibly Holland.

Again, for purposes of handling the Russian situation, and for purposes of economical work, it would seem that this council should be divided into three sections, namely: an Atlantic and European-continental section; a Middle East section; and a Pacific and Asiatic section. Conceivably, the Atlantic and Middle East sections might be combined into one, merely having then a section for the Eastern theatre and a section for the Western theatre.

The reason for dividing into sections would be that to each of these sections there might be added soldiers appointed by countries who were not directly concerned in the whole picture. For instance, it would be impossible to conceive strategy in the European continental picture without taking the Russians into account. The Russians would therefore presumably have to join in the work of this section.

I should suggest that in the Eastern section there be included besides Great Britain and the United States, Russia and Canada.

In the Pacific-Asiatic theatre, I suggest that there be included the following Great Britain, the United States, China, Holland, Australia (whose representation should include New Zealand).

The Middle East sector, if it were determined to have one, could include the United States, Great Britain, the Union of South Africa, and (possibly) the Free French and the Belgians, if the Belgian Congo is drawn in.

[Page 14]

Joint sessions might be had of the three sections.

Members of the supreme military council should act as military advisers to the representatives of their respective countries on the supreme political council.

The functions of the supreme war council should be to act as “an agency for the adoption and maintenance of a general policy for the allies in the prosecution of the war, consistent with the total resources available and the most effective distribution of those resources among the various theatres of operations.”

III. A supreme economic council.

This should have jurisdiction over supplies, relief, finance, increase of production, and similar allied questions.

Attached hereto are some sighting shots at drafts.

A. A. B., Jr.
[Attachment 1]


Scheme of Organization of a Supreme Policy Council

(1) With a view to the better coordination of military and naval action against their common enemies, a Supreme Policy Council is created, composed of the Chief of State and a member of the government of each of the great powers engaged in war against Germany, Italy and Japan. In matters having to do with continental Europe and territories adjacent to the Black Sea, there shall be included the Chief of State and a member of the government of any great power at war with Germany or Italy, but not at war with Japan.

(2) The Supreme Policy Council has for its mission to watch over the general conduct of the war.

(3) The general war plans drawn up by the competent military authorities are submitted to the Supreme Policy Council which, under the authority of the governments, insures their concordance.

The Supreme Policy Council will not discuss military operations in the field, but will reach decisions as to: (a) questions of policy affecting the military situation; (b) distribution of available manpower, equipment, supplies and shipping, among the various theatres of operations; (c) the character that military operations should assume, in view of the forces available, in each theatre of operations.

[Page 15]

(4) The Supreme Policy Council may create two or more sections, each section corresponding to a theatre of war, and may provide for the representation in each section of the powers actively engaged in war against a common enemy in such theatre.

(5) The Supreme Policy Council shall be charged with effecting unified command in respect of theatres of war which it shall designate.

The Supreme Political Council meets normally at . . . . . . .

[Attachment 2]


Scheme of Organization of the Supreme War Council

With a view to the better coordination of military action against their common enemies, a Supreme War Council is created, composed of a permanent military or naval representative of the great powers actively engaged in warfare against Germany, Italy and Japan. The decisions of the Council shall follow the lines of policy determined by the Supreme Policy Council.
The general staffs and military and naval commands of the armed forces of each power charged with the conduct of military operations remain responsible to their respective governments.
The general war plans drawn up by the competent military authorities are submitted to the Supreme War Council. When approved by the Supreme Policy Council, the Supreme War Council shall be responsible for making them effective.
The members of the Supreme War Council receive from the government and competent military and naval authorities of their country all the proposals, information and documents relating to the conduct of the war. They shall watch day by day the situation of the armed forces and the means of all kinds of which the allied armed forces and the enemy armed forces dispose.
The Supreme War Council may recommend the determination of theatres of war, and may nominate to the Supreme Policy Council a Commander-in-Chief of the forces in any theatre so designated. In respect of any theatre so designated, a military or naval representative of other Powers engaged in active war against any of the common enemies may be added to the Council in deciding upon military policy and operations in that theatre.
The Supreme War Council meets normally at . . . . . . .
  1. For the so-called Council of Three (Wilson, Lloyd George, and Clemenceau), see Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, vol. v, p. vi , footnote 1.