22. Memorandum From Morton B. Chiles of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the Director (Hoover)0

This morning I visited President Truman for approximately 35 minutes at which time we discussed thoroughly the Bureau’s participation in World Wide Intelligence in the Western Hemisphere and the advisability of expanding the Bureau’s jurisdiction to world wide coverage.

Mr. Truman requested me, after World Wide Intelligence was mentioned to familiarize him with the Bureau’s activities in this field and the reasons the Bureau should continue in these operations on a world wide basis. I had the opportunity to fully explain to him the Bureau’s plan, the Bureau’s method of operation and all of the reasons why the Bureau should expand to coverage of the world. Mr. Truman during the course of this conversation asked me questions and appeared to be most interested in gaining a complete picture of the intelligence operations. He agreed that there could be no satisfactory separation in the handling of domestic intelligence and foreign intelligence. He expressed concern regarding the possibility that a World Wide Intelligence organization would gain the reputation of a “Gestapo.” Concerning this, the Bureau’s reputation and experience in the handling of intelligence matters during the past several years without such incident were explained to him.

The President stated that he had been seriously considering a World Wide Intelligence organization the past few days and that he intended to make some decision in this matter in the immediate future. He indicated that he had in mind some type of intelligence agency that would report to and be responsible directly to the White House. Mr. Truman commented that he was shocked at the amount of “crookedness” prevalent in public office at the present time, but did not elaborate on this.

I suggested to the President that prior to the making of a definite decision that he consider conferring with you. He appeared pleased with this suggestion and stated that should he desire further information concerning the organization to handle World Wide Intelligence he would call upon you.

The President during this interview, which was spent in part in discussing our families and other matters of mutual interest, displayed a most congenial attitude toward the Bureau and stated that he felt that it was the most efficient organization in Government service.

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It may be of interest to you to know that I arrived at the White House approximately 20 minutes early for my appointment, and Mr. Truman came immediately to the Reception Room and escorted me to his office which afforded us more time for the interview.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Troy Papers, FBI Documents. No classification marking.