The Secretary of the Navy (Forrestal) to the Secretary of State
My Dear Mr. Secretary: With your letter of 20 December 1946 there was transmitted for review by the Navy Department a draft Executive Order3 to implement Public Law 512—79th Congress, an Act “To Provide Assistance to the Republic of China in Augmenting and Maintaining a Naval Establishment, and for Other Purposes.”4
It is noted that the terms of the proposed Executive Order are restricted to matters concerning the transfer of vessels and craft and the transfer of material for the operation and maintenance of such vessels and craft. The Navy prefers that the terms be broadened to include other matters specified in Public Law 512. Also while deferring to State Department’s wishes that transfers of vessels and craft should be on the basis of a gift, it is necessary in order to protect naval appropriations that the cost of rehabilitation of such vessels and the cost of material for maintenance and operation be borne by the Republic of China. A suggested Executive Order including these points is appended.5
Your letter indicates that an appropriate time for issuance of the proposed Executive Order may not arrive until sometime in the future. [Page 944] In order that orderly planning and arrangements to implement Public Law 512 may be made, the Navy Department should appreciate early advice as to when, in the opinion of the State Department, the proposed Executive Order can be issued.