Volume #13 - 11.|
CONDUITE DES RELATIONS EXTÉRIEURES
REPRÉSENTATION DIPLOMATIQUE ET CONSULAIRE
LA MISSION MILITAIRE AUPRÈS DE LA COMMISSION ALLIÉE DE CONTRÔLE EN ALLEMAGNE
Extrait d'une lettre du chef la mission militaire|
auprès de la Commission alliée de contrôle en Allemagne au sous-secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
PERSONAL AND MOST CONFIDENTIAL||
le 10 mars 1947|
My Dear Mike [Pearson],|
Your letter of the 19th of February, which mark you, only reached me on the 8th of March, ordering the civilianization of this Mission has pretty well disembowelled me.
As for your general plan of administration, I shall write you a 'Dear Mr. Pearson' letter to go out by the bag at the end of the week. The only irksome thing about it is that you have imposed upon me the obligation to write a book which nobody will read. Take heart, however, because at the moment I plan to give it a succinct conclusion, which perhaps might catch somebody's eye.
In the first place, let me say that whereas a large measure of civilianization in this outfit is quite feasible, our circumstances are such that the retention of some military people is essential, and this beyond question, and in spite of what the Army at home may think about it. This is a view with which I am sure Mr. Brooke Claxton will eventually agree. There is a qualification to this for so long as I can retain some of my present helpers in military guise the end result will be the same.
For my part, having suffered crucifixion during the '30s on Slater Street at the hands of External, I am at a loss to understand your pusillanimity in this Year of Grace 1947, two years nearly after the cessation of hostilities. I am afraid the old Department ain't what she used to be, for long since should you have been able to regain your former authoritarian position which, while usually beneficently exercised, was sometimes unfortunately mis-directed.
I said earlier that this Mission cannot be completely civilianized. Its Head could well be any one of your Foreign Service Officers, provided he have slapped on him some fictitious military rank. But it so happens that we live in and by the military machine which no one but a soldier can work. I have with me at the moment McQueen6 and Clabon,7 the former my Deputy, the latter my Administrative Officer. If I must reduce, let me hasten to say that reduction is possible. Of my own volition in the interests of due economy, I sent five soldiers home last month, and I can cut down some more. The job of Military Deputy and Administrative Officer might in one way or another be combined. Again it might not, in which case I could repatriate my Sergeant-Major. McQueen has been here 18 months, and believe me, the Quadripartite machinery of Berlin is very complicated. A stranger wouldn't get it in 6 months, nor would the Archangel Gabriel. So much that we do must be on the 'old boy' basis, and to do this one must be an 'old boy'. And so I know that the continued service of McQueen is essential for the well-being of this outfit, and to prevent it from developing creaks in every joint. For myself, I have passed the age, nor, if you will bear with me, would it be fitting for me to run my legs off in garages, supply depots, the offices of third secretaries and the like.
You have intimated that you wish to send me Hurley,8 and I gather that McQueen and Clabon should disappear. Let me come back at you and earnestly recommend that McQueen be retained and Hurley be posted elsewhere. I have yet to hear that you have a superfluity of officers (unless perhaps it be Ambassadors, with whom at the moment I am not concerned). But let me repeat, you cannot completely civilianize this Mission with success. If you do this with new blood I can guarantee that the weepings and wailings that you will get from whoever may be trying to run it at the time will outdo the lamentations of Jeremiah at the service of Tenebrae during Holy Week. Believe it or not, they will fully measure up to those that were emanating from 72, Avenue Foch, some eighteen months ago.
All this from the heart. The laboriously compiled book will be dispatched to Mr. Pearson by the next bag.
6Le colonel/Col. l.O. McQueen.
7Le capitaine/Capt. A.W. Clabon.
8Le colonel/Colonel J.J. Hurley.