Policy Planning Staff Files

Memorandum by the Acting Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Butler) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary: In response to your request, there are set forth below the Policy Planning Staff’s views on the UMT statement you are to make before the Senate Armed Services Committee.1

The Planning Staff is concerned about the effect that your statement as drafted may have.2 The reasons for this concern are:

The best information available to the Planning Staff is that the prospects are poor for enactment of the UMT legislation this year, even with the weight of your prestige behind it. This being the case, failure to enact the legislation after your strong testimony in its favor would have a very bad psychological effect abroad, both in discouraging our friends and encouraging further aggressive moves by the USSR;
The accelerated march of events makes necessary an immediate strengthening of our military effectiveness to back our foreign policy. It is the informal opinion of members of the National Security Council Staff that the best way to attain this immediate strengthening of our military position is through measures such as Selective Service;
Your proposed statement might be interpreted to mean that you believe universal military training is adequate to supply the immediate need for a military force strong enough to support our foreign policy;
While your quoted views as Chief of Staff still are valid in support of UMT, the situation they were, designed to meet is radically different from the situation that exists today. It seems preferable to refer to or summarize those views and place greater emphasis on other measures which you consider would provide the necessary immediate military backing for our foreign policy.

In light of the above expressed views the Policy Planning Staff submits a suggested redraft of your statement.

George H. Butler
  1. For extracts from Marshall’s statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee, March 17, and information regarding the foreign policy aspects of the question of procurement of manpower for the armed forces, see editorial note, p. 538.
  2. Neither the draft statement considered by the Policy Planning Staff nor the revision prepared by the PPS has been found in the files of the Department of State.