No. 736
Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson) to the Acting Secretary of State1



  • Civil Affairs Directive for the Ryukyus.

In accordance with your suggestion, Mr. Phleger, Ambassador Allison and I met yesterday with General Hull, General Ogden, Admiral Davis and some others from Defense to discuss the differences between State and Defense on the text of the Civil Affairs Directive for the Ryukyus. With one exception we were able to reach agreement on the attached draft (Tab A).2

That one exception occurs on page 2 of the Directive. The language we had agreed upon yesterday would have required that the Governor of the Ryukyu Islands be appointed by the President upon recommendation of the Secretary of Defense. Since our meeting, Defense changed the language to read “His name will be submitted to the President by the Secretary of Defense for approval.” I believe that this misses the point, and that it is important to give the Governor the added prestige of appointment by the Chief Executive of the United States. I therefore recommend that you urge the National Security Council to accept the language agreed upon yesterday.

In other respects I believe that the attached draft represents a reasonable position and that it incorporates a substantial portion of the changes suggested by the Secretary in his letter of January 11 to Secretary Wilson. It includes the statement dictated by the Secretary as to the mission of the United States Civil Administration but adds some Defense Department language concerning the primary responsibility of the Civil Administration. It eliminates the gap which existed in the earlier draft of the Directive with respect to civil and criminal jurisdiction over non-Ryukyuans who are not employed by the United States armed forces.

On the other hand, it does not require the prior approval by the United States Government of the exercise of the emergency powers to suspend actions of the local government, although it does require prompt reports to Defense and State when the power is exercised. Another item missing from the attached draft is a requirement [Page 1605] for periodic progress reports on the reduction of responsibility for civil administration.


I recommend that you support the attached draft at the National Security Council meeting on Wednesday,3 but that you urge the NSC to include in the Directive a requirement that the Governor of the Ryukyu Islands be appointed by the President upon recommendation of the Secretary of Defense.

  1. Attached to a memorandum from Robertson to the Secretary dated Feb. 23, not printed. (794C.0221/2–2354)
  2. Not printed.
  3. Feb. 17.