164. Telegram From the President’s Chief of Staff (Leahy) to President Truman 0

White 26. The National Intelligence Authority today approved the following quoted directive to be issued by the Authority to General Vandenberg. General Groves approves.

Secretaries Patterson and Forrestal consider it very important that the directive be issued without delay. Secretary Acheson stated that your approval should be obtained.

The members of the Authority recommend your approval with an understanding that any action taken by the Authority will be without prejudice to future change that may be desired by the Atomic Energy Committee. I recommend approval.1

“Pursuant to the President’s letter of 22 January 1946, designating this Authority as responsible for planning, developing, and coordinating all Federal foreign intelligence activities so as to assure the most effective accomplishment of the intelligence mission related to the national security, the following policies and procedures relating to Federal intelligence activities in the field of foreign atomic energy developments and potentialities affecting the national security are announced:

1.
The Director of Central Intelligence, subject to the direction and control of this Authority, is hereby authorized and directed to coordinate the collection by agencies subject to coordination by N.I.A. of all intelligence information related to foreign atomic energy developments and potentialities which may affect the national security, and to accomplish the correlation, evaluation, and appropriate dissemination within the Government of the resulting intelligence. The Director of Central Intelligence is further authorized to arrange with other intelligence agencies of the Government to utilize their collection facilities in this field.
2.
To accomplish the function assigned in paragraph 1, the Secretary of War and the Commanding General of the Manhattan Engineer [Page 402] District have authorized the transfer to the Central Intelligence Group of the personnel and working files of the Foreign Intelligence Branch operated by the Commanding General of the Manhattan Engineer District, effective at the earliest practicable date.”

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Leahy Papers, No. 131. Top Secret. The time of transmission is taken from Truman’s reply (see footnote 1 below). Also reproduced in CIA Cold War Records: The CIA under Harry Truman , pp. 79–80.
  2. According to telegram Blue #44, August 22, Truman wished to defer action on the directive until he returned to Washington. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Leahy Papers, No. 131) See the Supplement. The matter was not resolved until the following year with the issuance of National Intelligence Directive No. 9 on April 18, 1947 (Document 194), and the subsequent agreement that the Atomic Energy Commission would become a member of the IAB. Regarding AEC membership on the IAB, see Hillenkoetter’s August 12, 1947, memorandum to Leahy and others in the Supplement. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Leahy Papers, No. 131)