30. Memorandum From the Assistant Chief of Staff for Military Intelligence of the War Department General Staff (Bissell) to Secretary of War Patterson0


  • Discussion with Secretary of Navy Regarding Joint Intelligence
Reference paragraph 2 (joint intelligence) of the memorandum of 13 October from the Secretary of Navy,1 the important factors are:
By letter of 20 September, the President asked the Secretary of State to take the lead in developing a comprehensive and coordinated foreign intelligence program. The letter shows that the President wants a procedure which will meet the needs of individual agencies and at the same time serve the Government as a whole.
At the time the President sent the letter, a study by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the same subject was being considered by the Secretaries of War and the Navy. In substance, this study proposed a national intelligence organization under supervision of the Secretaries of State, War and the Navy. This JCS recommendation was forwarded to the Secretary [Page 69] of State by the Secretaries of War and the Navy under a letter which included the statement, “It is assumed that you will transmit these recommendations to the President for his information.” (See JCS 1181/7).2 Until the State Department has acted on the President’s instructions, it would be inappropriate for the War and Navy Departments to approach the President directly with the JCS recommendations.
General Marshall recently wrote to Admiral King, suggesting that all Army and Navy intelligence activities be combined.
The War Department has organized an Intelligence Planning Board under AC of S, G–2. Its members have made a continuing study of intelligence organization, including the subject of interdepartmental intelligence coordination. They have frequently collaborated informally with naval officers under similar studies under the Director of Naval Intelligence.
a. The outcome of current efforts to merge the armed forces is unpredictable. Regardless of the outcome, interdepartmental intelligence coordination must be provided in accordance with the President’s directive. A necessary first step should be preliminary joint study by the War and Navy Departments, with a view to determining methods of combination of military and naval intelligence activities.
b. The details of those studies should be worked out by the heads of military and naval intelligence, under joint authority of the Secretaries of War and the Navy. The planners who work out these details should also prepare the details for later coordination with the State Department pursuant to the President’s letter of 20 September. Any interim procedures developed for a combination of military and naval intelligence activities will facilitate the ultimate establishment of joint procedures involving the State Department.
It is recommended that the Secretary of War propose to the Secretary of Navy that the heads of military and naval intelligence be authorized to work out plans for combining military and naval intelligence activity, preparatory to subsequent collaboration with the State Department.
Clayton Bissell 3

Major General, GSC
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Troy Papers, Box 10, Folder 73. No classification marking.
  2. Document 26. This memorandum was transmitted to Bissell under a October 22 memorandum from Colonel L.R. Forney, Acting Chief of the Military Intelligence Division’s Policy Staff. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Troy Papers, Box 10, Folder 73) See the Supplement.
  3. Not found.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.