Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs (Hickerson)

top secret

Mr. Middleton, First Secretary of the British Embassy, came in to see me today. He said that Field Marshal Wilson, in association with the Embassy, had been authorized to begin discussions with us at any time convenient in regard to our request of the British Government for bases in British territory in the Pacific. He referred to the note [Page 13] which the Secretary had sent Mr. Bevin on this subject on November 7[6],20 setting forth a list of such places.

I told Mr. Middleton that I was very much pleased. I said that Mr. Searls and I and at least one officer from the British Commonwealth Division would take part in the talks from the State Department and that Captain Dennison of the U.S. Navy and Colonel Tate of the Army had been designated from their departments to take part in the talks. I told him that Mr. Searls was out of town but would be back on Monday21 and that I would check with him and let them know of a time for the meeting which I hoped would be Monday. Mr. Middleton said that it would not be possible for them to meet earlier than Monday in any event but he hoped that they could take part in a meeting Monday. It was left that I would telephone him Monday morning.

John Hickerson