332. Minutes of a Meeting of the Intelligence Advisory Board0

PARTICIPANTS

  • Rear Admiral R. H. Hillenkoetter, Director of Central Intelligence, in the Chair
  • Present
  • Mr. W. Park Armstrong, Jr., Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Research and Intelligence
  • Major General Stephen J. Chamberlin, Director of Intelligence, GSUSA
  • Rear Admiral Thomas B. Inglis, Chief of Naval Intelligence
  • Major General George C. McDonald, Director of Intelligence, Hdq., US Air Force
  • Rear Admiral John E. Gingrich, Director of Intelligence and Security, Atomic Energy Commission
  • Brig. General Walter E. Todd, Deputy Director, Joint Intelligence Group, JIS
  • Mr. Prescott Childs, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Mr. Lawrence R. Houston, General Counsel
  • Colonel Merritt B. Booth, Department of State
  • Colonel Riley F. Ennis, GSUSA
  • Captain R. K. Davis, USN
  • Mr. William C. Trueheart, AEC
  • Mr. Allan Evans, Department of State
  • Colonel E. J. Treacy, GSUSA
  • Colonel E. P. Mussett, Air Force
  • Captain H. C. Doan, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Colonel John B. Sherman, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Colonel William J. Clinch, Central Intelligence Agency
  • General Cabell, Air Force

Director: I have a couple of corrections I would like to make before we start on this. In the last three lines at the bottom of page 2 of the covering memorandum1 change “paragraph 6 from paragraph 2” to “paragraph 1f.” “Paragraph 7 from paragraph 3” to “paragraph 1g.” And “paragraph 8 is derived from parts of CIG 18 and the National Security Act.” At the first meeting of the National Security Council on September 26, they said we would continue the NIA Directives for 60 days. We will have to submit some new ones on the 26th of this month. That is the limit. [Page 811]We sent a memorandum to the agencies on October 92 asking for any suggestions and to please let us know. We got a little help from the State Department. They came through with some suggestions. Today I don’t know how long it will take to get an agreement on the four NSC directives. We will try to finish those at least so we can send those in. Is that all right?

Mr. Armstrong: I would like to say, Admiral, that the Department of State has not been able in the time available to arrive at a firm position on these directives. The matter is before Mr. Lovett at the present time. Due to the Secretary’s departure for London today, he has not been able to pass on the directives themselves and the proposed changes that we have felt were essential. So while I am prepared to discuss the directives today, I can’t speak for the Department. It cannot be committed as yet.

Director: I don’t think it should be the Departments, the intelligence heads are to give their opinions.

Mr. Armstrong: Yes, but if it is coming before the National Security Council, the heads of each of the intelligence organizations, I feel, must have the Department’s position firm before we can speak finally.

Director: Let’s try and get through these first four if we can. If we can’t, we will have to tell them we can’t do it.

Adm. Inglis: I understand, in any case, these papers, before they are finally approved by the National Security Council, will have another processing in the respective departments.

Director: Yes.

Adm. Inglis: I want to make it quite clear that anything I say is my own opinion—

Director: They will all go back again.

Adm. Inglis: As the Chief of Naval Intelligence and not as a mouthpiece of the Secretary. I have not gone to him and I have no intention of doing it—

Director: We will have to do it.

Adm. Inglis: On something in which I am in doubt. There will be another processing of this.

Director: The National Security Council will send them out again.

Adm. Inglis: I would like to make this comment. You got a little help from the participating agencies something over a month ago. I feel a lot of time and controversy and time—especially time—on the part of the intelligence agencies, who are quite busy, if matters of this kind could be handled in a committee on the working level so that these differences, and there are numerous differences in all of these papers, could be reconciled [Page 812]before they were ever brought up to our level. I realize the Central Intelligence Agency has gone through a process of reorganization because of the passage of legislation and the position of the Intelligence Advisory Board, or Committee, is not yet quite clear, so I am speaking more for the future than the past. But I think in the future if they can be coordinated by a working committee and all of these differences are aired and ironed out, and as possible reconciled, it will save time and ruffled tempers and will come out with a better job. Out of the 60 days, 45 days had been used before it came up to us. Finally, the Central Intelligence Agency, on its own initiative and own authority, produced these papers with 15 days left to consider them. I think they should be considered as they are formulated rather than have a finished product to take it or leave it.

