162. Memorandum From the Director of Central Intelligence (Vandenberg) to the National Intelligence Authority 0
COORDINATION OF INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES RELATED TO FOREIGN ATOMIC ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS AND POTENTIALITIES
Memorandum by the Director of Central Intelligence With the Unanimous Concurrence of the Intelligence Advisory Board
Foreign atomic energy developments and potentialities constitute a paramount field of intelligence related to the national security. As such, the National Intelligence Authority is responsible for planning, developing, and coordinating Federal foreign intelligence activities in this field.
To date, the Foreign Intelligence Branch of the office of Major General Leslie R. Groves, the Commanding General of the Manhattan Engineer District, has been the agency performing functions of collecting and evaluating intelligence related to foreign atomic energy developments and potentialities. This Branch has operated under the personal direction of General Groves, who is in turn responsible, by Presidential directive, to the Secretary of War.
The newly created Atomic Energy Commission will be concerned with the entire field of atomic energy in the United States, including commercial as well as military aspects. The Commission will, upon Presidential directive, take over the responsibilities of the Manhattan Engineer District. It is considered appropriate at this time that the National Intelligence Authority should authorize and direct the Director of Central Intelligence to coordinate the collection by agencies subject to N.I.A. coordination of all intelligence information related to foreign atomic energy developments and potentialities affecting the national security and to accomplish the correlation, evaluation and appropriate dissemination [Page 395] within the Government of the resulting intelligence. To accomplish this function, the personnel and working files of the Foreign Intelligence Branch operated by General Groves should be transferred to the Central Intelligence Group.
The enclosed draft N.I.A. Directive1 is designed to carry out the conclusions contained in the above paragraph. This Directive has been unanimously concurred in by the Director of Central Intelligence and the Intelligence Advisory Board, which in this case included the Commanding General of the Manhattan Engineer District.
It is recommended that the National Intelligence Authority approve the draft directive in the Enclosure.
Lieutenant General, USA
Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Decimal File 1945–49, 101.5/8–1546. Top Secret. The source text is covered by an August 15 note from Acting Secretary of State Acheson to his Special Assistant, Herbert S. Marks, which reads as follows:”
“The President feels strongly that this action should not be taken. He approves of my stalling and using the authority he has given me in any way to prevent it from happening.”
“He is concerned about paragraph 2 saying that General Groves has already transferred his people and thinks I should tell somebody that the transfer should not take place.”
Some of the Department of War background is in memoranda for the record by the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, General Wright, dated August 1 and August 5. (Both in Central Intelligence Agency Records, Wright Office Diaries, Job 80–01731R, Box 32, Folder 1)↩
- Not printed. For text as adopted by the NIA, see Document 164.↩
- Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.↩