175. Letter From the Secretary of State’s Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence (Eddy) to the Director of Central Intelligence (Vandenberg)0

My Dear General Vandenberg : I am writing in reply to your letter of October 24, 1946, in which you request that the Department of State reconsider its position of not releasing Policy Statements to serve as a basis for intelligence requirements. Our desire to cooperate fully with the Central Intelligence Group has led to a very thorough study of your request. The problem has been taken up on the highest level where the position of the Department has been reaffirmed, namely that it would be unwise for the Department to furnish its Policy Statements to serve as a basis for either Departmental or national intelligence.

Briefly, the Department’s position with regard to its own Policy Statements is that intelligence information should be available to influence Department policy, but that current Department Policy Statements should not be made available to influence intelligence information. For this reason the Policy Statements are not furnished to our own planners and researchers in this office.

The problem is not one of security of the documents, which it is quite clear would be fully protected in CIG. It is the conviction of the Department, however, that the security of the essential information in the Policy Statements would not be insured merely by protection of the documents. If, as stated in paragraph 2 of your letter, a CIG draft of national intelligence requirements for China were to consist of three parts, the first part of which would be “U.S. policy towards China,” it would follow that the mobilization of intelligence resources would be made to fit that current policy. With the possible reorientation of that policy, whether in China or in any other country, there would follow presumably a reorientation of [Page 446] the directives for collecting, reporting and processing intelligence. Intelligence based upon, and shifted with, current political foreign policy would, therefore, be a clear indication to a great many workers, and to their contacts, of the evolution of our foreign policy in its most delicate and crucial areas.

The Department would deplore any such development for the very good reason that the Department’s occasional Policy and Information Statements are off-the-cuff guides to policy officers, subject to constant revision, not considered by the Department as documents either to be quoted or filed for future reference. The same, of course, is not true of basic U.S. foreign policy valid throughout the world, a knowledge of which should be available to all Departments of the Government, such as the open door in economics, the self-determination of sovereign states, the five freedoms of the air, etc.

Although it has been my duty to report that the Department does not feel that it can change its decision not to release Policy Statements, I am instructed to assure you of our desire to cooperate fully in transmitting to you personally and less formally any information on the Department’s foreign policy which you may require from time to time. Such information can be readily made available, upon your request, in personal conference with one of your representatives, or in IAB meetings, where I would, as instructed by the Department, furnish policy information required.1

Sincerely yours,

William A. Eddy 2
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Decimal File 1945–49, 101.5/10–2446. Secret.
  2. This decision was modified by the Department of State Advisory Committee on Intelligence at its seventh meeting on November 12. The committee decided to “make free to the Director personally or his deputy any policy statements he might wish to have, with the clear understanding that the documents should be seen by no other persons in CIG.” (Ibid., RG 353, Records of Interdepartmental and Interdepartmental Committees—State Department, Lot File No. 122, Records of the Secretary’s Staff Committee 1944–47, Box 94)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.