185. Minutes of the 9th Meeting of the National Intelligence Authority0

PARTICIPANTS

  • Members Present
  • Secretary of State George C. Marshall, in the Chair
  • Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson
  • Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal
  • Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Personal Representative of the President
  • General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Director of Central Intelligence
  • Also Present
  • Assistant Secretary of War Howard C. Petersen
  • Mr. William A. Eddy, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Research and Intelligence
  • Mr. H. Freeman Matthews, Department of State
  • Captain Robert L. Dennison, USN
  • Mr. James S. Lay, Jr., Central Intelligence Group
  • Secretariat
  • Mr. J. S. Earman, Acting Secretary

Coordination of Intelligence Activities Relating to Foreign Atomic Energy Intelligence Developments and Potentialities (N.I.A. 6)1

Secretary Patterson gave a brief report on the present status of N.I.A. 6. He stated that the Atomic Energy Commission desired to retain three [Page 488]people to go over information contained in the files to be transferred to the Central Intelligence Group. He said that these three people were to search these files for information pertaining to uranium deposits and such information was to be retained by the Commission. Secretary Patterson suggested that C.I.G. take up the matter of the transfer of the personnel with Mr. Lilienthal.

After some discussion,

The National Intelligence Authority:

Agreed to the transfer of the personnel mentioned in N.I.A. 6 and directed the Director of Central Intelligence to work out the details with Mr. Lilienthal. (Transfer subsequently completed on 18 February 1947)

Report by the Director of Central Intelligence

At Secretary Marshall’s request, General Vandenberg stated that his last report2 was rather comprehensive in pointing out the accomplishments of C.I.G. since its inception. However, this time he wished to report some of the difficulties encountered by C.I.G. He said that before taking up these difficulties he wished to point out a few accomplishments recently effected by C.I.G.

General Vandenberg said that when it was first agreed that the C.I.G take over the activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the South American field, there was some doubt as to whether C.I.G could ably accomplish this assignment. He mentioned that he had received a letter3 from Ambassador Pawley which commended the smooth transfer of these activities accomplished by the C.I.G. representative attached to his staff. General Vandenberg also mentioned that Mr. Dawson of the State Department had also stated that the C.I.G.’s representatives who had replaced the F.B.I personnel were of a particularly high type. General Vandenberg brought out the point that C.I.G. had a roving mission to check these newly assigned personnel in South America and their reports indicated that they were carrying out their functions in an exemplary manner.

General Vandenberg then gave a brief report on C.I.G.’s monitoring of foreign broadcasts and stated C.I.G. was now preparing to negotiate a new agreement with the British Broadcasting Corporation for better exchange of material and the future transfer of C.I.G.’s Cairo Monitoring Station covering the Middle East from Cairo to Cyprus.

[2 paragraphs (19 lines of source text) not declassified]

[Page 489]

General Vandenberg pointed out that C.I.G. was coordinating the exploitation of documents collected in the Far East and that plans are now being completed for similar exploitation of documents from Europe.

General Vandenberg stated he would now like to mention some of the principal difficulties being encountered by C.I.G. in its operations. He said that what he believed to be essential coordination to reduce duplication had been retarded by an uncertainty as to the directive authority of the Director of Central Intelligence. He said that the President specified that the Director of Central Intelligence shall “plan for the coordination of such of the activities of the intelligence agencies of the departments as relate to the national security and recommend to the National Intelligence Authority the establishment of such overall policies and objectives as will assure the most effective accomplishment of the national intelligence mission.” (Paragraph 3 of President’s letter of 22 January 1946, emphasis added)

General Vandenberg further stated that the National Intelligence Authority specified that: “Recommendations approved by this Authority will where practicable govern the intelligence activities of the separate departments represented herein. The members of the Intelligence Advisory Board will each be responsible for insuring that approved recommendations are executed within their respective departments.” (NIA Directive No. 1, par. 4)

