SWNCC Files: Series 249

Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air (Sullivan)22


U.S. Position as to Future Status of the Pacific Islands

Articles, from London which appeared in the morning papers on January 15, 1946, and subsequently indicate uncertainty among the United States representatives at the United Nations meetings as to what the United States position should be as to the future status of the Pacific islands. The President, at his press conference on January 15, made certain extemporaneous remarks as to the United States position. His statements were in general terms.

In view of these circumstances, I feel there is an urgent need for the State, War and Navy Departments to consider the question with a view to reaching agreement as to United States policy with respect to the future status of the Pacific islands. I feel this essential in order to provide uniform guidance to the civilian and military representatives of this Government at this and future United Nations meetings.

It is, therefore, my suggestion that the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee hold a special meeting on this problem as soon as possible. At this meeting the Committee should be advised as to the present state of development of a governmental position and as to what instructions or guidance, if any, was given on this question to our representatives at the present United Nations meeting. We should then decide upon steps to be taken to develop and clarify the governmental position at the earliest practicable date.

  1. This document was circulated by the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee Secretariat to the Committee on January 17 as SWNCC document 249.