740.00112 European War 1939/2477½
Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to the Liaison Officer (Wilson)
Mr. Wilson: In accordance with instructions from Mr. Welles,32 I have spoken on the telephone to General Miles33 in regard to the assignment of Army officers for the purpose of controlling the shipment of American supplies to North Africa, concerning which, you will recall, General Miles recently requested a more definite written statement. I informed General Miles that it was the desire of this Department that the necessary observers proceed almost immediately to North Africa, and that all necessary arrangements should be made now in order to avoid delay later.
General Miles explained that the War Department would require a minimum of about three weeks before properly qualified men could be inducted into the Service and could prepare themselves for sailing to North Africa. Among other things, the candidates for this assignment must undergo medical examination. In view of the time required for this preparation, it is felt that the War Department should proceed at once in the matter of selecting and commissioning the officers who are to be assigned to this duty, and I would appreciate it if an appropriate communication could be addressed to the Secretary of War as promptly as possible in that sense.
I understand from General Miles that the War Department proposes to send ten officers to North Africa at this time, which would meet with our approval. Certain questions regarding their transportation expenses and allowances have also been raised, as you know, but it [Page 311]is suggested that these matters might well form the subject of informal discussions which are being arranged between officers of this Department and the War Department.