State–JCS Meetings, lot 61 D 417, “June 1952”

No. 643
Memorandum of Discussion at the Department of State–Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting, Washington, June 18, 19521

top secret

Present

  • General Bradley
  • General Collins
  • Admiral Fechteler
  • General Twining
  • Admiral Wooldridge
  • Admiral Fife
  • General Bolte
  • General Lee
  • General Cabell
  • Colonel Carns
  • Mr. Matthews
  • Mr. Nitze
  • Mr. Perkins
  • Mr. Byroade
  • Mr. Ferguson
  • Mr. McClurkin
  • Mr. Tufts
  • Mr. Lay
  • General Ruffner

[Here follows discussion of the situation in the Middle East, the possibility of bombing certain power plants in North Korea, and the question of Korean prisoners of war.]

Conversations with Yugoslavia

General Bradley: We would like to talk about the problem of who will represent us in conversations with Tito. Originally this was set up for Admiral Carney. It still seems to us that we can order an American officer to put on a U.S. hat and do anything we order him to do, but we seem to be in the minority on this. The British want one of the Joint Chiefs to do it. We don’t like that suggestion. One possibility is to let Admiral Wright do it. Another is to get General Hayes in Austria to do it. His command is not in the NATO set-up. Furthermore, he is going to drop back into that area when fighting starts. He only has two stars now but his nomination for three is on the Hill. He is a capable man. I suppose Tito would like four stars if possible and would prefer an army man since most of his problems are land problems. There might therefore be some advantage in General Hayes.

Mr. Perkins: We would want to think about that very carefully. It might cause us some difficulties in Austria when it became [Page 1293]known that Hayes was talking with Tito about military plans. I think we would want to consider this very carefully.

General Bradley: The other possibilities are to send General Handy or Admiral Wright. Admiral Wright is not yet in a NATO command but he will be. General Handy, although he has a U.S. command, also has a NATO position.

Mr. Perkins: If General Handy takes the job of military representative, won’t he be out of the NATO set-up?

General Bradley: Yes, that is so. I think we are going to Give Ridgway two hats—a U.S. hat in addition to his NATO hat.

Mr. Byroade: Whoever holds the conversations should get some time in Greece and Turkey.

General Bradley: That was one advantage in having Carney do it. He would still prefer Carney to anyone else.

Admiral Fechteler: Why not just tell the British that we are going to have Carney do it?

Mr. Matthews: It is not only the British who have doubts about this.

Mr. Perkins: We have a wire in this morning from Paris.2 The French think that the three of us ought to meet before anyone talks to Tito and that we ought to decide what we are going to say to him. The French think we should use the Standing Group for this purpose. They also think that the talks should be on a tripartite basis not just a U.S. representative. They suggest that we might start off with our military attachés in Yugoslavia.

General Bradley: What are we trying to do in these conversations?

Mr. Perkins: . . . .

General Collins: There is a very good reason for these talks.

General Bradley: I wasn’t questioning that. . . . Is there any other reason for these talks?

General Collins: . . . .

General Cabell: Could not Admiral Carney be given leave for a while from his NATO responsibilities?

Mr. Nitze: Could General Eddleman go along with the principal U.S. representative?

General Collins: We have been waiting a long time on this one and I don’t think it will matter much if we wait a little while longer. If we wait a little while we can have General Handy after this new set-up in Europe has been approved by the JCS. Incidentally, I am still skeptical about the visit of General Eddleman and [Page 1294]Mr. Olmsted3 of the office of the Secretary of Defense. I think we have a good man in Yugoslavia in General Harmony.

Mr. Matthews: I don’t know about this visit by Eddleman and Olmsted. I think it might confuse our other approach.

Mr. Perkins: I have only just heard of it and I don’t know why it is being undertaken.

General Ruffner: I think they are going over to discuss the military end-item program.

General Bradley: They don’t have to go there to do that.

Mr. Perkins: As for the French suggestion, I think we should object to the three-party approach. However, do we want to agree to a meeting of the three of us before we talk to Tito?

General Bradley: I don’t see any objection to a meeting of that kind.

General Collins: I talked with the Yugoslavs frankly when I was there.4 … We should leave the problem of Greek-Yugoslav coordination entirely up to the Greeks although I understand the Greeks have been making some progress on this matter. . . .

Mr. Matthews: In light of this do you think that we need to have talks with the British and French before talking to Tito?

General Collins: I think there would be an advantage in explaining to the British and French what we have in mind.

General Bradley: I don’t see any objection to drawing up an agenda for the talks with the British and the French.

Mr. Perkins: Should we use the Standing Group for this?

General Bradley: I hesitate to use the Standing Group for non-Standing Group tasks. The British will probably want to use Elliott and the French will probably want to use Ely. If we use someone other than Admiral Davis, that will make it a different group from the Standing Group. I think General Collins or General Eddleman should do it.

General Collins: I agree that we should keep it out of the Standing Group.

General Bradley: Let’s agree that we will set up an ad hoc committee and designate Collins for it.

General Lee: Is it agreed that there will be no participation by the British and French in the talks?

General Collins: That is agreed. In fact I don’t think Tito would talk to the French at all.

[Page 1295]

General Bradley: We might pursue this topic a little further. We might consider a Britisher as the person to talk with Tito.

Mr. Matthews: The British haven’t raised that possibility.

General Collins: Since we furnish the aid I think we should be the ones to talk.

Mr. Perkins: Should the fellow be divorced from NATO?

General Collins: What about using General Handy supported by General Eddleman. He will soon be wearing a U.S. hat.

General Bradley: This may be decided next week.5

[Here follows discussion of the question of the possibility of British representation on General Clark’s staff in Korea, the build-up of the Turkish air force, and the possibility of United Nations military action in the Pusan area of Korea.]

  1. The meeting was held at the Pentagon at 11 a.m. A note on the source text indicates that it was a Department of State draft which had not been cleared with any of the participants.
  2. Reference is to telegram 7901 from Paris, June 17. (768.5/6–1752)
  3. Regarding Eddleman’s and Olmsted’s visit to Yugoslavia in July 1952, see footnote 3, Document 647.
  4. For documentation regarding Collins’ talks with Yugoslav officials during his visit to Yugoslavia in October 1951, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. IV, Part 2, pp. 1855 ff.
  5. At a meeting on July 30 between British, French, and U.S. military representatives, it was decided, among other things, that General Handy should represent the three powers in the military talks with Yugoslavia. The decisions made at that meeting were described in a letter of Aug. 20 from Lovett to Acheson. (768.5/8–2052)