Director: I don’t think it is taking it or leaving it, but you did have a time limit. I agree we ought to try and get it worked out beforehand, but we had to rewrite the things and clear them all around.

Gen. Chamberlin: I would like to add to Admiral Inglis’ remark that the system used here is quite difficult for us. I am head of the intelligence department and I have many administrative responsibilities and I can’t turn it off and on at somebody else’s command. I have to seek my own time for these things because I have other things to do. As far as I am concerned, I came out unprepared to discuss these papers. My people have worked on them and they find many things that they want to challenge. There are important differences of principle involved in these papers that have never been approached nor are they included in past directives. I have not been able to take those things up with even my own military chiefs and I think that the problem has been approached in a way that is quite disadvantageous to the contributing agencies of intelligence.

Director: I think there ought to be the least difference of opinion in the National Security Council directives.

Gen. McDonald: I would like to make a statement. Analysis of these proposed directives revealed it is going to be necessary for me to recommend many changes. In view of this, I consider it would be impossible to cover these directives this afternoon, and there should be, therefore, no attempt here to go into either the philosophy or the composition of these directives. I recommend that an ad hoc committee to be formed immediately to examine our recommendations and those which any of the other members have for the purpose of reconciling views. I am afraid, for the short time available, for our people to study these things and get together. That right now, on this level, we are doing it. We can’t be expected to do the work of an ad hoc committee. I don’t think it is quite right or productive of a cordial overall workable product.

Director: How long do you think it would take this committee to do it?

[Page 813]

Gen. McDonald: Two or three days.

Adm. Inglis: I estimate ten days minimum.

Gen. McDonald: That is working extra time of course. Non-union hours.

Adm. Gingrich: It seems to me we would make faster progress if it were handled in that way. As far as I am concerned, all I could do here is discuss the matter and any product that would be turned up here I would have to take back and get approval from the Commission. We do have some rather fundamental exceptions to take to the directives from AEC’s point of view.

Director: Let’s get a committee appointed and try and get them working this afternoon. If that is the opinion of everyone.

Mr. Armstrong: I might say, Admiral, our analysis of the directives led us to the conclusion, in a number of important respects, they failed to include basic principles embraced in the NIA directives which should have a continuing validity, and in certain other respects there was a variance with certain of those principles and intent of the National Security Act. We think a very considerable revision of the directives would be necessary as they now stand and we have ourselves prepared a series of substitutes and proposals. We would be glad to present them to you or an ad hoc committee for consideration, along with the directives drafted here.

Director: Does everybody agree to have this ad hoc committee?

Gen. Chamberlin: I wonder how far we should go into this subject. I’m confident you are going to find a great deal of differences of opinion on principle, especially on this first directive—the one I had a chance to read thoroughly. Is it necessary that the CIA directives themselves have such a high degree of precedence here? Wouldn’t it be advisable to settle the principles in which the National Security Council is involved expeditiously by an ad hoc committee and then give them an additional job when they complete those to go into the DCI directives.

Director: The first four directives have to be in by the 26th. The others can wait.

Gen. Chamberlin: I don’t know whether you can meet that date. If you can define the duties of this, the four principle directives, to the ad hoc committee they will go much faster than the others—rather than take the whole field for the moment.

Director: The others can wait, but these first four have to be in.

Gen. McDonald: In the meantime, how would it be to request an additional time period beyond the 60 days limitation, which is practically over. And you would get a much better product.

Mr. Armstrong: I have a number of reasons why I think there would be no opposition.

[Page 814]

Gen. Chamberlin: If we don’t get our own departments lined up before they go to it thoroughly in agreement, then we are going to run into a time-consuming period that will be—I won’t say disastrous—disadvantageous.

Director: We would like to get them in, it would be much better. Let’s knock off this meeting and appoint members right now.

Gen. McDonald: I have Colonel Mussett.

Adm. Inglis: Captain Davis.

Mr. Armstrong: Mr. Booth.

Adm. Gingrich: Mr. Truehart.

Gen. Chamberlin: Is there any objection to having two? Both Colonel Ennis and Colonel Treacy. The thing caught us so short we had to make two individual studies and neither one have reached me, so I don’t know what they are going to say, but I can get it within the next day or two.

