367 Makin to Chifley and Dedman

Cablegram 226, WASHINGTON, 10 March 1949, 12.49 p.m.

IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET AND PERSONAL

In my telegram 203 I suggested that resignation of Forrestal might have a bearing on Sir Frederick Shedden's visit to Washington. General Chapman has been informed by his United Kingdom colleagues that a high level of approach is being made to the United States Government in an attempt to solve the problem of exchange of information. They have expressed the view that it is imperative that Shedden should adhere to his plans, or even accelerate them. Sir Henry Tizard expects to be in Washington between 5th and 7th April, presumably on the same matter.

I assume you have been kept informed from London of the United Kingdom approach. From information Chapman has gathered, it has all the signs of a 'showdown' and I agree that Forrestal's replacement is relatively unimportant in circumstances. It appears that Johnson[1], who has had previous experience as Assistant Secretary of War is already in process of taking over from Forrestal.

[1] Louis A. Johnson, appointed US Secretary of Defense on 4 March 1949.

[FA : INWARD MASTERSHEETS (TS) 1949-50]