252. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary (Souers) to the Members of the National Security Council0

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COORDINATION OF FOREIGN INFORMATION MEASURES

REFERENCES

a.
SANACC 304/11
b.
NSC Action No. 111
[Page 640]

At its second meeting the National Security Council referred SANACC 304/11 to the National Security Council Staff for revision in the light of the comments at the meeting. The enclosed report has been prepared pursuant to that directive, after consultation with representatives of the Departments of State, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, and of the Central Intelligence Agency.

It is recommended that the National Security Council approve the enclosed report and authorize its submission to the President, with the recommendation that he approve the “Conclusions” contained therein and direct that they be implemented by all appropriate executive departments and agencies of the U.S. Government under the coordination of the Secretary of State.

Sidney W. Souers 2

Enclosure3

National Security Council Memorandum

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REPORT BY THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL ON COORDINATION OF FOREIGN INFORMATION MEASURES

The Problem

1. To determine what steps are required to strengthen and coordinate all foreign information measures of the U.S. Government in furtherance of the attainment of US national objectives.

Analysis

2. The USSR is conducting an intensive propaganda campaign directed primarily against the US and is employing coordinated psychological, political and economic measures designed to undermine non-Communist [Page 641]elements in all countries. The ultimate objective of this campaign is not merely to undermine the prestige of the US and the effectiveness of its national policy but to weaken and divide world opinion to a point where effective opposition to Soviet designs is no longer attainable by political, economic or military means. In conducting this campaign, the USSR is utilizing all measures available to it through satellite regimes, Communist parties, and organizations susceptible to Communist influence.

3. The US is not now employing strong, coordinated information measures to counter this propaganda campaign or to further the attainment of its national objectives. The extension of economic aid to certain foreign countries, particularly in Europe, is one of the principal means by which the US has undertaken to defend its vital interests. The nature and intent of this aid and other US contributions to world peace is unknown to or misunderstood by large segments of the world’s population. Inadequate employment of information measures is impairing the effectiveness of these undertakings.

4. None of the existing departments or agencies of the US Government is now charged with responsibility for coordinating foreign information measures in furtherance of the attainment of US national objectives. Upon the Department of State devolves the principal responsibility, under the President, for the formulation and execution of American foreign policy and the conduct of American foreign relations.

5. Facilities now existing in the Departments of State, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force in the field of foreign information or which can be utilized in this field are listed in the Appendix4 hereto.

Conclusions

6. The present world situation requires the immediate strengthening and coordination of all foreign information measures of the US Government designed to influence attitudes in foreign countries in a direction favorable to the attainment of its objectives and to counteract effects of anti-US propaganda.

7. It is considered that the initial steps to implement paragraph 6 above should be designed to provide closer coordination of policies, more effective integration of existing facilities, and intensification of foreign information measures.

8. a. The Secretary of State should be charged with formulating policies for and coordinating the implementation of all information meas-ures designed to influence attitudes in foreign countries in a direction favorable to the attainment of US objectives and to counteract effects of [Page 642]anti-US propaganda. It is assumed that these functions will be exercised by the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, hereinafter referred to as the Assistant Secretary. The Assistant Secretary should consult with an informal group composed of representatives of other appropriate departments and agencies.

b. Appropriate departments and agencies should be directed to insure the most effective coordination and utilization of their appropriate facilities for the implementation of approved foreign information policies.

c. The Assistant Secretary should be assisted by a staff including qualified full-time personnel detailed from each appropriate department or agency. This staff should assist the Assistant Secretary in implementing the policies and plans established by the Secretary of State by:

(1)
Obtaining the most effective utilization and coordination of all federal foreign information facilities;
(2)
Initiating and developing for the approval of the Assistant Secretary specific plans and programs designed to influence foreign opinion in a direction favorable to US interests and to counteract effects of anti-US propaganda.

9. As a matter of priority, the Assistant Secretary should coordinate the determination of the requirement for funds necessary to insure performance of the functions assigned in paragraph 8 above.

10. The Assistant Secretary should be furnished by the Central Intelligence Agency with appropriate coordinated foreign intelligence.

11. The Assistant Secretary should be furnished by the appropriate departments with classified information necessary for the fulfillment of his responsibilities.

12. In carrying out the functions assigned in paragraph 8 above, the Assistant Secretary should maintain the closest possible liaison with the State-Army-Navy-Air Force Coordinating Committee.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, NSC Minutes, 4th Meeting. Confidential. Copies sent to the President, the Secretaries of State, Defense, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, and the Chairman of the National Security Resources Board. For an early version of this document, see the memorandum from “REN” to Souers, November 25, and the two undated attachments (ibid.) in the Supplement.
  2. NSC Action No. 11, taken at the NSC meeting on November 14, referred SANACC 304/11 to the NSC Staff for revision based on the comments at the meeting. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Record of Actions, Box 55)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
  4. Confidential. The word “Draft” at the top of the first page has been crossed through. The typewritten date December 9 was changed by hand to December 17.
  5. The appendix, not found, lists agencies and offices of the Departments of State, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force involved in the dissemination of information overseas.