J. C. S. Files

Joint Chiefs of Staff Minutes1
top secret

1. Agenda for Tripartite Discussions at Argonaut

(J.C.S. 1176/9, J.C.S. 1227/3 and J.C.S. Info. Memo 359)2

Admiral Leahy said that there had not been time to study the papers before the meeting and asked for a summary.

Admiral Cooke explained that the Joint Staff Planners and the members of the U. S. Military Mission, Moscow, had met to bring up to date all matters dealing with negotiations with the Russians. These discussions had resulted in the circulation of J.C.S. 1176/9 and J.C.S. 1227/3. He said that the two major items to be considered were:

coordination with the Russians in the matter of operations in the field;
negotiations with the Russians concerning Far Eastern matters.

[Page 563]

The first item involved British, U. S. and Russian negotiations. This matter has been under discussion for a considerable length of time and little progress has been made. The second item involved only discussions between the U. S. and the U. S. S. R. This matter has been the subject of examination by the special U. S. mission now in Russia. There are certain phases of the problem which are not progressing very well.

The papers before the Chiefs were presented by the Planners with the view to formulating for the President a form of approach in the forthcoming discussions. It was felt that the President should be thoroughly familiar with matters which will be the basis of the tripartite discussions.

The agenda items listed in Appendix “A” in J.C.S. 1227/3 have been presented to the Soviets and the British. To date no answer has been received from the Soviets.3

In response to a question by Admiral Leahy, General Deane expressed the opinion that the Soviets would withhold their views on the agenda until they met in formal tripartite session. The Russian military staff would be adequately represented at such a meeting and having already received the views of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff on the agenda items, they would be prepared to discuss them.

General Marshall said it was important to keep the consideration of military matters alive during the conference while political talks were taking place on higher levels.

Admiral King felt that the President should be advised to ask Premier Stalin to discuss the matters set out in the agenda.

Admiral Cooke said that the views of the Russian military staff would probably not be discussed freely unless Premier Stalin had previously given his approval. The President should tell Premier Stalin to give his staff a rather free hand in the preliminary discussions with the British and U.S. staffs. Further, it was felt by the Planners that the President should get the consent of the Prime Minister to set up direct liaison between General Eisenhower and the U.S. and British Military Missions to Moscow. This, it was felt, was the proper approach to the desired arrangement.

General Marshall felt that the first and important step should be to inform the President of the subjects to be discussed in the tripartite sessions. The Joint Chiefs of Staff should put before the President the agenda as outlined in Appendix “A” and “B” of J. C. S. 1227/3.4

Admiral Leahy said that he would undertake to do this.

[Page 564]

Admiral King emphasized the necessity for clearing up the matter of direct liaison between General Eisenhower and the U.S. and British Missions in Moscow and endorsed the suggestion of having the President speak to the Prime Minister on this subject.

Admiral Leahy said that he would attempt to have military matters presented first at the meeting with the President this morning. This would enable the President to be briefed on the subjects which are now under discussion prior to his talks on political matters.

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

The Joint Chiefs of Staff:—

Took note that Admiral Leahy would inform the President of the subjects to be discussed in the tripartite sessions.

  1. J. C. S. 187th Meeting.
  2. Not printed.
  3. The agenda under reference was the agenda proposed for the tripartite military discussions at Yalta. It may be found in C. C. S. 765/1, ante, pp. 424425.
  4. The agenda outlined in Appendix “B” of J. C. S. 1227/3 was the agenda proposed for the American-Soviet military discussions at Yalta. It may be found ante, pp. 393394.