365 Boase to Shedden

Letter 88 (extract), LONDON, 21 July 1948

TOP SECRET AND PERSONAL

PROPOSED REVISION OF CHARTER OF COMBINED COMMUNICATIONS BOARD 8. The U.S. Chiefs of Staff have proposed that the Dominions should be excluded from the Combined Communications Board. The reason for the proposal is that the Board discloses various highly secret matters which the Americans will not share with AUSTRALIA.

9. The Board is a Sub-Committee of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, a purely UK/US body to which the Dominions are not accredited. On paper, therefore, the present arrangement is an illogical one and from the UK viewpoint no good reasons can be advanced for resisting its abolition.

Consequently, the Chiefs of Staff have reluctantly agreed that they must fall in with the American proposal but since the Americans were responsible for inviting Dominion membership, they consider that U.S. should be charged with the task of informing the Dominions of their exclusion from the Board.

10. The Chiefs of Staff are of the opinion that advantage should be taken to press the U.S. Chiefs of Staff to permit the release of information about guided missiles to AUSTRALIA.

11. Commonwealth Signal Co-ordination until now has been carried out in WASHINGTON, partly through the medium of the Combined Communications Board and partly through an unofficial body there. It is now proposed to replace this old machinery by a Commonwealth Services Joint Signal Board in LONDON. Neither the detailed terms of reference of this body or details of its composition have yet been worked out.

[AA : A5954, 78/3]