The Department of State to the Soviet Embassy


The Acting Secretary of State notes that the United Nations Preparatory Commission in London has endorsed the recommendation of the Executive Committee whereby Item 8 on the provisional agenda of the first meetings of the Security Council will be “the adoption of a directive to the Military Staff Committee to meet at a given place and date”, and that the Preparatory Commission has also approved the language of the directive itself. Based upon the present plan to hold the inaugural meeting of the General Assembly on January 10, 1946, it may be assumed that the Security Council will be constituted about January 15, and shortly thereafter the Military Staff Committee item on the agenda should be reached. It may therefore be expected that the Military Staff Committee will be duly established and should be holding its first meeting sometime between January 15 and January 20.

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Anticipating that one of the first tasks of the Military Staff Committee will be the determination of its functions and initial organization, this Government has prepared a paper entitled The Functions and Organization of the Military Staff Committee of the United Nations,24 which sets forth the United States views on this subject, and which is presented by this Government in the expectation that it should prove a useful basis for discussion in the early, organizational days of the Committee. This paper, a copy of which is enclosed, is now being circulated through military channels to the Chiefs of Staff of the permanent members of the Security Council.

This Government has expressed its complete agreement with the proposal of the British Government to hold informal conversations in London, some days prior to the establishment of the Military Staff Committee, among the five initial representations to the Committee.25 With this in mind, it is planned to have the United States military and naval representatives arrive in London in ample time to participate in the suggested talks.

In regard to the form which the permanent representation of the five member nations on the Military Staff Committee should take, it is the view of this Government that this matter can be decided subsequently. In so far as the United States representation is concerned, the Chiefs of Staff propose to appoint representatives from each of the services who will hold rank equivalent to the grade of General or Lieutenant General. The United States Chiefs of Staff feel that they are unable to attend in person the first meeting or meetings of the Military Staff Committee, principally due to the recent changes among the Chiefs of Staff in this country.

A similar memorandum has been addressed to the French and Chinese Governments.

  1. Drafted in the Division of International Security Affairs on January 3, 1946.
  2. This paper was later submitted to the Military Staff Committee; see footnote 46, p. 734.
  3. The British proposal was contained in a memorandum delivered to the Department of State on December 13, 1945. The United States informed the United Kingdom of its agreement in a memorandum of December 29. (501.BC/12–1345)