Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. John D. Jernegan of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

Participants: The Iranian Minister;
Mr. Alling;
Mr. Jernegan.

The Iranian Minister called to explain the desires of his Government with respect to assistance from the United States in the form of advisers. In addition to the quartermaster general and the two agricultural experts already requested, the Iranian Government now asks for a military aviation officer, a military engineer officer, and a civilian financial adviser. It is likewise anxious to obtain two police organizers, one for the city police of the country and one for the rural [Page 233] gendarmerie. The Minister explained that there appeared to have been a misunderstanding regarding the request made in January of this year for a police officer. The Department had understood that this man would reorganize the gendarmerie, whereas in fact, a man for the city police had been desired. However, as men for both types of work were now requested, it would appear that no harm had been done.

The Minister was informed of the Department’s efforts to obtain the services of Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf, and he was given a copy of the biographical sketch of Colonel Schwarzkopf which has been furnished by the War Department. He expressed the opinion that Colonel Schwarzkopf would seem to be well qualified for the post in charge of the gendarmerie, but he requested such further information as the Department might be able to obtain regarding his experience with the New Jersey State Police.

With respect to the request for a financial adviser, the Minister emphasized that the type of man needed is one of high qualifications both as a financier and as a practical executive in the field of government finance and taxation. He said that neither a theoretical economist nor a man with purely banking experience would be satisfactory. What is needed, according to the Minister, is a man capable not only of advising but of drawing up and executing practical programs of taxation, currency control, et cetera.

Mr. Alling mentioned, in connection with the military advisers requested, that certain technical difficulties might be encountered if the officers selected should be required to become officers in the Iranian Army, since we understood that American Army officers would be forced to resign from our Army in order to enter any foreign army. This they would be reluctant to do in view of the possible loss of retirement status, eligibility for promotion and matters of that sort. Although he said that military advisers of this kind would normally be expected to become officers in the Iranian Army and would find the work simplified by so doing, the Minister indicated that he thought it would not be unduly difficult to arrive at some arrangement in this respect if our own army regulations should prove inflexible.