Draft of Proposed Memorandum From the Deputy Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs (Ross) to the Secretary of State 17


Placing of the Iranian, Greek and Indonesian cases18 upon the Security Council agenda by Iran, the Soviet Union and the Ukraine raises for the first time the question of responsibility within the Department for the initiation and execution of policy and action in such matters.

Before the Delegation sailed for London the possibility that Soviet-Iranian relations and the Indonesian situation would come before the Security Council was foreseen. As a consequence position papers on these two matters were prepared (USGA/Gen/21 and USGA/Gen/26).19 The Division of International Security Affairs initiated the drafting of these position papers and had the benefit of the collaboration of the several geographic offices in doing so.

The sharper focus of the problem resulted from the receipt on January 22 of a telephone call from Mr. Joseph E. Johnson20 from London requesting a position paper on Greece and a supplement to that on Indonesia. In response to the requests of this office IS began the preparation of a position paper which could be transmitted to London. Because of the way in which the Greek situation and that of Indonesia were inter-related with the Iranian situation the draft paper necessarily dealt with all three matters. Before this telegram could be completed news was received of your departure from London for Washington and in that circumstance SPA notified Mr. Johnson that the material prepared in response to his request was being held pending your return.

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The receipt on Saturday of Delun 14121 from Mr. Stettinius requesting the advice of the Department as to whether the position taken in the Indonesian position paper was unchanged further complicated the situation. The action copy of this telegram was referred to SPA and it in turn referred it to IS for the preparation of a draft reply. Such a reply was prepared in collaboration with officers of SEA, NOE, and EE. However, the instructions which it is understood Mr. Stettinius received from you before your departure made it unnecessary to dispatch this telegram, with the exception of the sentence stating that the position remained unchanged as developed Saturday evening.22

It is the belief of this Office that the effective formulation of U.S. policy regarding substantive matters upon the agenda of the Security Council can be brought about by collaboration among the geographic offices concerned and the Office of Special Political Affairs and its several divisions. Formulation of proposed policy can be performed best when full information bearing upon the matter at issue is available. Since information vital to the formulation of the U.S. position is frequently available only in your office the question arises as to how to establish and maintain effective channels for the flow of that information in both directions.23

  1. Drafted by Donald C. Blaisdell, Associate Chief of the Division of International Security Affairs of the Office of Special Political Affairs.

    From the time of the Departmental reorganization of December 1944 (see Department of State Bulletin, December 17, 1944, “Supplement”, pp. 775 ff.), when the Office of Special Political Affairs was charged with the formulation and coordination of policy and action in matters relating to “the establishment of the proposed United Nations Organization and relations with that Organization” (ibid., p. 784), that Office had been involved mainly in a planning-type operation. “Collaboration” with the geographic divisions, as required by the original Departmental order, and hitherto a somewhat academic question, now, in January 1946, with the United Nations actually in being, suddenly assumed an intensely practical and pressing character.

  2. Documentation on these subjects is found in the appropriate area volumes.
  3. For these two position papers (whose numbers were changed in a revision of the serialization of briefing book (III) in which they were located, to Nos. 24 and 29), see vol vii, p. 289 and vol. viii, p. 787, respectively.
  4. Chief of the Division of International Security Affairs and member of the expert advisory staff attached to the Delegation.
  5. Telegram 927, January 25, from London. It read: “In view of Ukranian action in drawing attention of Security Council to the situation in Indonesia, advice is requested from the Department as to whether there is any change proposed US policy as set forth in memorandum of December, 1945, prepared for incorporation in US Delegation UNO Book Three.” (501.BB/1–2546).
  6. Despatched as Department’s secret telegram 913, Undel 125, January 26, to London. It read: “Instructions set forth in memorandum USGA/Gen/26[29] remain unchanged.” (501.BB/1–2546).
  7. In a covering memorandum of January 29 to Mr. Ross and to Robert M. McClintock, Special Assistant to the Director of the Office, Mr. Blaisdell wrote: “The attached rough draft … is being forwarded to you for discussion purposes only. I will be in touch with you later … on the whole question raised by this draft memorandum.” In a marginal notation directed to Mr. Ross, the Special Assistant (McClintock) wrote: “This raises a very basic issue which might better be handled orally. I agree with Mr. Blaisdell’s view: my only query is as to method of approach.” (501.BC/1–2846)