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391 Makin to Burton

Cablegram 1007, WASHINGTON, 9 September 1948


Your despatch No.1.

After discussing with Chapman, Spurgeon and Watson the best method of approach I saw Lovett[1] yesterday and requested concurrence of United States with appointment of Defence Representative to be accredited to Secretary of Defense, etc.

2. Lovett said he personally was puzzled as to purpose of such an appointment which had not been requested by any other country. The major concern of the Office of the Secretary of Defense was the domestic task of co-ordinating the United States military establishment. Forrestal's[2] organization was working and would continue to work through the separate services. Forrestal did not have staff in his own office to maintain liaison with foreign representatives. Lovett also said he felt that any consultation beyond that between the separate services might come close to a diplomatic function.

3. Lovett admitted, however, that his knowledge even of existing arrangements was limited. Question is primarily one for the national military establishment to decide and he would consult with them.

4. After stressing our anxiety for direct representation at joint service level, and the fact that appointments had been made to United Kingdom and New Zealand, I left aide-memoire setting out our proposal. I suggested that after they had studied this Chapman should discuss matter in detail with United States service representatives. (I did not take Chapman with me yesterday because of danger that Australian press, who have been seeking to build up political issue on withholding of secret defence information, would misinterpret his presence.)

[1] Robert A. Lovett, US Under Secretary of State.

[2] James Forrestal, US Secretary of Defense.

[AA : A1068, DL47/5/2A]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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