State–JCS Meetings, lot 61 D 417

No. 89
Memorandum of the Substance of Discussion at a Department of State–Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting, Held at the Pentagon, April 3, 1953, 11 a.m.1

top secret

[Here follows a list of 20 persons present, including General Collins, Admiral Fechteler, and General Twining. The Department of State Delegation was headed by Matthews. The Department of Defense was represented by Frank C. Nash and the NSC Staff by Gleason.

[The meeting opened with discussion concerning the Korean war.]

Mr. Matthews: We would like to discuss further the new instructions for Radford.

Mr. Allison: I am afraid there has been some slight mixup on this because I understand that you had word over here that our Secretary had approved the draft instructions in principle when, as a matter of fact, he had not yet studied them. The Secretary has, however, now seen them and with the amendments which we have already agreed upon I believe there will be no problem in regard to [Page 171]his approval. Your people sent over a draft of the supplementary message to Radford2 which would lay out the general considerations which he should keep in mind in implementing his instructions. We have no objection to anything in your draft, but in view of our discussion of last week on the military implications of our position in regard to Formosa, we would like to suggest that a new paragraph be added. (At this point Mr. Allison gave the Chiefs the following draft.)

“In coordinating plans with the Chinese Government for the offensive use of Chinese Nationalist Forces, agreement should be secured that these forces will not engage in offensive operations considered by U.S. to be inimical to its best interests. In particular you should make clear that the U.S. is undertaking no commitment to counter Communist military actions which are the consequence of Chinese Nationalist offensive operations undertaken without prior concurrence of U.S. authorities.”

Mr. Nitze: We originally took up with the Secretary somewhat milder language and he thought it should be strengthened so as to read as this now reads.

General Collins: Wouldn’t it be clearer if the end of the first sentence were revised to read “to be inimical to the best interests of the United States”.

Admiral Fechteler: Wouldn’t it also be better to say “a commitment must be secured” instead of “agreements should be secured”.

Mr. Nash: The last paragraph of the JCS memo to the Secretary of Defense3 recommended that the Secretary of Defense should secure further governmental approval as necessary before these instructions were sent to Radford. Does this mean, since I gather that State and JCS now agree on the text of instructions, that any other approval should be secured that could only mean Presidential approval, and I personally don’t think that is necessary.

Mr. Allison: There is one point I would like to be clear on before we finally approve the instructions. Is it clear that Radford should work this out with the Embassy before talking about it with the Nationalists.

[Page 172]

General Collins: We can cover that explicitly by shifting your new paragraph to be paragraph 4 and amending the old paragraph 4 to make it specifically cover collaboration with the Ambassador in obtaining the Chinese commitment. It could read “you are authorized to obtain the Chinese Nationalist commitment required in paragraph 4 provided that such arrangements are made in conjunction with Chief of the U.S. Embassy”.

Admiral Fechteler: Can we now release these orders and the supplementary message with the changes we agreed on?

Mr. Allison: Yes, I think we can.

[Here follows discussion concerning Indochina and general policy toward Southeast Asia.]

  1. A note on the title page reads: “Draft. Not cleared with any of participants.”
  2. The draft message, undated, is in CA files, lot 59 D 228, 306.11x file; it is similar in substance to JCS telegram 935784, Document 91, except that it did not include paragraph 4 of the latter.
  3. The reference is to a memorandum of Apr. 1 from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense enclosing the proposed directive to CINCPAC. A memorandum of Apr. 4, from Acting Secretary of Defense Roger M. Kyes to the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that the proposed directive and the supplementary message to CINCPAC had been approved by the Secretary of Defense and brought to the attention of the President, who had indicated no objection. (JCS records, CCS 381 (1–24–42), Sec. 39)