740.5 MAP/2–350

The Acting Secretary of Defense ( Early ) to the Secretary of State


Dear Mr. Secretary: As a result of informal consultation between representatives of the Departments of State, Defense and other interested [Page 14] agencies, I submitted a draft directive to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I have received their views and certain proposals for modification with which I concur. They are as follows:

Studies based on current war plans indicate that the United States, using U.S. ships only, would have a shipping deficit during certain phases of a future emergency. The pooling of allied shipping for the purposes of mobilization and allocation would be to the best interests of our national defense because it would provide machinery for maximum utilization of all available shipping.
Considering this reliance upon allied shipping, the Joint Chiefs of Staff feel that the draft directive of the North Atlantic Council dated 14 December 1949,1 as modified in the Enclosure hereto, properly places the responsibility for international planning for the mobilization and allocation of ocean shipping in an emergency under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It is not considered proper that such planning involve the utilization of shipping after allocations have been made. The implementation of this directive should provide for adequate consideration of military requirements since it charges the Shipping Board with the development of a program that effectively supports defense plans.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, while it does not include representatives of all potential allies in a future war, is, however, a currently effective international organization including the leading maritime nations of the world concerned with planning for an emergency. The necessary coordination and collaboration with friendly countries not now members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization could be accomplished by the proposed Shipping Board of the North Atlantic Council. It is believed that such collaboration with the Republics of the Americas should be carried out by the United States.
It is important that recognition should be taken of preliminary work in the field of international shipping, since the entire matter merits immediate and comprehensive consideration. It is recommended that the principles of procedure formulated by the international group sponsored by the National Security Resources Board and as outlined in their memorandum dated 30 November 1949, and attached to your memorandum,2 as well as any planning of the two technical working committees recommended by that group, be considered by the Shipping Board when and if it is established by the North Atlantic Council.

I am sending a copy of this letter to the Chairman, National Security Resources Board, and I presume that interdepartmental planning will develop a coordinated government-wide United States position.

Sincerely yours,

Stephen Early
  1. Not printed.
  2. Neither memorandum identified in Department of State files.