180. Memorandum From the Chairman (Eddy) to the Members of the Advisory Committee on Intelligence 0

I enclose a copy of the National Intelligence Authority Directive “Coordination of Collection Activities” as agreed by the Intelligence Advisory Board at its meeting with the Directive of Central Intelligence December 20, 1946.1

So far as the text is concerned, it is identical with the draft submitted to the ACI 2 at the special meeting December 20, 1946, with the following exceptions:

Paragraph 1b now reads “shall wherever possible be transmitted immediately to the field representative” instead of the former phrase “shall wherever possible be transmitted directly to the agency most concerned.” This change makes it clearer that the intelligence is to be handed over in the field, and eliminates the ambiguity of the earlier reading which might have been construed to mean that a Military Attaché, for example, should send a political report to the Department of State, or that a Vice Consul should send a piece of military intelligence directly to the War Department.
Paragraph 1c has been entirely rewritten. In the draft submitted to the special ACI meeting it will be recalled that this paragraph read as follows: “The American Ambassador or Minister, or the ranking U.S. Foreign Service Officer, of each Diplomatic Mission or Foreign Service Post shall be responsible for insuring proper implementation of a coordinated collection program in that area. In areas where a U.S. Commander has the predominant responsibility, he is the Senior U.S. Representative responsible for insuring proper implementation of a coordinated collection program in that area.” The effort to define the Senior U.S. Representative abroad as being always either the Senior Foreign Service Officer or a U.S. Commander of an Occupied Area was objected to by the intelligence agencies of the armed forces as not covering the ground. They pointed out that it would leave undefined the responsibilities of the intelligence personnel of the 7th Fleet or of other military and naval areas which overlap at points with the territory of foreign service missions. I pointed out that we were not concerned with such intelligence personnel who, of course, performed their duties to the Fleet or Theater Commander, [Page 477] but were only concerned with coordination of intelligence in areas where there is a foreign service post. It was agreed, therefore, to restrict the NIA Directive to areas where the United States maintains a foreign service post, whether Embassy, Legation, Consulate General, Consulate or Vice Consulate. There was no dissent from the well known fact that in all such areas the U.S. diplomatic or consular representative is the Senior U.S. representative for that area.

It will be recalled that the interest of the Department is largely confined to 1a, 1b and 1c of the enclosed Directive, around which all of the argument centered. Paragraphs d to g represent no change from earlier texts of paragraphs prepared and insisted upon by other intelligence agencies.

As a result of the very controversial and sometimes stormy meeting I should like to attempt at this point to assess the gains made by this agreement and, at the same time, to anticipate disappointment which will be inevitable, in my opinion. The gains are that we have now a clear recognition by the members of the National Intelligence Authority (including CIG, G–2, ONI and A–2) of the fields of primary responsibility for collecting and reporting of positive intelligence abroad. This allocation set forth in 1a is further supported in 1b by a clear recognition of the property right of each Department to receive and transmit intelligence within its field of responsibility, no matter who first may have come into possession of such intelligence.

On the other hand, no intelligence agency at the meeting was willing to deny to its field representatives the right to transmit to his own superiors in Washington copies of any and all intelligence collected by him, without regard to what the subject matter might be. While, therefore, the information and, presumably, the official report, is made by the field representative of the Department most concerned, copies may continue to go to other Departments. I inquired closely about this matter and discovered that in the War Department, for example, all reports from the Attachés are sent in on “mats” capable of reproduction like our hectographs. It would appear, therefore, that these “copies” will not differ in material form or number from original reports within the field of the War Department’s primary interest. I was advised at the meeting that if the Department of State does not wish to see these copies, which will be required by the War Department for internal distribution for staff purposes, the Department of State has only to instruct its representatives at the Reading Panel to ignore Service reports on political matters and not burden the Department of State’s eyes or files therewith!

Furthermore, I was told in emphatic terms, and it was recorded in the IAB Minutes,3 that the armed services recognize the Senior Foreign [Page 478] Service Officer at each foreign service post as “the Senior U.S. Representative” by virtue of his seniority on the spot and in accordance with diplomatic precedence. They do not consider that this Directive permits the Department of State in Washington to police the collection activities abroad of the field personnel of the armed forces, each of whom, they insist, will continue to receive orders from his own Department. The implication of this position to me is clear: that any dissatisfaction with duplication of effort or with uncoordinated collection and reporting in the field, will have to be remedied by action taken on the spot by the Ambassador, Minister or Senior Foreign Service Officer, and not by protests to the other intelligence agencies in Washington. The Senior Foreign Service Officer has been recognized as “responsible for the coordination of all collection activities in his area and for the proper implementation of that coordination.” I hope this will suffice to secure the proper division of functions, but if it does not it will obviously be useless to attempt to regulate activities of the other Departments around an NIA table. In the event that a foreign service mission is unable to secure the proper local cooperation it may be necessary to refer the matter directly to a meeting of the Secretaries of State, War and Navy for action on the highest level.

William A. Eddy 4
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 353, Records of Interdepartmental and Intradepartmental Committees—State Department, Lot File No. 122, Records of the Secretary’s Staff Committee 1944–47, Box 94. Confidential.
  2. Not printed. For the directive as issued, see Document 181.
  3. Not found.
  4. No minutes of the December 20 IAB meeting have been found.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.