State–JCS Meetings, lot 61D 417

Memorandum on the Substance of Discussions at a Department of State–Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting1

top secret

[Here follows a list of the persons present (24). All of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff except General Vandenberg attended the meeting. Matthews headed the Department of State group.]

Security Pact With Australia and New Zealand

Mr. Matthews: I thought we might discuss first this morning the establishment of a council under the Australian-New Zealand Pact.

General Bradley: Admiral Carney2 has been here this morning and we have not had a chance to discuss this question in any detail. As you know, we are always worried about getting tied up in another formal committee.

Mr. Matthews: In short, what you want to do is the minimum.

Mr. Cowen: What is your maximum minimum?

General Bradley: We are prepared to coordinate with the Australians and New Zealanders; in fact, we want to do this, but we don’t want a formal organization. If we do get one we will have to get one with everyone else. We already have the IADB, the Standing Committee,3 and so forth and so on. How much are we stuck on this one?

[Page 81]

Mr. Cowen: Our thought is that the organization should be primarily political. We intended to keep it out of Washington and put it, say, in Pearl Harbor.

General Bradley: I am sure the Navy wants to keep it out of Pearl Harbor. If we have got to have an organization we won’t want to have regular meetings but just periodic meetings.

Mr. Cowen: I think our allies would be happier if we could arrange regular meetings.

General Bradley: We don’t even have that in NATO. Our NATO meetings are periodic.

Mr. Cowen: Is that so? At any rate I think the Australians and New Zealanders would prefer regular meetings. There was some thought that they might have a couple of liaison officers in Honolulu.

Admiral Fechteler: Oh, no!

Mr. Matthews: Where do you want the organization situated?

General Bradley: Wherever the political organization is situated. Admiral Fechteler is opposed to locating it in Pearl Harbor. Personally, I don’t think it would be so bad if there were only a few people. Do we have to have an organization under the Philippine Treaty also?

Mr. Cowen: No provision was made in the Philippine Pact for a council and I don’t think we will have to have one, but specific provision was made in this pact.

General Bradley: Of course we don’t anticipate much trouble in the Southern Pacific in the vicinity of Australia. What we want and need is flexibility to use the Seventh Fleet as may prove necessary. We don’t want to hamstring ourselves by an excess of formal planning. We hope that trouble will never get down as far as Australia and New Zealand.

Mr. Cowen: Of course the Australians and New Zealanders want to get into all the Pacific planning if not more.

General Collins: That is just what scares us.

Mr. Cowen: Of course that is the point at which we begin our trading. I think we have to begin our trading on the basis of what they want.

General Bradley: Of course this might look differently if they were going to send a big fleet to the defense of Alaska.

Admiral Fechteler: Where is this big fleet?

Mr. Cowen: How far do you think you can go to meet their desires?

Admiral Fechteler: I think it is easier to say first what we don’t want. I am speaking only for myself but in my judgment there are two things we don’t want. In the first place we don’t want a Combined Staff, and in the second place we don’t see any necessity for [Page 82] a continuing liaison group. I can’t imagine what they would do. I think we want to meet whenever there is some business to be transacted. It is routine for you to come over here4 on Wednesdays but if there is nothing to take up you don’t come over.

Mr. Matthews: The difference is that we can’t go out and play golf when there is nothing to take up with you.

Mr. Allison: We have talked a good deal about this matter to the Australian Ambassador. He has grandiose ideas, and we certainly don’t need to go as far as he wants to go. He wants a small NATO set-up. He also wants to be in on the planning for NATO and the Western Hemisphere. Above all, what they want is the feeling that they are treated equally and that they do not have to go through London on all these matters. They want to know what our over-all plan is.

Admiral Fechteler: We have told them that we guarantee them against invasion. I can’t see what more they want.

Mr. Allison: They want to be in on military planning to some extent.

Admiral Fechteler: Do you know what the relationship is between the Australians and the U.K.? They have an arrangement by which any U.K. forces which are sent down there will be put under Australian command. If they are thinking of anything like that so far as we are concerned, all I can say is the hell with it.

Mr. Allison: They have never made any such suggestion to us and it is of course out of the question.

Mr. Cowen: They have a great sensitivity regarding their role. They made a real contribution in the last war and they want to have some forum of their own which is distinct from London so that they can feel grown up.

Mr. Foster:5 There may be some idea here that the Australians are demanding something from us. I think that ought to be straightened out. This organization they want is something which they believe in good faith they are to get out of the treaty. I am sorry if anyone thinks they are holding a gun at our heads. There may have been some misunderstanding about exactly what the treaty language implied. I know they felt that an organization was something which the treaty would confer.

Admiral Fechteler: The answer to this may be to have an initial meeting with them to determine what is needed on a continuing basis. In other words, I don’t think we ought to set this up on a permanent basis initially.

[Page 83]

Mr. Matthews: You would like a meeting to discuss what we would do in the future?

Admiral Fechteler: That is right. When they discuss this thing they may find out they don’t have enough people to do unnecessary things. In this connection, I recall that when I was setting up SACLANT I needed some officers from the U.K. and the British told me they could not afford so many people for this purpose

General Bradley: As far as a political council is concerned that is fine with us. Your proposal involves attaching to this a military committee which would meet every three or four months in Pearl Harbor, or on a rotating basis in the three countries. If this military committee is on NATO lines, that would go too far in our judgment. If we could redefine “military committee” to mean “military consultants to the Foreign Ministers” I think that would help.