General Vandenberg said that the National Intelligence Authority specified that: “The Director of Central Intelligence is hereby authorized and directed to act for this Authority in coordinating all federal foreign activities related to the national security to insure that the overall policies and objectives established by this Authority are properly implemented and executed.” (NIA Directive No. 5, par. 3, emphasis added)

General Vandenberg pointed out that it was the feeling of the agencies (Intelligence Advisory Board) that the current interpretation of coordination was “by mutual agreement.” This placed the Director of Central Intelligence only in the position of an executive secretary to the I.A.B. and that he did not believe this was what was contemplated by the N.I.A. General Vandenberg then pointed out that in some instances it had taken six to eight months to get agreement on a paper. He stated that in order to rectify this he recommended that the Director of Central Intelligence be considered as having authority similar to that given to the Joint Research and Development Board—“The Joint Research and Development Board shall operate within its jurisdiction as an agency of the Secretaries of War and Navy and the necessary authority its hereby delegated by the Secretaries of War and Navy to the Board so that its decisions, orders and directives shall be considered as emanating from them and shall have full [Page 490]force and effect as such.” (JRDB 1/1, 6 June 1946, as amended 3 July 1946)4

General Vandenberg suggested that as an alternative to the above recommendation that C.I.G. forward its implementing directives to the N.I.A. members for subsequent issuance from their offices. However, such a practice would be cumbersome and involve a great loss of time on the part of all concerned.

General Vandenberg stated that the production of strategic and national policy intelligence has been hindered further by an uncertainty among the agencies as to its definition. In order to clarify this situation, C.I.G. had developed the following definition, which he requested the N.I.A. approve: “Strategic and national policy intelligence is that composite intelligence, interdepartmental in character, which is required by the President and other high officers and staffs to assist them in determining policies with respect to national planning and security in peace and in war and for the advancement of broad national policy. It is in that political-economic-military area of concern to more than one agency, must be objective, and must transcend the exclusive competence of any one department.”

General Vandenberg stated it was his understanding that those persons who developed the plan for the creation of a Central Intelligence Group had in mind that the C.I.G. would replace the Joint Intelligence Committee. This, so far, had not taken place, nor had any working relationship been achieved; further, that J.I.C. continues to have responsibilities paralleling those of C.I.G., and until this is resolved, complete coordination, effectiveness, and efficiency in the national intelligence mission cannot be attained. General Vandenberg recommended that J.I.C. be abolished, and that C.I.G. provide the necessary intelligence to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He said, however, he believed that some members of the J.C.S. had stated that if this were done, it would lower the original concept of a Central Intelligence Group. General Vandenberg said it was difficult for him, in appearing before appropriation committees, to defend C.I.G.’s request for funds since he was constantly confronted with the question as to the amount of overlap in intelligence. It was his understanding that one of the principal tasks expected of the Director of Central Intelligence was the reduction of such overlap to an absolute minimum.

General Vandenberg stated he would also like to point out that when C.I.G. went to the intelligence agencies of the War and Navy Departments for information, there was constant friction as to whether J.I.C. or C.I.G. should have priority. In short, two agencies were asking [Page 491]for the same type of intelligence but requested in a slightly different manner. This duplication was unnecessary and occupied the time of personnel which should be engaged in more productive intelligence activities.

Secretary Forrestal then asked whether the question of dissolution of the J.I.C. and the assignment of its duties to C.I.G. had been taken up with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

General Vandenberg answered that he believed it had through the I.A.B. members.

Mr. Eddy stated that he thought that it was important now to abolish J.I.C. and to have all interdepartmental intelligence under the C.I.G.

After some discussion,

The National Intelligence Authority:

a.
Agreed that while they believed that the J.I.C. should be abolished and its functions assumed by C.I.G., they desired to withhold decision until such time as it had been discussed with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
b.
Noted that Admiral Leahy would take up this matter with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

At Secretary Marshall’s request, General Vandenberg then reread his first recommendation.

