811.24590/5–246: Telegram

Brigadier General George A. Lincoln, Military Adviser to the United States Delegation, council of Foreign Ministers, Paris, to Lieutenant General John E. Hull, Assistant Chief of Staff, War Department General Staff

top secret

ns 56. In meeting with Bevin today, Byrnes explained in full US stand on empire proposal for regional defense arrangement. Bevin is cabling Attlee42 asking for permission to agree in principle that Canton and Christmas Islands will pass to US undisputed sovereignty on understanding US will maintain any installations there and give British military and civil landing rights. Further, the British will keep sovereignty of Funafuti, maintain airfield and give US military and civil landing rights. Also that Tarawa be ceded to the US in the next few days. With regard to foregoing proposal, Bevin has always been in favor of some such arrangement but has been opposed by dominion and colonial offices. Byrnes also explained forcefully that we wanted some rights at Manus, but that we had no intention of keeping any more than a few personnel in these various locations and that we saw no military threat in the South Pacific in the near future “except possibly Siam”.

[Here follows discussion on subject of removal of certain Polish nationals from Italy.]

  1. Clement R. Attlee, British Prime Minister.