SWNCC Files

No. 751
The Joint Chiefs of Staff to the State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee1
[Extracts2]
top secret
SM–2610

Memorandum for the State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee

Subject: United States Policy Concerning Dardanelles and Kiel Canal

It is assumed that the request of the State Department3 for the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff concerning the future of the Dardanelles is based upon the fact that we have agreed to discuss the Montreux Convention4 at Terminal. A similar request3 concerning the future of the Kiel Canal indicates that that subject may also be brought up for discussion.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

If, however, notwithstanding the above considerations,5 it is necessary to discuss and possibly reach a decision concerning the Kiel Canal, then it is the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that from the long range and over-all security point of view, the position of the [Page 650]United States should be that in any case, the Kiel Canal should be demilitarized, and:

a.
Preferably—the Kiel Canal should be placed under the United Nations Organization and be operated by a mixed commission appointed by and reporting to the Security Council.
b.
As the first alternative—the German State of Schleswig–Holstein, which includes the Kiel Canal, should be constituted a strategic area under the trusteeship system with Denmark accepting responsibility as the administrating authority, the Kiel Canal then to be operated by Denmark under supervision of the Security Council.
c.
As the second alternative—the German State of Schleswig–Holstein, which includes the Kiel Canal, should be annexed to Denmark, with that nation’s consent, and the responsibility for the operation of the Kiel Canal should then be assumed by Denmark.
d.
Any proposal by Russia giving her control of or a preferred position concerning the Kiel Canal should be firmly opposed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
A J McFarland

Brigadier General, U. S. A., Secretary.
  1. Concerning the approval of this memorandum by SWNCC and its transmittal to Byrnes, see documents Nos. 1364 and 1365.
  2. For the paragraphs of this memorandum not printed here, see document No. 1363.
  3. Not printed.
  4. League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. clxxiii, p. 213.
  5. Not printed.
  6. For the general considerations referred to, see document No. 1363.