Defense Files

The President’s Special Assistant (Hopkins) to the Chief of Naval Operations (Stark)1

Dear Betty:2 Here is the redraft which the President did last night and which he would like to have the Joint Staffs chew over.

Cordially yours,

Harry L. Hopkins
Memorandum Revised by President Roosevelt

Proposed Method of Handling Matters Concerning the Southwest Pacific Theatre

It is assumed that the chief matters on which decisions would have to be given would be:
The provision of reinforcements.
A major change in policy.
Departure from the Supreme Commander’s directive.
It is suggested that a special body be set up for this purpose in Washington.
Three Americans and three British.
One Australian, one New Zealander and one Dutch, for consultation and advisory purposes.
It is proposed, therefore, that the above machinery should be used in the following manner:
The Supreme Commander would telegraph to the above Committee in Washington his proposal, whatever it might be.
The Committee in Washington would immediately telegraph to London to ask for any recommendations or opinions.
On receipt of these opinions, the Washington Committee would submit their recommendations to the President, and by telegraph to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister would then inform the President whether he was in agreement with their recommendations. He could of course consult with Australia, New Zealand, and The Netherlands if advisable.
Agreement having been reached between the Prime Minister and the President, the orders to the Supreme Commander would then be dispatched from Washington in the name of both of them.
  1. The source text was Annex 1 to JCCSs–6; see ante, p. 142.
  2. Nickname for Stark.