Lot 52 M 45

Minutes of First Meeting of State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee Held in Room 300, State Department Building, on Tuesday, 19 December, 1944, at 11:30 a.m.

  • Members Present
    • Mr. James C. Dunn (Chairman)
    • Mr. John J. McCloy
    • Mr. Artemus L. Gates
  • Others Present
    • Admiral Russell Willson5
    • Major General John H. Hilldring6
    • Mr. John D. Hickerson7
    • Colonel R. Ammi Cutter8
  • Secretariat
    • Mr. Fletcher Warren9
    • Mr. Harold W. Moseley10
    • Colonel Wallace E. Whitson11
    • Colonel Charles W. McCarthy12
    • Mr. Keith Kane13

1. Organization.

It was agreed that the name of the Committee should be “The State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee.”

In discussing the question of a charter for the Committee, it was agreed that for the time being, at least, nothing other than the letters between the Secretary of State and the Secretaries of War and Navy would be necessary. Copies of the letters are attached herewith.14

The functions of the Committee were then discussed in a general way and it was agreed that for the present the Committee would confine itself to the consideration of questions having politico-military implications, and that it would advise and make recommendations for the approval of the Secretaries of State, War and Navy. It was further agreed that in exercising general guidance and supervision over [Page 1470] liaison activities between the State Department and the War and Navy Departments, the Committee would confine itself to those channels of liaison dealing with matters within its sphere of interest.

The Committee agreed that notification of its organization to other departments and agencies would not be necessary at present but directed the secretariat to prepare drafts of letters or memoranda to be circulated within the three departments, for consideration at the next regular meeting.

The Committee agreed to defer action on the question of a formal charter for the secretariat but directed the Secretary to prepare a draft memorandum of its functions for approval at the next regular meeting.

2. Permanent Quarters and Place of Meeting.

The Committee agreed that the permanent quarters of the secretariat and place of meeting of the Committee should be in the State Department Building, if possible. In the event that space cannot be made available in the State Department suitable quarters for the secretariat will be provided in a building nearby. During the temporary absence of Mr. Dunn, who was called away, it was tentatively agreed that the Committee would meet each Friday at 10:30.

3. Personnel.

The secretariat suggested that the question of clerical help and other office personnel be cleared informally by the members of the Committee.

4. Procedure.

The Committee agreed to defer discussion on methods of procedure until the next regular meeting.15

  1. Navy Department.
  2. Director, Civil Affairs Division, War Department Special Staff.
  3. Deputy Director, Office of European Affairs, Department of State.
  4. Assistant Executive Officer to Assistant Secretary of War.
  5. Executive Assistant to Assistant Secretary of State.
  6. Special Assistant to Director of Office of European Affairs, Department of State.
  7. War Department.
  8. War Department.
  9. Special Assistant to Secretary of the Navy.
  10. Letters of November 29 and December 1, supra.

    The authority of the Committee was ultimately defined and formalized in a memorandum of October 16, 1945, signed by Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson, and Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal; for text, see Department of State Bulletin, November 11, 1945, p. 747.

  11. December 22, 1944, at which time lengthy consideration was given to methods of conducting business with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other agencies and it was agreed that the most direct and expeditious method possible should be adopted.