740.00119 PW/4–747

The Assistant Secretary of State (Hilldring) to the Assistant Secretary of War (Petersen)

My Dear Mr. Petersen: In conformity with a recent State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee decision, the United States Government is now forming a U.S. Reparations, Restitution, and Restoration Mission for Japan, which will have as its primary function the representation of United States interests in the foregoing matters. In addition, members of the official mission may act in an advisory capacity [Page 382] to the Supreme Commander in interpreting the various policy directives on reparations and restitution matters which have been issued from Washington.

In considering the composition of the official mission the State Department believes it desirable that the War Department be represented because of its close and intimate relationship both with the formation of policy and the direction of administrative matters pertaining to these problems. I am, therefore, inviting you to consider the appointment of a War Department representative as an official member of the five-men U.S. mission. In view of the issuance of the directive on Advance Transfers of reparations goods in Japan the State Department hopes that it will be possible for the State and War Department members of the mission to leave for Tokyo in the very near future, so that they may be present at the time when the actual beginning of reparations removals is made.65

Sincerely yours,

J. H. Hilldring
  1. In telegram 149, April 25, to Tokyo, the Department reported that the initial group of the mission, consisting of a chief, an administrative officer, and a secretary, was leaving about May 1 for Japan, while other members of an official 5–man mission, plus staff, would follow (124.945). Rufus Burr Smith was chairman of the mission. On May 8 the Department asked Seoul to recommend an American member representing USAFIK to join the mission in Tokyo (740.00119 PW/5–847). In telegram 235, June 25, 7 p.m., to Tokyo, the Department reported Commerce Department plans to send four businessmen as advisers for their firms in Japan (740.00119 PW/6–2547).