General Collins: As regards the meetings, could we not say they would be held periodically as required?

Mr. Cowen: This language you are referring to is our own language and we are not committed to it in any way.

General Bradley: Personally, I am not opposed to military liaison at Pearl Harbor. I would like to suggest another term for military committee and I would like to suggest that the military representatives should meet periodically, as required.

General Collins: We might call them “military advisers”.

General Bradley: We might revise this to read “to attach to the council such military advisers as needed”.

General Collins: Instead of “attach” I think we might merely say that each country would make military advisers available.

General Bradley: Of course we have got to continue the coordination of military planning through CINCPAC.

Admiral Fechteler: Do Australia and New Zealand really want to have officers stationed at Pearl Harbor?

Mr. Allison: I think they wanted officers stationed in Washington but we have tried to keep them out of Washington.

Admiral Fechteler: I just don’t see what they would do six days a week at Pearl Harbor.

Mr. Matthews: Well at any rate, Admiral, if they are at Pearl Harbor they cannot bother you. I don’t believe the Australians and New Zealanders care much where they are stationed.

Admiral Fechteler: They aren’t going to bother me anyway.

Mr. Foster: I don’t think the Australians and New Zealanders care whether the headquarters is at Washington or Pearl Harbor.

Mr. Nitze: How does CINCPAC actually go about the job of coordination?

Admiral Fechteler: He has gone down to visit these people himself. He has not been there for more than a year, however.

[Page 84]

Mr. Cowen: And General Collins has been down.

General Collins: I don’t think we should mention planning in this. Planning is in my judgment the danger area.

General Bradley: I don’t see how we can get away from that.

General Collins: I wouldn’t say anything about it. I would refer to the military advisers, etc., and if they ask about planning, I would say this would continue as before. After all, we are not much interested in joint planning for the Pacific. Our interest is to get some Australian and New Zealand troops into the Middle East. If they engage in joint planning for the Pacific their prestige will become involved and they will feel they have to do something in the Pacific. The whole point of this has been to protect them in the Pacific in order that they could do something in the Middle East.

General Bradley: Of course that is a good argument for having the organization in Washington rather than in the Pacific. If it was here we could keep emphasizing the importance of the Middle East.

General Collins: I don’t object to having it in Washington.

Admiral Fechteler: I propose language along the following lines: “Military consultants will be attached to the council. CINCPAC will be the U.S. representative. Meetings will be held periodically as required. Military consultants will be stationed at Pearl Harbor on permanent or intermittent basis as developments indicate.”

Mr. Foster: May I suggest that if we meet the Australians and New Zealanders on the question of form, it would be easier to rule out the substantive matters which we don’t want to talk about. I think we will find our problem much easier to solve if we go far to meet them on the organizational arrangements, and provide a place in which they can ask questions—even if the answers they get are “no”.

Mr. Cowen: There is some urgency about all this because the Australian Prime Minister is coming here soon. This is one of our problems.

General Bradley: We don’t want to talk about joint plans outside the areas of common interest. It is okay to plan for the Southern Pacific and it will be okay if we can hold them to that. I think we have to recognize that we are committed by the treaty to do more than we would really like to do from the purely military point of view.

Mr. Nitze: Could we call these people military representatives? I think it would go down somewhat better.

General Bradley: I think that is okay. Do you have any comments, Mr. Nash?6

[Page 85]

Mr. Nash: No, I don’t think so. A solution along the lines which have been discussed this morning sounds okay to me.

General Bradley: Do we want a liaison arrangement of some kind? Personally, I think they will get tired of hanging around with nothing to do. They may stay around for a few months and then I think their absences would grow longer and longer and the whole thing might be solved.

General Collins: I have worked up some draft language here which goes as follows: “I would further propose that to the Council there be attached military representatives who would meet periodically as required at Pearl Harbor, or on a rotating basis in Australia, New Zealand and Pearl Harbor. CINCPAC will be the American representative. I would further propose that in order to assure proper liaison two officers of field rank should be stationed at Pearl Harbor on a regular or intermittent basis as developments indicate.”

Mr. Matthews: When is Prime Minister Menzies7 coming?

Mr. Foster: About the middle of May.

General Bradley: I think General Collins’ language meets our needs.

Mr. Matthews: Is it the procedure, then, that you will reply to this letter we have sent over?8

General Bradley: Yes, that is the way to handle it.

(At this point Mr. Cowen and Mr. Foster left the meeting.)

[Here follows discussion of Korea and of disarmament.]

  1. A note on the title page reads: “State Draft. Not cleared with any of the participants.”
  2. Adm. Robert B. Carney, USN, Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe, and Commander, Allied Naval Forces, Southern Europe (NATO commands), and Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.
  3. The first reference is to the Inter-American Defense Board; the second is apparently to the NATO Standing Group.
  4. To the Pentagon.
  5. Andrew B. Foster, Deputy Director of the Office of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs.
  6. Frank C. Nash, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs).
  7. Robert Gordon Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia.
  8. The Secretary’s letter of Apr. 4 to Lovett, p. 75.