The Director of Censorship (Price) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle)
My Dear Mr. Berle: You will recall that on November 20 last the Censorship Policy Board considered the future of the Office of Censorship and indicated in general a view that progressive curtailments should be inaugurated. Since that time there have been a number of developments:
- An agreement has been entered into with British and Canadian Censorships, and is now in effect, providing that Censorship will neither distribute nor collect information regarding the post-war plans of firms and individuals other than enemy firms and individuals, unless there is a direct current relation to the war.
- By mutual agreement British Censorship has ceased opening any United States mail except that which is terminal to the United Kingdom, and United States Censorship has ceased opening any United Kingdom mail except that which is terminal to the United States. The British Censorship Station at Bermuda has been dismantled and the British Censorship Station at Trinidad has ceased to examine inter-American mail.
- My proposal for a complete communications blockade of Japan after the collapse of Germany has been submitted by the State Department to a considerable number of foreign governments, and has evoked a sufficient number of replies to indicate that the plan cannot be made effective.
- The British Government has approved a set of general principles upon which action after the collapse of Germany is to be based.
Attached is a memorandum showing the present situation in detail. I am sending a copy of this to each member of the Censorship Policy Board and I am also providing a copy to Joint Security Control with a request for comment and suggestions. I think it would be a mistake to undertake positive decisions until after the collapse of Germany, but I believe events have reached a stage warranting serious study of the possibilities.
This is a matter regarding which I would like, of course, to have the considered advice of the State Department. I hope you will let me have any thoughts which may occur to you.
- Letter not printed.↩
- By circular instruction dated October 8, 1943 (not printed), to the Missions in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Netherlands, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, the Union of South Africa, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.↩
- No record found in Department files of replies from Morocco, Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, and the Union of South Africa.↩
- Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and the United Kingdom.↩
- The Netherlands and New Zealand; also, the American Embassies in Cuba, Paraguay, and Uruguay considered it inappropriate to approach those governments at the time.↩
- The American Embassy in Moscow recommended that the Soviet Government not be approached on the matter because the latter was not at war with Japan.↩
- Not printed.↩