890.00/12–144

The Secretaries of War ( Stimson ) and the Navy ( Forrestal ) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have your letter of 29 November on the subject of improving existing methods of obtaining advice for the State Department on politico-military matters. We are in hearty agreement with the proposal which you make and believe that it should be carried into effect promptly. We have respectively designated the Assistant Secretary of War and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air as the War Department and Navy Department representatives upon the proposed committee. We believe that the effectiveness of the committee will be largely dependent upon the effectiveness of its secretariat and we propose to designate officers whom we deem peculiarly qualified for the work of the proposed committee.

Both the War Department and the Navy Department will make arrangements for placing at the disposal of the committee and its secretariat the advice and assistance of specialists and advisers as occasion may arise for this. Through the Office of the Chief of Staff and the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, staff studies can be undertaken as the committee may desire. Contact with the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be arranged through the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, and the Chief of Naval Operations. The Secretariat of the proposed committee of course should maintain constant informal contact with the secretariat and other appropriate agencies of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Both the War Department and Navy Department will promptly undertake studies of the existing organization in these departments to make certain that all liaison activities between the State Department, on the one hand, and the War and Navy Departments, on the other, are brought to the attention of the committee for its exercise of general guidance and supervision of such activities.

We believe that the secretariat should be appointed as soon as possible so that its members may participate in the development of the procedures to be followed by the committee and in formulating its program. The operations of the committee should, of course, be kept as simple as possible and the representatives of the War and Navy Departments engaged in the work of the committee will be instructed to work to this end.

Sincerely yours,

Henry L. Stimson
James Forrestal