265. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Information and Educational Exchange (Stone) to Acting Secretary of State Lovett0


  • Proposed Creation of Psychological Warfare Agency

With reference to the question of foreign information activities which Mr. Allen mentioned in his memorandum1 to you yesterday, and which will come up for discussion in the meeting of the National Security Council on Friday,2 there is additional information which you should have as background:

I am informed that the Armed Services are again pressing to set up an independent psychological warfare agency under the National Security Council at the earliest possible moment. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have approved a paper recommending such action. The paper which had gone to Admiral Leahy is in the form of an amendment to an earlier report of the SANACC Subcommittee which has been studying future plans for a wartime psychological warfare organization. If Admiral Leahy approves, the paper in question will come up before the SANACC Committee at a meeting next Wednesday, April 7, at which time the Department will have an opportunity to state its position.

I have discussed this matter with George Allen (who is in New York today) and checked with operating division who are concerned in the Department. The consensus is that no new organization should be set up at this time for the following reasons: 1) Except in time of war, psychological [Page 664] warfare is essentially a political activity and the responsibility must rest with the Secretary of State. 2) The National Security Council has placed this responsibility with the Secretary in NSC-4, under which Assistant Secretary Allen is responsible for coordinating all foreign information activities. Mr. Allen is now discharging this responsibility, operating through a consulting group and working staff composed of representatives of the Army, Navy, Air Forces and CIA. 3) The wartime plans prepared bySANACC Subcommittee have not been completed and are not suitable for immediate application.

The above is for your information in the event this matter comes up at the meeting of the National Security Council tomorrow.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Records of the Executive Secretariat, NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 4. Top Secret. Following his handwritten initials above the subject line Stone wrote: “(In the absence of George Allen.)”
  2. Document 264.
  3. April 2.