861.24557H/2–447

The Secretary of War ( Patterson ) and the Secretary of the Navy ( Forrestal ) to the Secretary of State

top secret

Dear Mr. Secretary: There is inclosed a statement1 of the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the military implication of a change in the status, under the Treaty of Paris of 1920, of the Spitzbergen Archipelago.

We wish to reinforce these views by stating that in our opinion it would seriously impair the overall security interests of the United States to accede to any substantial Soviet demands with respect to Bear Island and the Spitzbergen Archipelago. Even in open negotiation among all non-enemy powers signatory to the Treaty of 1920, we [Page 1013] would recommend that the United States oppose any Soviet gains which could be interpreted in this country or abroad as appeasement of the U.S.S.R.

Sincerely yours,

Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy
Robert P. Patterson

Secretary of War
  1. Not printed.