15. Letter From President Truman to Secretary of State Byrnes0

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have today signed an Executive order which provides for the transfer to the State Department of the functions, personnel, and other resources of the Research and Analysis Branch and the Presentation Branch of the Office of Strategic Services. The order also transfers the remaining activities of the Office of Strategic Services to the War Department and abolishes that Office. These changes become effective October 1, 1945.

The above transfer to the State Department will provide you with resources which we have agreed you will need to aid in the development of our foreign policy, and will assure that pertinent experience accumulated during the war will be preserved and used in meeting the problems of the peace. Those readjustments and reductions which are required in order to gear the transferred activities and resources into State Department operations should be made as soon as practicable.

I particularly desire that you take the lead in developing a comprehensive and coordinated foreign intelligence program for all Federal agencies concerned with that type of activity. This should be done through the creation of an interdepartmental group, heading up under the State Department, which would formulate plans for my approval. This procedure will permit the planning of complete coverage of the foreign [Page 47] intelligence field and the assigning and controlling of operations in such manner that the needs of both the individual agencies and the Government as a whole will be met with maximum effectiveness.

Sincerely yours,

Harry S. Truman 1
  1. Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1945, p. 331. On the same date Truman also sent a letter to General Donovan informing him of the signing of Executive Order 9621 and thanking him for his services. (Ibid., p. 330) see the Supplement.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.