Roosevelt Papers

The Combined Chiefs of Staff to President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill


Memorandum for the President and Prime Minister

Subject: Propaganda Committee.

Enclosed is a proposal which has been agreed by the Combined Chiefs of Staff1 and is submitted for your approval.

For the Combined Chiefs of Staff:
J. G. Dill

Field Marshal Head of the British Joint Staff Mission in Washington
William D. Leahy

Admiral, U.S. Navy
Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy
[Page 1315]

The Combined Chiefs of Staff to President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill

C.C.S. 310/2

Propaganda Committee

We have been examining the possibility of establishing Anglo-American machinery for the coordination of propaganda in an emergency, and wish to make the following proposal and recommendations.

the proposal

To establish coordinating authorities with power of decision for Anglo-American policy in propaganda.

basis of proposal

Recent experience in the European theater demonstrated that existing Anglo-American machinery for the coordination of and dissemination of instructions for propaganda operations in an emergency neither functions with sufficient speed nor avoids contradiction when operating under conditions of emergency.

The present procedure in obtaining agreed decision on propaganda policy from the responsible authorities of the two Governments is too protracted for the immediate unified action required by emergency developments.


We recommend for your approval:

That Anglo-American Committees of equal membership be set up forthwith for the emergency coordination of Anglo-American propaganda policy in each of three theaters:
In Washington for the Pacific Theater,2
In London for the European Theater,
In New Delhi for the South East Asian Theater.
That these Committees be empowered, in relation to the theaters concerned, to make ad hoc decisions when emergency developments occur which make such decisions necessary or desirable and under such conditions to issue special directives on propaganda policies for the appropriate agencies of the two Governments and of the Theater Commanders.
That these decisions and directives be binding for all propaganda operations directed to the theater concerned until revised by the normal process of consultation between the two Governments.
That the Combined Chiefs of Staff be charged with responsibility for securing the establishment of these three Committees in these three places, and that priority should be given for the immediate creation of the Committee which would be responsible for propaganda in connection with impending operations in the Mediterranean.
These Committees to consist of:
  • One representative of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • One representative of British Chiefs of Staff.
  • One representative of U.S. State Department.
  • One representative of British Foreign Office.
  • One representative of U.S. Office of War Information.
  • One representative of British Political Warfare Executive.

These committees to have power to call in further assistance as and when necessary.3

  1. At their 117th Meeting, September 3, 1943. See ante, p. 1203.
  2. The words “China and Indo China” have been inserted by hand at this point on the file copy in the files of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but they do not appear on the copy in the Roosevelt Papers.
  3. The Joint Chiefs of Staff forwarded a copy of this paper to Hull on September 4, 1943 (740.0011 Pacific War/3497).