740.0011 LCC/13a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)9

378. For the Ambassador and Bucknell. The Department has been considering carefully the British proposal constituting the first item on the agenda of the London Political Warfare Coordinating Committee’s meeting of Thursday, November 11, referred to again in your No. 25, January 3, 7 p.m. This was to the effect that the Committee should initiate an approach to the Russians inviting them to a limited form of cooperation in the formulation of political warfare directives. This proposal was referred to the American and British Governments for a policy decision.

We approve the proposal in principle.
In view of the existence of the London Propaganda Coordinating Committee consisting of representatives of the Department of State, Foreign Office, Combined Chiefs of Staff, OWI and PWE it is desirable for the Russian Government to be represented and to dovetail its political warfare activity directed to Europe with that of OWI and PWE. However, since this Committee now is empowered to make only emergency decisions it is felt that its authority should be broadened to include the drafting of joint Anglo-Russian-American political warfare propaganda plans to be carried out by OWI, PWE and the appropriate Russian agencies. Such plans would be subject to the approval of higher authority.
We are prepared to instruct the American Ambassador at Moscow10 to approach the Russian Government with the suggestion that it designate a representative on the London Committee and would welcome assurances that the British Government will instruct Clark Kerr11 to make a simultaneous and parallel approach. We do not approve an approach at Moscow by the OWI and PWE.
You may inform the Chairman of the Committee of this Government’s decisions.
  1. Attached to the file copy of this telegram is a memorandum dated January 14, 1944, from Michael J. McDermott, Chief of the Division of Current Information, to H. Freeman Matthews, Chief of the Division of European Affairs, and James C. Dunn, Adviser on Political Relations, stating: “This has been approved by the Secretary and by the President after conversations between Mr. Robert Sherwood and myself.”
  2. W. Averell Harriman.
  3. Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, British Ambassador in the Soviet Union.