J. C. S. Files

No. 550
Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff1
top secret
C. C. S. 891

Combined Chiefs of Staff Machinery After the War With Japan

We should like at Terminal to discuss with our United States colleagues the question of the continuation of machinery for combined United States/British collaboration in the military sphere after the defeat of Japan.
Since 1941 the machinery of the Combined Chiefs of Staff and its associated committees has worked smoothly and effectively. For the reasons which follow, we consider that it would be a retrograde step to allow this machinery to fall into disuse merely because Germany and Japan have been defeated and there are no supreme allied commanders to receive the instructions of the Combined Chiefs of Staff.
As we see it, the world, all too unfortunately, is likely to remain in a troubled state for many years to come. Major problems will constantly arise affecting both American and British interests. In many cases these interests may well be closely identified, and in many cases also they will have important military implications.
For these reasons we consider that some machinery for the continuation of joint and combined United States/British collaboration is desirable. For example, it may be to the great advantage both of the United States and ourselves that some machinery should exist for the mutual exchange of information. Some measure of uniformity in the design of weapons and in training may also be mutually beneficial.
It is not our intention in this paper to attempt to fashion the form or the structure of the machinery which may be found necessary for the above purpose after hostilities have ended. All that we suggest at this stage is that we should now recommend to our respective governments that they should approve the maintenance of the framework of the Combined Chiefs of Staff organization after the war with Japan, and the principle of consultation on matters of mutual interest.
We do not think that the maintenance of the Combined Chiefs of Staff machinery after the end of hostilities need in any way cut across or impinge upon the Military Staff Committee of the World Security Organization. There is plenty of room and work for both.
  1. Noted by the Combined Chiefs of Staff at their 196th Meeting, July 19. See vol. ii, p. 113. The subject matter of this memorandum had previously been discussed by Truman and Churchill. See vol. ii, p. 80.