20. Letter From Secretary of War Patterson and Secretary of the Navy Forrestal to Secretary of State Byrnes 0

Dear Mr. Secretary: During the war the Army and Navy have given continuing thought to the problem of how best to serve the national interests in the field of intelligence in peacetime.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, after extended consideration, have submitted their conclusions on the matter to the Secretaries of War and the Navy for transmission direct to the President. In view of the Executive Order of 20 September which terminated the Office of Strategic Services, and the President’s letter of the same date which charged the Secretary of State with taking the lead in developing a comprehensive and coordinated foreign intelligence program for all Federal agencies concerned with that type of activity, the Secretaries of War and Navy have decided to transmit the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff herewith to [Page 54] the State Department.1 It is assumed that you will transmit these recommendations to the President for his information.

Sincerely yours,

  • Robert P. Patterson 2
  • James Forrestal
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/HC–802, Item 9. Top Secret.
  2. See Document 13.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears these typed signatures.