740.0011 European War 1939/34428: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

4424. For Phillips. Terms of proposed model agreement outlined in your no. 4204, May 25, 4 p.m., as amended in your no. 4365, May 31, 7 p.m.,20 have been discussed with the War Department and with Director of Censorship.21 The proposals meet with our approval except as covered by the comments in the following two paragraphs.

In specifically excluding press, radio and cinema censorship from the proposed agreements, it is assumed that SHAEF has in mind satisfactory arrangements and controls for these media and that there is felt to be no need for specific commitments thereon in these proposed agreements.
We do not feel that this Government or the other contracting parties should be committed to the perpetuation of censorship and accordingly recommend that the last sentence of Article Four be amended to read as follows:

“Before terminating or substantially modifying the censorship, the blank Government agrees to hold discussions with the Governments of the United Kingdom and of the United States in order that it may be determined whether it is desirable in the common interest of the three Governments to continue the operation of censorship.”

[Page 1512]

Concerning question 2 raised in the last sentence of your no. 4365, the Department’s policy concerning the basic aim of censorship has not been changed from the view that censorship should be based on military considerations, namely, in broad terms, that which will contribute to the defeat of the enemy. The data furnished with the Department’s air mail instruction no. 4016 of May 2622 is to be regarded as a background guide and is not to be used as an indication of the material that we contemplate obtaining from censorship operations in the liberated areas.

Price requests that contents of this message be made available to Manship.23

  1. Latter telegram not printed.
  2. Byron Price.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Charles Phelps Manship, Assistant Director, United States Office of Censor ship, London office.