740.00119 PW/8–1145

The Assistant Secretary of War ( McCloy ) to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Dunn )

Dear Jimmy: I have talked with representatives of the Staff about the French requests to be allowed to be present at the Chinese acceptance of Japanese surrender in the northern part of Indo-China and at the British acceptance of Japanese surrender in the southern part of Indo-China. We have no objection to the granting of these requests, but our view is that we cannot appropriately support them through military channels. In the China Theater, for example, General Wedemeyer63 is merely Chief of Staff under command of the Generalissimo and is therefore not in a position to make recommendations to the Generalissimo on political matters.

Our suggestion is that, if you believe the request should be supported on political grounds, you advise the French that the matter should be taken up by them directly with the Generalissimo and the British Government, and you might add that our Ambassadors in Chungking63a and London are being instructed to support the requests so made.

With regard to the Dutch request to be allowed to be present at the British acceptance of Japanese surrender in the Netherlands East Indies, we have just received a proposal by the British Chiefs of Staff that, from the date of the cease fire, the entire Netherlands East Indies area be included in Lord Louis Mountbatten’s Command.64 This proposal is viewed favorably by the Army and Navy planners. If, as seems probable, the proposal is accepted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we suggest that the Dutch also should be advised to present their request to the British Government, and, if you consider it appropriate, that our Ambassador will be instructed to support the request.

Sincerely,

John J. McCloy
  1. Lt. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, Commanding General, U.S. Forces in China Theater, and concurrently Chief of Staff of China Theater.
  2. Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Hurley.
  3. Supreme Allied Commander, Southeast Asia.