United States national security policy: the extension of military assistance to foreign nations; estimates of threats to the national security; coordination of political and military policy; United States policy with respect to the acquisition of military bases and air transit rights

[582] Memorandum Prepared for the Secretary’s Staff Committee

Secretariat Files

[583] The Secretary of State to the Secretary of War ( Patterson )


[584] Memorandum Prepared in the Department of State

Policy Planning Staff Files49

[589] Memorandum Prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff


[590] The Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of State


[599] Memorandum Prepared for the Secretary of State’s Staff Committee

Secretariat Files

  1. Lot 52M45, the files of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee located in the National Archives under the administration of the Department of State. The State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee was the principal inter-departmental organization concerned with the coordination of foreign and military policies in 1946. Documentation regarding the establishment of SWNCC is printed in Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, pp. 14661470. In 1946, the Department of State was initially represented on the committee by James C. Dunn, Assistant Secretary for European, Far Eastern, Near Eastern, and African Affairs; representing Mr. Dunn in his absence was H. Freeman Matthews, the Director of the Office of European Affairs. After the creation of the office of Assistant Secretary for Occupied Areas in April, Assistant Secretary John H. Hilldring became State representative. The War Department was represented by Assistant Secretary of War Howard C. Petersen, the Navy Department by Under Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan.

    SWNCC held its first meeting on December 19, 1944, and met twice more in that year, approving a substantive policy paper on December 29. In 1945, SWNCC held 31 meetings and initiated 241 policy paper series. In 1946, SWNCC met 20 times, continued or completed the series begun in 1945, and commenced work on 104 additional series. In 1946, SWNCC was vitally concerned with problems relating to the occupation of Germany and Japan, but dealt with policy coordination on a broad variety of matters. SWNCC subcommittees with the regional purview and subcommittees created for the consideration of specific questions were active. In addition to its policy formulation role, SWNCC repeatedly served as the liaison unit through which the Department of State requested and received military estimates on matters related to foreign policy.

    In Foreign Relations volumes for 1945 and 1946, SWNCC documentation is presented according to subject in bilateral and general compilations. For additional information on the establishment, organization, and functions of SWNCC, see “The State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee,” by Harold W. Moseley, Colonel Charles W. McCarthy, and Commander Alvin F. Richardson in the Department of State Bulletin, November 11, 1945, p. 745, and “The State–War–Navy Committee,” by Major General John H. Hilldring in Logistics, April, 1947, p. 7.

  2. Lot 122, a consolidated lot file consisting of records of inactive or terminated committees of the Department of State or inter-departmental committees on which the Department of State was represented. This material was retired by the staff of the Executive Secretariat of the Department of State.
  3. Lot 64D563, files of the Policy Planning Staff, Department of State, 1947–1953. The source text is filed in this lot although the Policy Planning Staff did not come into existence until May 7, 1947.