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280. Memorandum of Meeting0

MEMORANDUM ON A MEETING HELD IN MR. FORRESTAL’S OFFICE ON FRIDAY, 28 MAY 1948 TO CONSIDER NSC-10

“DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL STUDIES”

PRESENT

  • Messrs. Forrestal, Lovett, Allen Dulles and Blum; also for the first part of the meeting, General Gruenther and Admiral Hillenkoetter; for the latter part of the meeting, Mr. Souers

Admiral Hillenkoetter briefly reviewed the CIA view regarding NSC-10, pointing out particularly that a distinction should be made between covert operations in time of peace, which should be assigned to CIA, and those covert operations which would only be carried out in time of war, and responsibility for the planning of which should be assigned to the JCS.

General Gruenther reviewed the informal view of the JCS as developed at their Wednesday meeting. He said that the JCS seemed to favor, in principle, having secret operations as well as secret intelligence in CIA, but said that they had questions as to CIA’s ability to handle this task. He asked whether Hillenkoetter would be prepared to accept the idea of an advisory panel (as in NSC-10) if the operations were placed in CIA. Hillenkoetter replied in the affirmative.

After Admiral Hillenkoetter and General Gruenther had left the meeting, the discussion continued and the following agreement was reached by Mr.Forrestal and Mr. Lovett.

(1)
The present head of the Office of Special Operations in CIA should be replaced.
(2)
Responsibility for both secret intelligence and secret operations should be assigned to CIA under the new head appointed under (1).
(3)
This new office should have considerable autonomy within CIA, and its head should be authorized to appeal directly to the National Security Council in case of differences arising between him and the Director of Central Intelligence.
(4)
Allen Dulles, present at the meeting, was asked whether he would accept the new post. He replied tha the did not think so, but that he would give his final decision in a few days.
(5)
Names of other persons who might fill the new post were reconsidered.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, NSC 10/2. Top Secret. Drafted on June 1 presumably by Blum. For background information on this meeting, see Document 279.