Department of the Army Files: Telegram

No. 1310
The Secretary of War ( Stimson ) to the Acting Chairman of the Interim Committee ( Harrison )
top secret
urgent

Victory 218. To AGWar from Stimson to Pasco for Harrison[’]s Eyes Only . Reference your number War 35988.1 We are greatly pleased with apparent improvement in timing of patient[’]s progress. We assume operation may be any time after the first of August. Whenever it is possible to give us a more definite date please immediately advise us here where information is greatly needed. Also give name of place or alternate places, always excluding the particular place against which I have decided.2 My decision has been confirmed by highest authority.3

  1. Document No. 1309.
  2. Kyoto. See Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War, p. 625.
  3. i. e., Truman. Stimson’s diary contains the following entries on this subject:

    “[July 22:] Called on President Truman at nine-twenty. …

    “I also discussed with him Harrison’s two messages [presumably documents Nos. 1307 and 1309]. He was intensely pleased by the accelerated timetable. As to the matter of the special target which I had refused to permit, he strongly confirmed my view and said he felt the same way. …

    “At twelve-fifteen I called General Arnold over, showed him Harrison’s two cables, showed him my answer to them and showed him Groves’ report [document No. 1305], which he read in its entirety. He told me that he agreed with me about the target which I had struck off the program. He said that it would take considerable hard work to organize the operations now that it was to move forward. … [For Arnold’s account of his various conversations on this subject with Stimson at Babelsberg, see H. H. Arnold, Global Mission (New York, 1949), pp. 584–585, 588–591.]

    “[July 24:] … We [Stimson and Truman] had a few words more about the S–1 program, and I again gave him my reasons for eliminating one of the proposed targets. He again reiterated with the utmost emphasis his own concurring belief on that subject, and he was particularly emphatic in agreeing with my suggestion that if elimination was not done, the bitterness which would be caused by such a wanton act might make it impossible during the long post-war period to reconcile the Japanese to us in that area rather than to the Russians. It might thus, I pointed out, be the means of preventing what our policy demanded, namely a sympathetic Japan to the United States in case there should be any aggression by Russia in Manchuria.”