Secretary Patterson stated that he saw no alternative to the N.I.A approving this recommendation. He added, however, that a proviso should be inserted in the recommendation to allow any aggrieved agency to appeal to the N.I.A. through that agency’s respective Secretary.

General Vandenberg said it was realized that each agency has the inherent right to appeal through its respective Secretary any objection to a specific directive.

Admiral Leahy stated that he recommended approval, but that he was in agreement with Secretary Patterson’s proviso.

Secretary Patterson raised the question as to whether General Vandenberg’s recommendation would involve C.I.G. entering into the field of operational intelligence of the agencies.

General Vandenberg stated that this was not the intent.

Mr. Eddy asked, if authority was delegated by the N.IA. to the Director of Central Intelligence that his directives shall be considered as emanating from them, would such authority be interpreted to allow the Director of Central Intelligence to draft personnel from other agencies to perform specific jobs.

General Vandenberg stated that C.I.G. had no intention of interpreting this authority as indicated by Mr. Eddy.

[Page 492]

Secretary Patterson asked if C.I.G. was contemplating recommending that some of the intelligence manuals now published by the intelligence agencies of the State, War and Navy Departments be discontinued.

General Vandenberg stated he would like to have an opportunity to look over these publications before answering this question.

Secretary Forrestal stated he believed that the proviso to be added to General Vandenberg’s recommendation under discussion should read along the following lines: “Provided in cases of objection to specific actions, any aggrieved agency may have access to that agency’s Secretary and through him to the N.I.A.

Mr. Eddy stated he assumed that any directives, before being issued by C.I.G., would normally have had prior discussion by the Intelligence Advisory Board.

General Vandenberg concurred.

The National Intelligence Authority:

Approved the recommendation that “The Director of Central Intelligence shall operate within his jurisdiction as an agent of the Secretaries of State, War and the Navy, and the necessary authority is hereby delegated by the Secretaries of State, War and the Navy to the Director of Central Intelligence so that his decisions, orders and directives shall be considered as emanating from them and shall have full force and effect as such, provided any aggrieved agency may have access to that agency’s Secretary and through him to the N.I.A.

At Secretary Marshall’s request, General Vandenberg then repeated his recommended definition of “Strategic and national policy intelligence.”

After some discussion, in which General Vandenberg pointed out the reason why an approved definition of this term was needed,

The National Intelligence Authority:

Approved the following definition: “Strategic and national policy intelligence is that composite intelligence, interdepartmental in character, which is required by the President and other high officers and staffs to assist them in determining policies with respect to national planning and security in peace and in war and for the advancement of broad national policy. It is in that political-economic-military area of concern to more than one agency, must be objective, and must transcend the exclusive competence of any one department.”

Secretary Marshall stated that in a recent conversation Congressman Taber was concerned from a security standpoint with reference to appropriations for intelligence activities. Secretary Marshall further stated that Mr. Taber had said that it appeared to him that too many [Page 493]people had to be consulted in considering such appropriations. Secretary Marshall went on to state that he believed the best way to maintain proper security was for the President or the Secretary of State to control these funds, and that a request should be made for a flat appropriation.

General Vandenberg stated he had appeared recently before a joint committee, which he was told before appearance would consist of four or five people. However, upon arrival he found there were actually twenty-two people present. He went on to state a subsequent meeting had been called and he would continue to be careful of the information presented. However, he agreed that security of intelligence operations could best be protected by funds which should be concealed and appropriated in a lump sum controlled by one person.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/HC–245. Top Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text. The meeting was held at the Department of State. Also reproduced in CIA Cold War Records: The CIA under Harry Truman, pp. 113–121.
  2. Document 162. NIA 6 as approved was issued as NIA Directive 9, April 18; Document 194.
  3. See Document 169.
  4. Not found.
  5. Not found.