J.C.S. Files

Memorandum by the United States Chiefs of Staff1

C.C.S. 310

Propaganda Committee

Recent events have indicated the necessity for establishing some machinery whereby propaganda policies to be followed by London, [Page 1098] Washington, and Theater Headquarters may be coordinated, particularly in emergency cases.

The enclosure is presented by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a possible solution to this problem. They consider it desirable that something along these lines be accomplished during the Quadrant Conferences.


[Propaganda Committee]


To establish a central agency with power of decision regarding propaganda lines to be followed.

facts bearing on the problem

The recent removal of Mussolini disclosed the fact that in emergencies there is no United Nations agency immediately available to coordinate and determine the propaganda policy that should be followed in order to derive the maximum benefit from the situation. As a result there has been a divergence in the propaganda aims as between the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Theater Commander, which will be difficult to correct.

The time involved in obtaining agreed views from the Chief Executives of the two governments, the State Department, the Foreign Office, and the military and naval leaders of the two countries is too long to permit taking full advantage of a situation which requires immediate action.

action recommended

That the Combined Chiefs of Staff recommend to the President and the Prime Minister:

That a Propaganda Committee be set up in Washington to include one high-level representative each from the U.S. State Department, British Foreign Office, U.S. Chiefs of Staff and the British Chiefs of Staff.
That this Committee be authorized to make decisions and issue broad directives on propaganda policies to be followed by the propaganda agencies of the two countries. These should be such as to insure the maximum benefit in furthering the military and political aims of the two governments. It should be understood that this committee ordinarily is free to seek guidance on the highest levels, but in emergencies to have the responsibility of taking immediate action without reference to higher authority.
That the Combined Chiefs of Staff be charged with the implementation of the above.

  1. For the discussion of this paper at the 116th Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, August 24, 1943, see ante, p. 963.