157. Memorandum From C. H. Carson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Ladd)0

SUBJECT

  • Central Intelligence Group
  • World-Wide Coverage

There is attached a memorandum by the Director of Central Intelligence to the Intelligence Advisory Board submitting a proposed memorandum [Page 380] to the National Intelligence Authority and a proposed directive to be issued by the National Intelligence Authority extending the powers and duties of the Director of Central Intelligence.1 In the proposed memorandum to the National Intelligence Authority it is stated that the attached draft of an NIA Directive redefining the functions of the Director of Central Intelligence has the unanimous concurrence of the Intelligence Advisory Board, including the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Proposed NIA Directive

The Directive which it is proposed that the NIA issue provides in essence the following additional functions and powers for the Director of Central Intelligence:

(1)
The Director of Central Intelligence is authorized to undertake such basic research and analysis of intelligence and counterintelligence as may in his opinion be required.
(2)
The Director of Central Intelligence is “to act as the executive agent of this authority (NIA) in coordinating and in supervising all federal foreign intelligence activities.”
(3)
The Director of Central Intelligence is directed to perform the following services of common concern:
A.
Conduct all federal espionage and counterespionage operations for the collection of foreign intelligence.
B.
Conduct all federal monitoring of press and propaganda broadcasts of foreign powers for the collection of intelligence information.

Finances

The Directive provides that to the extent of available appropriations and within the limits of their capabilities, State, War and Navy Departments will make available the necessary funds, personnel, and facilities required for the performance of the new functions authorized. The Director of Central Intelligence is to submit for the approval of the NIA any supplemental budget required to perform these functions in addition to the appropriations available from State, War, and Navy.

Discussion

There is attached to the Directive an Appendix labeled “Discussion.”2 According to this Appendix, the purpose in giving the Director of Central Intelligence authority for research and analysis was to prevent his being required to rely solely upon the evaluated information from the various departments and to provide means by which he could do basic [Page 381] research and analysis of original and unevaluated intelligence and counterintelligence. With reference to the provision for giving the Director of Central Intelligence power to coordinate and supervise all federal intelligence, it is pointed out that there was no provision in the original Directive for an executive agent of the National Intelligence Authority to be responsible for these duties in order “to insure that the policies are properly implemented and objectives successfully accomplished.”

With reference to the provision that the Central Intelligence Authority shall conduct all federal espionage and counterespionage for the collection of foreign intelligence, it is pointed out that the conduct of this type of operation by executive departments would embarrass them in their regular work; central control would insure that these operations are not conducted solely in the interests of a single department or agency; performance by a single, closely-controlled central agency would secure maximum security; the specialized and difficult administrative problems can better be handled by a central agency; and the use of a single agency is necessary because interdependency and inter-relationship between geographical areas and foreign countries makes it imperative that one agency handle world coverage. It is stated, however, this would not preclude the use of specialized departmental personnel under rigid central control.

The discussion seems to indicate that the supplemental budget is to be presented to Congress after approval by the NIA as it is stated that some of the functions provided for in the Directive have not previously been performed by any department or have not been performed on the adequate scale now contemplated and, therefore, a supplemental budget is required.

Comment

This proposed Directive, of course, is the same super-colossus originally proposed by General Donovan. It is not the original plan as proposed by the President or which was envisioned by the discussions occurring prior to the time the President issued his Directive. The original plans insofar as the Bureau was advised, contemplated the setting up of solely a coordinating agency which was given the power, of course, to perform certain functions which it would determine could more adequately and economically be performed centrally for the benefit of all government agencies. This Directive, however, blankets the field of intelligence operations and puts it under one strong central control with practically no control by the departments which are interested in the problems, which is the same as the old Donovan proposal. It is noted in particular that this Directive omits the stipulation set forth in the Presidential Directive of January 22, 1946, placed therein at the insistence of the Attorney General on the advice of the Bureau, which stipulation provided, “Within the scope of existing law and Presidential Directives, other departments and agencies of the executive branch of the federal [Page 382] government shall furnish such intelligence information relative to the national security as is in their possession and as the Director of Central Intelligence may from time to time request pursuant to regulations of the National Intelligence Authority.”

