The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Halifax)
My Dear Mr. Ambassador: In the course of planning combined military operations, the Combined Chiefs of Staff of our Governments have found it necessary to consider a variety of problems relating particularly to the civilian population of liberated areas during the period of military operations. The Combined Civil Affairs Committee was created under the Combined Chiefs of Staff, to provide a forum in which these problems could be discussed on a combined basis and agreement reached with regard to the course of action to be followed. The interest of the military authorities in civil affairs problems covers, of course, only a limited period. When an area ceases to be of direct military importance, civil authorities acquire the principal interest.
When the period of military responsibility does terminate, however, there will remain a large number of questions, particularly economic, financial and supply questions, which will be of concern to our two Governments and planning for this post-military period is now necessary. I believe that it would be most desirable if there be created a forum in which civilian representatives of our respective Governments could, to the extent practicable, agree upon policies which they would recommend be followed with respect to the liberated areas during the post-military period.
There has been set up within the United States Government a Liberated Areas Committee8 which includes representatives of the Department of State, the Treasury Department, the Foreign Economic Administration, the War and Navy Departments, and on which the War Production Board and the War Food Administration will from time to time be represented. Mr. Acheson, Assistant Secretary of State, will represent the Department of State and will act as Chairman of the United States Committee. It is felt that representation of the military forces, at least for an interim period, is most desirable so that post-military operations can more easily be integrated with plans for the military period. It is suggested that your Government might consider the advisability of designating representatives [Page 311] who would meet with representatives of the United States Liberated Areas Committee so as to form a Combined Liberated Areas Committee in which the problems discussed above could be considered on a combined basis.
Terms of reference of the Combined Committee should be broad enough to cover all matters of economic policy relating to liberated areas from the date of termination of military control until such time as a broader method of economic collaboration is available.
I should appreciate your comments on this proposal. If you should look upon it favorably, the detailed working out of the terms of reference could then be pursued.
- Its first meeting was held on May 17, 1944.↩