Major General James H. Burns, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, to the Deputy Under Secretary of State (Matthews)


Dear Mr. Matthews: I am replying to your letter of 21 December, in which you ref erred to previous correspondence between the Department of State and the Department of Defense regarding the disposition of Netherlands New Guinea and requested the current estimate of this Department as to the United States strategic interests which may be involved.

In the letter of 2 October1 to which you referred, the views of this Department were stated as follows:

“The Joint Chiefs of Staff perceive no major United States strategic interests at this time in the disposition of Netherlands New Guinea so long as it remains in the hands of a nation friendly to the United States.”

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In reviewing again United States strategic interests in this area, full consideration has been given to the recent developments mentioned in your letter and to the present military situation in the Pacific. However, it is not believed that any change in the above estimate is indicated at this time.

Sincerely yours,

J. H. Burns