This Directive, of course, as is revealed in the discussion, appears directly aimed at getting the Bureau out of Latin America. In view of the Bureau’s present policy, we should not, of course, oppose this Directive inasmuch as the Bureau desires to operate the Special Intelligence Service only until July, 1947, or until some other agency is ready to take over these duties. It should be noted, however, that undoubtedly if this Directive is approved and the Central Intelligence Group is successful in setting up complete foreign coverage, the Bureau would undoubtedly be pushed into a “second-rate” position insofar as purely intelligence functions are concerned in the domestic field. Our law enforcement functions, of course, could not be touched by the Central Intelligence Group. It is inevitable that the Central Intelligence Group must enter into the domestic field picture insofar as intelligence is concerned because of the sources of foreign intelligence existing in that field. Also, it is impossible to separate entirely foreign intelligence and the domestic functions performed by the Bureau. In other words, whether we prosecute a spy in a given case would be intimately bound up in the question of what would be best from the standpoint of foreign intelligence. We might find ourselves prosecuting, investigating, and using every means to disband subversive foreign nationality organizations in the United States, but the policy with respect to foreign intelligence would be to encourage, collaborate with, and assist these same groups. The sheer size of the foreign intelligence set up and its intimate relationship with powerful departments of the United States Government would probably mean that the Central Intelligence Group would be in a position to win out in any controversy as to action to be taken touching on intelligence in the foreign field. In the past, the State Department, the Army, and the Navy have incessantly disagreed with respect to intelligence, which has certainly facilitated the Bureau’s position and our domination of the intelligence picture. The concentration, however, of all these intelligence functions, including the research and analysis formerly performed by various agencies, into one strong, central group would place the Bureau at a great disadvantage and would probably mean that we would be overshadowed in this field and that we would be forced to accede to the desires of the Central Intelligence Group in domestic intelligence problems, if not to give the field entirely to them.

Suggested Changes

In view of present Bureau policy of not accepting responsibility for foreign intelligence in the Western Hemisphere beyond July, 1947, we are not, of course, in a position to oppose the issuance of this proposed Directive. [Page 383] Our main concern naturally would be to insure as much protection for domestic jurisdiction as is possible. In line with this, the following suggestions are made:

(1)
In Paragraph 3 of the Directive it states, “The Director of Central Intelligence is hereby directed to act as the executive agent of this Authority in coordinating and in supervising all federal foreign intelligence activities …”. This could mean, of course, that the Director of CIG would supervise federal foreign intelligence even though performed in the United States, although I believe the sense is intended that he will supervise foreign intelligence performed outside of the United States. It is suggested that this be clarified by making the sentence read: “The Director of Central Intelligence is hereby directed to act as executive agent of this Authority in coordinating and supervising of federal intelligence activities performed outside the United States and its possessions ….”
(2)
In Paragraph 4, Section A it is provided that the Director of Central Intelligence is to perform services of common concern as follows: “Conduct all federal espionage and counterespionage operations for the collection of foreign intelligence information required for the national security.” For the reason set forth above, it is suggested this read: “Conduct all federal espionage and counterespionage operations outside the United States and its possessions for the collection of foreign intelligence information required for the national security.”

Although I do not believe that we can eventually oppose the Central Intelligence Group entering into the domestic picture on the basis that it is essential to foreign operations, the above suggested changes would insure some grounds on which the Bureau could frame a protest.

Recommendation:

There is attached a letter to General Vandenberg advising him that the proposed directive is approved with the above suggested changes.3 In this letter the statement in the “Discussion” set forth under Appendix “B” of the proposed Directive to the effect that personnel of other agencies can be used subject to rigid control is apparently an erroneous interpretation of the original Presidential Directive. This action is recommended, of course, in light of the Bureau’s decision to withdraw from all foreign intelligence operations by July, 1947, or as soon as another agency is ready to take over these functions.

[Page 384]

Addendum 4

Mr. Tolson and Mr. Tamm do not concur with the conclusion expressed in this memorandum that “It is inevitable that the Central Intelligence Group must enter into the domestic field picture insofar as intelligence is concerned because of the sources of foreign intelligence existing in that field.” They feel that a coordinated program for the exchange of information between the Central Intelligence Authority and the FBI, permitting a free and comprehensive exchange of information in matters of mutual interest, will enable the Bureau to work in the domestic field without interference from the Central Intelligence Authority in the same manner that the Bureau works, for example, with local police departments or other governmental agencies within defined jurisdictional lines. We believe that the attached letter to General Vandenberg is satisfactory.

  • Edw
  • C.A. Tolson 5
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Troy Papers, FBI Documents. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 156.
  3. See Appendix B to Document 156.
  4. Not attached and not found.
  5. Assistants to the FBI Director Tolson and Tamm added the following addendum to this memorandum.

    Hoover added the following handwritten comment: “I am not as optimistic as are Tolson & Tamm. I think it is inevitable that there will be a collision with C.I.G. over our domestic jurisdiction or rather their expansion into our intelligence matters. It ought not occur but this new memo of C.I.G. shows how greedy it is. It is the Donovan plan almost in toto & is being slyly put over. It means we must zealously guard our domestic jurisdiction & not yield an inch & be ever alert to resist any encroachment. H.”

  6. Tolson’s typed signature appears on the source text; apparently Edward Tamm signed for them both.