Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Ferguson)

top secret

Subject: CFM

Participants: Rear Admiral Edmund Wooldridge, USN 1
Frank Nash2
Paul H. Nitze, S/P3
John H. Ferguson, S/P

Mr. Nitze pointed out that the NSC had assigned to the Departments of State and Defense the question of a solution of the present tensions in the world by means short of war.4 Mr. Nitze mentioned that the [Page 445]question of a proposal on this subject would soon confront us in a CFM if one is held,5 and that the need for the development of such proposals also related to Mr. Nash’s work in the U.N. where meetings are occurring on conventional and unconventional armaments. Mr. Nash agreed that these three matters were intimately related and that work should go forward immediately to try to develop proposals for a peaceful settlement.

Mr. Nitze described what was urgently needed in preparation for a CFM and told Mr. Nash and Admiral Wooldridge that we wished to work with them on three particular matters as soon as possible: (1) the tension caused by existing levels of armaments in Europe and the most desirable way of presenting this question at a CFM; (2) the possibility of limited proposals for the mitigation of tensions caused by the existing level of armaments; and (3) the development of overall proposals for a peaceful settlement.

No further meeting was scheduled but it was agreed State and Defense would work together on these questions.

  1. Rear Adm. Edmund T. Wooldridge, Representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council.
  2. Deputy United States Representative on the United Nations Commission for Conventional Armaments; Deputy U.S. Representative on the Committee of Twelve.
  3. Director of the Policy Planning Staff.
  4. The record of the meeting of the Senior Staff of the National Security Council on February 23, 1951, indicates that the Senior Staff.

    “Discussed the status of the NSC 79 project, agreed that it should be divided into two projects, as follows, and that the second project should be completed as a matter of priority:

    • “(1) A statement of US and allied war objectives in the event of global war.
    • “(2) A statement of the conditions that the United States would be willing to accept for a peaceful settlement with the USSR, including a plan for the reduction and regulation of armaments and armed forces.” (NSC–S/P Files, Lot 62 D 1)

    NSC 79, August 25, 1950, consisted of a report by the Secretary of Defense forwarding a request by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that a study be prepared on “U.S. and Allied War Objectives in the Event of Global War.” For text, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. i p. 390. The National Security Council did not devote active consideration to the war objectives study during 1951.

  5. For documentation on the Four-Power Exploratory Talks held at Paris, March 5–June 21, 1951, see vol. iii, pp. 1086 ff. These discussions did not result in a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers.