740.00112 European War 1939/2743

Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to the Liaison Officer (Wilson)

Mr. Wilson: In view of certain administrative difficulties in assigning commissioned Army and Navy officers to perform the proposed control work in French North Africa, it has been decided to send these men in a civilian capacity and to obtain funds for their salaries, transportation, [Page 314]and other expenses from the President’s defense fund. The officers will thus be under the control of the Department of State and the funds to be used for their expenses will be administered also by this Department. It is planned, however, to use the men selected for this service by the War and Navy Departments, provided the respective records of these officers meet with our approval.

In as much as several of these officers are understood to have been commissioned and already ordered to active duty, it will be necessary to disenroll them from the active lists and return them to the status of reserve officers. The Navy has requested that a communication be addressed to it in this sense, pointing out that the men are to proceed to North Africa in a civilian status. I should appreciate it if you would forward such a communication to the Navy, and while the War Department is proceeding in this matter on the basis of a direct telephone message, it might be desirable to send a similar communication to that Department as well.

Wallace Murray