J.C.S. Files

Memorandum by the Representatives of the British Chiefs of Staff

most secret
C.C.S. 288/2

Proposed Agenda for Quadrant

The Agenda proposed for Quadrant by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff in C.C.S. 288/11 has been referred to the British Chiefs of Staff and their reply has now been received. The following is the gist.

It is hoped that it may be possible to confine the Agenda as far as possible to those specific issues on which decisions are required to govern operations in the comparatively near future. It was on that principle that the Agenda suggested by the British Chiefs of Staff, as set out in C.C.S. 288,2 was designed. The British Chiefs of Staff hope, therefore, that the U.S. Chiefs of Staff will be willing to dispense with lengthy discussions on over-all strategic concepts or global strategy.
Section 3 of the U.S. proposed Agenda includes most of the points the British would like to discuss. If anything, they feel that it is perhaps a little too comprehensive.
In Section 3(a) (vi) it is assumed that “Action in the event of Italian collapse” will be included.
The British Chiefs of Staff are not anxious to discuss the item “Emergency Operations in the event of a German Invasion of the Iberian Peninsula” because they regard this as an exceedingly remote contingency.
Under “Miscellaneous Considerations” it is requested that an item on future allocation of landing craft should be included. At present, landing craft can only be allocated expressly for operations approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The British Chiefs of Staff do not think that this method should continue as it is unduly expensive and hampers future planning and training.
The British Chiefs of Staff note that the item “Establishment of South-East Asia Command: Organization and Appointments”, suggested by them, has been excluded. The British Chiefs of Staff assume that this is because the U.S. Chiefs of Staff hope that all these questions will have been settled before the Quadrant Conference. The position is, however, that the Prime Minister has decided that this must be dealt with at Quadrant since there is much that can only be satisfactorily dealt with by personal discussion. In the meantime, General Auchinleck has been instructed to press on with all preparations for the agreed operation.
The British Chiefs of Staff foresee great difficulties in settling the Agenda by exchange of telegrams and therefore suggest that the first Quadrant meeting should be limited to the Chiefs of Staff and that it should decide
The composition of the Agenda;
The order in which it should be taken; and
The procedure to be followed at the Conference.
The British Chiefs of Staff think that it would be immensely helpful if an officer from AFHQ could be present at Quadrant . General Bedell Smith was quite invaluable at Trident .
They hope that their colleagues, the U.S. Chiefs of Staff, will be able to arrive at Abraham on August 10th or as soon as possible afterwards.
  1. Ante, p. 402.
  2. Ante, p. 400.