740.5/3–951: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Deputy Representative on the North Atlantic Council (Spofford),1 at London


Todep 291. This is State-Defense message. Please withhold Deps action concerning appt. Fechteler as Supreme Commander NAO, even if Brit willing concur res as now drafted.

FYI this is based on JCS desire consult with Admiral Sherman upon his return early next week.2

If some action necessary in Deps to postpone decision and if you are pressed by Brit explain reason US desire for delay you may use your discretion reveal above reason. We expect be able cable further instrs before end next week.

  1. Message drafted and approved for transmission by Knight, cleared by JCS, Defense, S/ISA, BNA, and Deputy Under Secretary of State Matthews, who signed for the Secretary.
  2. Admiral Sherman was then in Western Europe for talks with various NATO governments and military commanders concerning the best means of creating coherent, integrated naval commands for the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions. Regarding this subject, see Draft Minutes of State–JCS Meeting, March 14, infra.