John J. McCloy

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John Jay McCloy (1895-1989) served as chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations "Board of Directors from 1953 to 1970, and subsequently as honorary chairman. He joined the Council in 1939. From 1941 to 1945, Mr. McCloy served as the assistant secretary of war, and from 1947 to 1949, he was the president of the World Bank. He then became the U.S. high commissioner for Germany from 1949 to 1952. He then left government service and became chairman of Chase Manhattan from 1953 to 1960, and chairman of the Ford Foundation from 1958 to 1960."[1]

"He was appointed Assistant Secretary of War on April 22, 1941. By 1945, McCloy was spending most of his time working on issues involving postwar Germany. With the Secretary of War Henry Stimson's health failing, McCloy became increasingly involved in the War Department.[citation needed]

"McCloy was a key player in deciding whether or not to drop the bomb. He was one of the few civilians to know about the project. During a meeting on June 18, 1945, Truman approved the invasion of mainland Japan. McCloy pushed for an alternative diplomatic approach to achieve a Japanese surrender. He wrote, "everyone was so intent on winning the war by military means that the introduction of political consideration was almost accidental." On the advice of President Truman, McCloy took his ideas to Secretary of State James Byrnes, who rejected them.[citation needed]

"The Committee of Three, composed of Henry Stimson, James Forrestal, and Joseph Grew, was assigned by President Truman to explore alternatives to make Japan surrender. McCloy wrote a proposed surrender demand that was incorporated into Article 12 of the Potsdam Proclamation. The original draft of the Proclamation included language that would have allowed Japan to keep its emperor, a condition that would have greatly increased the chances of Japan's acceptance of surrender. After the atomic bombings, McCloy believed for the rest of his life that "we missed the opportunity of effecting a Japanese surrender, completely satisfactory to us, without the necessity of dropping bombs."[citation needed]

"Between 1947 and 1949 McCloy served as president of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank). From 1949 to 1952 he served as US military governor and high commissioner for Germany and helped rebuild the country. In 1961, McCloy became President Kennedy's principal disarmament advisor. He negotiated terms for the resumption of East-West disarmament talks and drafted a bill that led to the establishment of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency." [2]

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  1. Richard K. Betts, Council on Foreign Relations The John J. McCloy Program Named Chairs, Centers, Fellowships, and Programs; accessed March 4, 2010
  2. Biogrpahy of John J. McCloy, accessed March 4, 2010