2. Memorandum From E.R. Baker of the Bureau of the Budget Staff to the Assistant Director for Estimates (Martin)0

SUBJECT

  • Policy question with respect to Office of Strategic Services

Mr. Ramsey’s attached memorandum points out what appears to be an ambiguity in instructions with respect to O.S.S. 1

[Page 17]

It seems to me that the Reconversion Committee’s general directive is sound and that the examiners should use this as a guide in testing the details of the agency’s proposed post V-J Day program. In doing this, however, and in attempting to reconcile any differences which may exist between the agency’s submission and the examiner’s point of view, the Bureau’s policy will be evident to the agency and thus this action might be construed to be in conflict with the admonition printed at the top of the “Post V-J Day Supplement to Report of Reconversion Program Committee”.

Mr. Ramsey has just shown me a copy of a memorandum of this date from Weldon Cooper to Hoelscher,2 stating that the Director met this morning with Judge Rosenman 3 and Mr. Snyder 4 and that they agree to constitute themselves as a reconversion committee to meet weekly and to move ahead in the disposal of war agency functions under the War Powers Act. It seems that this committee agreed on transferring the foreign information activities of OWI to the State Department and an Executive order to accomplish this is to be ready by Monday. Apparently as a result of the formulation of this committee, Dave Robinson and Stone have agreed that research and analysis of OSS should be transferred to the State Department and the Director has concurred in this conclusion. We are informed that an Executive order to accomplish this is to be ready by Monday, August 27. Presumably secret intelligence and counterintelligence activities would remain with OSS and that agency would continue to function, at least for the present, in this field as the agent of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I have tried to get both Stone and Robinson by phone but find that they are both away; Dave will probably not be in until tomorrow and Stone will not be here until Monday. You may wish to speak to one of them with respect to this.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 51, Records of the Office of Management and Budget, Series 39.19, OSS Organization and Functions, Box 67. No classification marking.
  2. In the attached memorandum to Baker, August 23 (see the Supplement), G.E. Ramsey, Jr., referred to “The Post V-J Day Supplement to Report of Reconversion Program Committee,” which recommended continuation of the OSS pending development of a permanent plan for foreign intelligence, except for “operational” activities which should be transferred to the War Department.
  3. Not found.
  4. Samuel I. Rosenman, Special Counsel to the President.
  5. John W. Snyder, Director of the Office of War Mobilization an Reconversion.