740.00119 P.W./3–1346: Telegram

The Chief of Staff (Eisenhower) to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Tokyo


War 91800. 1. Would appreciate your comments and suggestions regarding solution of inter-departmental problem of United States Government currently of concern.25

2. Although the JCS, War Department and United States Army are charged in the administration of occupied territory with administering applicable governmental or inter-governmental policy, the development and formulation of government policy in the framework of the United States Government rests primarily with the civilian agencies of the government, in particular the State Department. The view of the civilian departments of the government has been that in order to properly formulate policy with respect to the government of [Page 96] occupied countries they should be free to nominate representatives to act in an advisory capacity to the military authorities in occupied countries with the right to have free and direct communication for the transmission of information and instructions between such representatives and the department nominating them. This position has been held especially by the State Department in the over-all field of foreign policy and the Treasury Department with respect to financial problems.

3. The problem is illustrated by the view which has been held in the State Department that a State Department representative designated as your political adviser should have his own staff and should act not only as your political adviser but as a representative of the State Department with right of direct communication to the State Department with respect to problems arising within your responsibility as SCAP. Treasury Department desire a similar arrangement with Treasury representatives who may be provided to you as advisers or otherwise attached to your staff. Position of these departments is based on their view that within the responsibility of the United States Government for the administration of occupied territory, the Secretaries of State and Treasury have definite responsibilities for policy consideration and determination which can be discharged only if they have the right of communication with and to some extent control over their personnel who may be serving in occupied countries. This view of the civilian departments is also reflected in the many requests which are received for the dispatch of specialized missions to investigate and report to the appropriate civilian departments on special matters of concern in the government of occupied areas, such as textile production and the Zaibatsu problem.

4. Efforts to recruit personnel for your staff have been seriously hampered by this position of civilian agencies of the government. By far the most productive field for recruitment of working staff is in the departments of the government most concerned with the particular problem to be considered. This is true not only because of the specialized type of personnel available from these sources but also because the fact of the termination of the war inevitably makes general civilian recruitment for service overseas increasingly difficult.

5. It is recognized that the primary responsibility within the United States Government for the formulation of government policy with respect to the administration of occupied areas must rest with the civilian departments of the government. It is also recognized that the desire of the civilian departments of the government to obtain advice and information upon which policy must be formulated from their own experts in the various fields under investigation is a natural one.

6. Problem has been the subject of several discussions between the Secretaries of the State, War and Navy Departments26 without final [Page 97] solution. In the present situation recruitment of personnel for your staff is delayed and with respect to certain types of personnel prevented completely. Moreover, with particular reference to your political adviser, it appears here that you are not receiving the maximum of benefit from his presence in Japan, and State Department is dissatisfied with its inability to receive what to it seems appropriate information and reporting from him.

7. Following solution of the problem with respect to which your comments are desired was suggested in conference between War Department representatives and the Acting Secretary of State:

Your political adviser will be assigned, with such assistance as he may have, to your staff, and, as a member of your staff, will be subject to your authority and control. All other government personnel, including missions or groups to examine special questions, will also be assigned to your staff and will be subject to your authority and control.
There will be no official channels of communication between the United States Government or its agencies and SCAP or his staff except between SCAP in the theater and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or, where appropriate, the War Department as the Executive Agency of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Washington. All recognize that the position, views or recommendations of SCAP on any question will be for your decision and advice to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or, where appropriate, the War Department as Executive Agency for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The normal flow of inquiries regarding information as to operation of government or other factual information will be between SCAP and the War Department.
In the event the policy-making civilian agencies of the government desire the particular views or recommendations of their personnel who are assigned to your staff because of such personnel’s technical experience or particular relationship with the department involved, on a special subject, request for such views or recommendations will be transmitted to you by the War Department as Executive Agency of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the replies of the representatives of the civilian agencies of the government should be transmitted through you to the War Department with such comment or recommendation as you may deem appropriate.27 It is also proposed that representatives of policy-making civilian agencies who are assigned to your staff will be permitted to send reports and information to their departments in Washington by transmission through your headquarters and the War Department.

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8. It is recognized that the foregoing suggested arrangement has the objectional feature of increasing the burden on your staff to transmit or answer inquiries. However, it represents substantial concessions by the civilian agencies of the government, particularly the State Department, with respect to their obligations and responsibilities regarding which they hold very strong views. The State Department is pressing very strongly for issue of instructions on the matter, consequently your comments are requested as soon as you can conveniently send them.

  1. On March 8 the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved the procedures herein set forth regarding official channels of communication between the U.S. Government or its agencies and SCAP or his staff and so advised General MacArthur (memorandum SWN—4013, March 13, 1946, by the Acting Chairman of the State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee to the Secretary of State) (740.00119 PW/3–1346).
  2. Namely, James F. Byrnes, Robert P. Patterson, and James V. Forrestal
  3. Subparagraphs a–d, except last sentence of d, were transmitted by the Department in telegram 27, January 8, 1946, 7 p.m., to Tokyo, with explanation to Mr. Atcheson that the Departments of State and War had agreed upon this solution after considerable discussion and mutual accommodation (740.00119 Control (Japan)/1–846). General MacArthur’s concurrence was reported to the Department by the Secretary of War, Robert P. Patterson, in his letter of January 28, not printed. On February 7 the Secretary of State acknowledged the letter and added: “The formula is acceptable in so far as this Department is concerned.” (740.00119 Control (Japan)/l–2846)