No. 64
Draft Memorandum by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the British Air Chief Marshal (Elliot)1



  • Allied Middle East Command
The United States Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the proposal contained in your letter to General of the Army Omar Bradley, SWE/20/52, dated 31 January 1952,2 that a conference of [Page 194]the Sponsoring Powers be held in London in early March to conduct preliminary planning toward establishment of a Middle East Command Organization. They have also noted that, on 8 February 1952, the British Embassy advised the Department of State that the British Foreign Office agrees no attempt should be made at present to fix the date for the seven power meeting nor announcement made of intentions to hold the meeting.3
The United States Joint Chiefs of Staff agree with the desirability for the early establishment of the Middle East Command; that, as a first step, the Middle East Command Headquarters should be established as soon as practicable; but that the proposed conference of interested countries should be held only after agreement thereto by the powers concerned, at a date to be determined later, but without public announcement of intention to hold such a conference.
The matter of effecting necessary coordination at all levels between the NATO and the Middle East Command, when the latter is established, must, of course, be subject to agreement by the North Atlantic Council.
The United States Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that the arms supply for the Arab States and Israel should be coordinated by the Tripartite Agency currently being discussed by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.4
  1. This draft memorandum was enclosure A to a letter from the Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of State, not printed, dated Mar. 4. The letter requested Department of State concurrence on the draft prior to its despatch by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    A reply from Burton Berry to the Secretary of Defense, dated Mar. 7, not printed, stated that the Department of State was in general agreement with the position stated in the draft memorandum. (780.5/3–452) JCS records show that the memorandum was sent on March 18.

  2. Not printed. A copy of the letter was attached as enclosure B to the letter of Mar. 4. Elliot informed Bradley that the United Kingdom attached great importance to the establishment of a Middle East Command, but had not raised the point in the past few months in deference to the importance attached by the United States to the satisfactory admission of Greece and Turkey to NATO. The British Chiefs of Staff felt, however, that the time had come to reopen the question, and they had been considering, in consultation with the Foreign Office, the steps that should be taken toward the establishment of a Middle East Command Organization. (780.5/3–452)

    Included with the letter was a memorandum entitled “Allied Middle East Command,” not printed, setting forth the way in which the United Kingdom envisaged the organization taking shape. The memorandum was almost identical to the second memorandum delivered by representatives of the British Embassy to the Department of State on Jan. 31, which is printed as Attachment II to the memorandum of conversation dated Jan. 31; see Document 58.

  3. See footnote 9, Document 60.
  4. This reference is to the Near East Arms Coordinating Committee (NEACC), which was being organized in the spring of 1952. Representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, and France met in Washington in March to consider proposals for the establishment in Washington of a three-power group to coordinate the supply of arms to the Arab states and Israel. (Memorandum of conversation, Mar. 19, 1952; 780.5/3–1952) A Department of State letter to the British and French Embassies, dated June 19, not printed, enclosed copies of the French and English texts of a document concerning the establishment of NEACC, in furtherance of the Tripartite Declaration of May 25, 1950. The committee was considered to have been constituted on June 4, 1952. (480.008/6–1952) Additional documentation on NEACC and later exchange of information among the three powers concerning arms assistance to Middle East countries is in Department of State files 340.280, 480.008, 780.5, and 786.56.