168. Letter From the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Hoover) to the President’s Chief of Staff (Leahy)0

Dear Admiral Leahy : Reference is made to your letter of September 4, 1946, which was in reply to my letter of August 231 concerning the proposed CIG Directive No. 12,2 covering the exploitation of American business concerns, non-governmental groups and individuals with connections abroad as sources of foreign intelligence information. Since my letter of August 23, a meeting has been held of the Intelligence Advisory Board,3 CIG, and a number of minor changes have been made in the proposed directive which has been reissued as proposed CIG Directive No. 12/2.4 In answer to the objections which had been previously made by me, the changed directive provides, “The Director of Central Intelligence will establish standards for security clearance of contacts by participating agencies, which shall include consultation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the advisability of contacts of other than American business concerns.”

I thought you would be interested in my observations concerning the last version of the proposed CIG Directive No. 12/2, which are incorporated in a letter to General Vandenberg dated September 5, 1946,5 a copy of which is attached.

I am advising General Vandenberg that the suggestions I had previously made were put forward solely for the purpose of preventing duplication or confusion in contacts with representatives of foreign language groups and non-governmental groups and individuals in whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation is primarily interested because of its responsibility in covering Communist activities within the United States. I informed General Vandenberg that I do not believe it necessary for representatives of CIG to check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with contacts made with American business concerns doing business abroad, as normally this Bureau would have no interest in such contacts made by them. In order to avoid duplication and confusion, [Page 412] as well as conflict which may arise in connection with the CIG and the Federal Bureau of Investigation maintaining coverage of foreign language groups or other groups and individuals, I proposed that this Directive be confined at this time to contacts with American business concerns doing business abroad. I suggested that further study be given to an alternate directive of delimitation agreement which would codify a procedure mutually acceptable in contacts with foreign language groups and other persons presently included within the phrase “other non-governmental groups and individuals with connections abroad”.

I feel that under terms of the current directive, the CIG would be authorized to contact and to “exploit” foreign language groups and other individuals with similar connections or background, which “exploitation” would be in addition to the similar utilization of these channels by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and I fear that there would be inevitable duplication, confusion, misunderstanding and perhaps conflict which would operate to the disadvantage of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Group.

If, after examining my comments to General Vandenberg concerning proposed CIG Directive 12/2, you desire further clarification, I shall be most happy to have one of my assistants contact you in the matter.

With best wishes and kind regards,

Sincerely,

J. Edgar Hoover
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Troy Papers, FBI Documents. Personal and Confidential.
  2. Documents 164 and 165.
  3. CIG No. 12 is not printed; the revised version, CIG 12/1, August 21, is in the Supplement. (Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/HC–276)
  4. See Document 166.
  5. Circulated August 27 (Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/HC–276) See the Supplement.
  6. Not found.