27. Letter From the Chief of the Military Intelligence Branch, Department of War General Staff (Churchill) to the Director of the Foreign Section, Committee on Public Information (Irwin)1

My dear Mr. Irwin:

The following information is transmitted to you in furtherance of our cooperation in the matter of propaganda into enemy countries.

The Military Intelligence Branch is sending to the A.E.F. a group of seven officers as the first step in putting into effect the plan agreed upon by yourself, Mr. Creel, Captain Blankenhorn, and myself in the conference of June 20th.2 The officers are Captain Blankenhorn, Capt. Lippmann, Lt. Griscon, Lt. Merz, Lt. Ifft, Lt. Miltenberger, and Lt. Woolley.3 The reason for sending these officers is made plain by recalling the conference of June 20th.

At that conference it was agreed that in the case of propaganda into enemy countries the conditions of cooperation between the Committee on Public Information and the Military Intelligence Branch should be reversed: that is, that the Military Intelligence Branch should have executive responsibility for such propaganda while the Committee on Public Information should cooperate by supplying propaganda [Page 60] for distribution. In allied and neutral countries the Committee has executive responsibility while the Military Intelligence Branch cooperates with information and criticism, as before.

In accepting executive responsibility for enemy countries the Military Intelligence Branch saw the necessity for obtaining the fullest possible information on all the conditions affecting such propaganda. This information is only obtainable abroad. Therefore the above named officers are being sent primarily to obtain the necessary information for recommending a definite plan of action and secondarily for beginning the organization abroad necessary to put the plan into effect.

The Secretary of War, who is also a member of the Committee on Public Information, has personal knowledge of our plans.

Will you keep us informed as to your progress in obtaining men for your Editorial Boards abroad?

M. Churchill

Colonel, General Staff Chief,
Military Intelligence Branch
Executive Division
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 63, Entry 105, Director’s Office of the Foreign Section, General Correspondence, Box 13, Military Intelligence and CPI Agreements. No classification marking.
  2. No minutes of the June 20 meeting have been found, but see Document 29.
  3. Ifft is George Nicholas Ifft II. Griscon, Merz, Miltenberger, and Woolley are not further identified.