SPA Files 78

Memorandum by Mr. Howard C. Johnson of the Division of International Security Affairs to the Director of the Office of Special Politcal Affairs (Hiss)

confidential

Subject: Consideration of the Regulation of Armaments by the SWNOC Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Security Functions of the United Nations

In December 1945 the Joint Strategic Survey Committee prepared a paper for the approval of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the regulation of armaments,76 a paper designed to serve as guidance for the U.S. members of the Military Staff Committee. JCS considered the paper unsatisfactory and referred it back to JSSC for further study [Page 756]in the light of additional factors suggested by JCS. JCS also forwarded the attached memorandum to SWNCC, suggesting that the SWNCC Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Security Functions of the United Nations undertake a preliminary study of the matter.

On December 28, 1945 SWNCC referred this memorandum to the Ad Hoc Subcommittee for necessary action. No action has been taken as yet in the Subcommittee. It has not been pushed by the State Department since it was considered desirable that the Department have its own position somewhat clarified before entering discussions with the service departments; it was understood informally that War Department staff officers also believed that some initial guidance from the State Department would be essential.

IS expects to complete next week a paper which might be used as a basis for discussion;80 it will not set forth a definitive position on the regulation of armaments. We believe that there would be substantial advantage in bringing together a State-War-Navy working group as early as practicable for further work on the subject.

It is recommended that you, as chairman of the Subcommittee now charged with action on the development of the U.S. position on the regulation of armaments, raise informally with the other members of the Subcommittee the desirability of setting up a working group to draft papers on the subject for the consideration of the Subcommittee. It would be desirable to have at least two members from each Department on the working group. IS considers it essential that IS be represented on the working group, and suggests that it would be desirable to have EUR represented if possible.

[Annex]

The Joint Chiefs of Staff to the State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee 81

confidential
SM–4531

Subject: U.S. Guidance as to Disarmament and the Regulation of Armaments.

It is the understanding of the United States Chiefs of Staff that the subject of the regulation of armaments, and possible disarmament, may be raised for discussion in early meetings of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Military Staff Committee of the [Page 757]United Nations. The United States Chiefs of Staff will wish to furnish adequate guidance on this subject to their representatives on the Military Staff Committee and to insure that such guidance is carefully coordinated with the views expressed by the United States representative in the Security Council.

For the present, the United States Chiefs of Staff propose to instruct their representatives not to discuss the regulation of armaments, and possible disarmament, in the Military Staff Committee until the Security Council calls upon the Committee for advice and assistance with respect thereto.

In order that U.S. views might be ready when needed, it would appear to be most desirable for a preliminary study of the problems involved in the regulation of armaments, and possible disarmament, to be undertaken as early as practicable. It would appear that this a proper function for the State-War-Navy Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Military and Security Functions of the United Nations Organization, on which the armed forces are represented by the members of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee.

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
A. J. McFarland

Brigadier General, U.S.A., Secretary
  1. Lot 55D323, certain files of the Office of Special Political Affairs and its successor offices, 1946–1951.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Presumably an antecedent draft of SWNCC/MS UNO Doc. 28, June 5, prepared in the Division of International Security Affairs; for partial text of that document, see p. 833.
  4. Circulated as SWNCC 240/D, December 28, 1945.