740.00119 EAC/19: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

8731. Personal for the Secretary. On returning here I met with Strang and later called on Gousev. They were both interested in getting the work of the European Advisory Commission under way. Therefore we held an informal preliminary meeting this afternoon. We went over the premises assigned to the Commission, discussed the [Page 809] problem of a Secretariat, it being understood that each of us would contribute two secretaries. Gousev and I agreed to a Britisher24 to head the Secretariat. This seemed reasonable as the British were providing the quarters and would undoubtedly be called upon to supply a larger share of the personnel in the early period of operations. I insisted that as a matter of right each of us would be open to contribute a third of the Secretariat but that as a practical matter we appreciated the generosity of the British in extending to us their available facilities. On the question of the rotation of the chairmanship we decided that each of the three members of the Commission should serve for 1 month and that as I was the senior I should preside at the first formal meeting. The Russian was insistent that minutes of the meetings, documents and final recommendations should be recorded in both English and Russian and that both languages be equally authentic. We agreed that we would call the first official meeting as near January 1st as possible. We agreed that all meetings of the Commission would be secret and that the Secretariat was to have no contact with the press. If at some time it was necessary for the Commission to make a public statement it was only to be made on the direction of the Commission after agreement. At our first meeting we will decide the order in which the subject matter before us will be taken up. I have not an authentic record of the assignment of subject matter from the State Department and am so far dependent on British documentation. I have no doubt that the necessary terms of reference and assignments from both the Moscow and Tehran Conferences have been forwarded to the Embassy. While I was in Cairo I was told that Loy Henderson25 would be assigned to me. I am looking forward to his early arrival. I had in mind having Henderson and Kennan26 assist me on the delegation and assigning Thayer27 and Lightner28 to the joint Secretariat. Assistant Secretary of War McCloy has promised to send two ranking military men as advisers. We should also have a qualified adviser on European transport from the outset of our deliberations. I believe that Joe Eastman29 with whom I have worked for many years would be helpful in finding the right man for this assignment.

I want very much to get your ideas as to the ways and means in which you feel the Commission can be most useful.

  1. E. P. Donaldson.
  2. Loy W. Henderson, Minister in Iraq.
  3. George F. Kennan, Counselor of Legation in Portugal.
  4. Charles W. Thayer, Third Secretary of Embassy and Vice Consul in the United Kingdom.
  5. E. Allan Lightner, Jr., Second Secretary of Embassy and Vice Consul in Sweden.
  6. Joseph Bartlett Eastman, member of the Interstate Commerce Commission.