Secretary’s memoranda, lot 53 D 444, April–May 1951

Lucius D. Battle, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, to the Executive Secretariat

secret

Mr. Acheson called me last night about 5:30. He said that he had just had a call from General Bradley. General Bradley and the JCS want to send a telegram to Ambassador Spofford in London asking him to hold up on action on the Fechteler appointment. General Bradley told the Secretary that the deputies were to have acted on it today. He said also that the JCS wanted to have them study a British White Paper1 which has recently been issued on this matter before any final action was taken on the appointment. General Bradley said that the Paper contained some provisions on command which they thought were not satisfactory and they feared some “shenanigans” on the part of the British.

General Bradley asked the Secretary to concur in a telegram to Spofford asking that he hold up. The Secretary told me that he believed [Page 508]that the case as presented by General Bradley was a good one and he agreed to the transmission of the telegram with the phrase the Secretary of State concurs in it.2

Mr. Acheson asked me to check with the appropriate people about it and, if there was a strong feeling that we should not have agreed to this delay, to call him back.

I talked to Mr. Vass who in turn got in touch with Hayden Raynor and Ridgway Knight. Mr. Vass called me back and said that they all agreed that the action was appropriate. Mr. Vass did not think it necessary to inform Mr. Perkins or Mr. Cabot last night.

Could the foregoing be passed to the appropriate people for information.3

L. D. B[attle]
  1. In telegram Depto 728 from London of April 7, Spofford informed the Secretary of State that the British would not formally issue their White Paper until after further discussions concerning a Mediterranean command and that it was unlikely that the matter of the Fechteler appointment would be debated in the House of Commons during the coming week (740.5/4–751). The paper was issued on April 17 and approved the appointment of an American as Supreme Commander Atlantic. See footnote 3, p. 479.
  2. The telegram was sent as JCS telegram 87964 on April 8 (telegram Depto 742, April 10, 740.5/4–1051).
  3. Mr. Battle added a handwritten marginal note reading: “Mr. Perkins, Mr. Cabot, Mr. Matthews.”