23. Memorandum From the Secretary of State’s Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence (McCormack) to the Director of the Strategic Services Unit, Department of War (Magruder)0

Your memorandum of 1 October, addressed to the A.C. of S., G–2, the Acting Director of Naval Intelligence and myself,1 is acknowledged. In accordance with our oral discussions I think that liaison is necessary in order that the activities and administration of the Interim Research and Intelligence Service may be coordinated with the activities of the organizations under you. Such coordination is a temporary problem relating to the period between now and the end of the year.
Your letter, however, appears to contemplate a committee which will function in lieu of the interdepartmental group provided for in the President’s letter of 20 September 1945 to the Secretary of State. That does not seem to me to be in order. The President’s letter directed the Secretary of State “to take the lead in developing a comprehensive and coordinated foreign intelligence program for all Federal agencies concerned with that type of activity … through the creation of an inter-departmental group, heading up under the State Department.…” It is my view that the Secretary of State, as a first step in the development of a government-wide intelligence program, must develop the State Department’s intelligence program. As you know, only the preliminary moves have been made toward such a program by the Department.
In the development of such a program the first problem affecting the War Department relates to that part of the 20 September 1945 Executive Order which provides for transfer to the State Department, in addition [Page 57] to the Research and Analysis Branch and the Presentation Branch, of those other functions of the former OSS which, as determined by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, relate to the functions of the R & A Branch and the Presentation Branch. In the ten-day period between the issuance and the effective date of the Executive Order, the Bureau of the Budget was unable to make a determination as to what other functions of the OSS were related to those of the R & A and Presentation Branches, and therefore the transfer of such other functions, if any, was postponed and only the two named Branches were transferred.
Investigation may reveal that some activities transferred to the War Department would more appropriately be performed in the Department of State. In addition, many problems have been created by the manner in which the OSS organization was split, notably those growing out of the transfer to the War Department of the entire Administrative Service organization.
I agree with you that it would be helpful to appoint liaison officers to function on such matters and on the matters referred to in paragraph 1 above; and as soon as I get a staff I will appoint a liaison officer.
Offhand, however, I see no reason for a liaison committee. MIS and DNI should be consulted on all problems which affect them, but most of the problems between the respective heirs of the former OSS are administrative and of no interest to the military intelligence units of the services. Unless you have something in mind that does not appear from your letter, my preference is to conduct liaison directly with G–2, MIS and DNI.
With respect to the creation of a group to function on the problem of a government-wide intelligence program, I anticipate that the Secretary of State will initiate action in that direction in due time.
Alfred McCormack 2
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/HC–135. No classification marking. Copies were sent to Stone, Inglis, and Bissell.
  2. Document 21. Replies by General Bissell and Commodore Inglis both October 4, are ibid. See the Supplement. (Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/HC–135)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.