Director: We can make a limitation of time for this committee here.

Gen. Chamberlin: I should think they could report their findings and differences rather expeditiously if they confine themselves to the four directives. However, I noted as I scanned these that there is material in the DCI directives—

Director: There are no origins for those.

Gen. Chamberlin: Which formerly appeared in the NIA directives and incorporated into the DCI directives. My opinion is so broad and fundamental, but shouldn’t it be in the NSC directives. They may have to scan them to find out what should be picked out and put in the higher order directive, I might say, but I don’t think they would have to go into the detail of the DCI directives. I may be wrong because I haven’t made any detailed study myself.

Director: That is up to the committee. Let’s call off our meeting and let the committee start.

Adm. Gingrich: One point I might mention, Hilly, there doesn’t appear to be any provision in these first two directives here for an Intelligence Advisory Committee, or Board, such as is executed under our old setup. While there is no specific provision in the National Security Act for such a committee, I think you indicated there would be such a group. And it would seem to me important that that be provided for in this basic directive, something that is to operate, etc. Can it be defined?

Director: You have your ad hoc committee. In the law here it has very definitely said who will appoint committees. The Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Resources Board, and the Director of Central Intelligence have the authority to appoint such committees, etc. On that, my legal people say their interpretation is that since the other people were [Page 815]not mentioned they are not authorized to appoint committees. I am not a lawyer.

Adm. Gingrich: I wasn’t thinking of anyone else, but your committee is not indicated or laid down here.

Mr. Childs: They are coming out from the National Security Council as their directives and they cannot appoint committees.

Mr. Armstrong: They can direct the Director to appoint one.

Adm. Inglis: There isn’t any law which says the National Security Council cannot appoint one.

Mr. Childs: But none saying they can.

Adm. Inglis: You know they are going to appoint committees.

Gen. McDonald: Those men are not shrinking violets—they have the authority.

Director: They haven’t yet.

Adm. Inglis: We have a paper that is controversial. Again it was sent directly to the departments for a take it or leave it proposition. It got bogged down because there were dissents and controversy and people hesitated to act. These things can be ironed out on the working level and the way greased for much prompter action and less irritation.

Gen. Chamberlin: I would like to bring out one feature—to me it is a rather dangerous one. I know I would seriously object to it myself as a matter of principle. Maybe it should be considered by this group that we have. Whether it was intended or not, but when this paper was written, there is, undoubtedly, a strain in here which is to drive a wedge between the chief of the intelligence departments and his superior; because they say we can come up here and if we agree on any paper, the chiefs of the intelligence divisions, unanimously it becomes effective. If they haven’t, then the Central Intelligence chief has the right of appeal to go over their head to their own Secretary. I would like to make it most emphatic when I come up here I speak for the Secretary and if I have doubts in the matter it is up to me to go to the Secretary to find out whether I am on the track and I personally object to seeing that wedge driving because it destroys completely command principles.

Director: There was no intention of that. If it is military it goes to the Secretary of Defense before it goes to the Council.

Gen. Chamberlin: The Secretary of Defense is all right, but it says the Secretary of the departments and that principle, I think, is a very dangerous thing from a military viewpoint and I would hate to see it included as a principle in the procedures of which I have anything to do.

Adm. Gingrich: Those things will come out in the ad hoc committee.

Gen. Chamberlin: I wanted to call it to the attention of the people here.

[Page 816]

Gen. McDonald: This kind of activity recalls to mind some of the nasty features of the old NIA Directive No. 9, which you so kindly rescinded.

Director: I didn’t, the NIA did.

Gen. McDonald: You instigated it. This is the reviving of it.

Gen. Chamberlin: I would be inclined to keep quiet at all times because I would be very much afraid it would be appealed over my head.

Director: Let’s get our boys started here. Air Force—Colonel Mussett; Army—Colonel Ennis and Colonel Treacy; Navy—Captain Davis; State—Colonel Booth and Mr. Evans; AEC—Mr. Truehart. Can they start here now? We planned for the afternoon anyway.

Gen. Chamberlin: Are they to concern themselves only with the first four?

Director: General Todd, do you want to appoint anybody?

Gen. Todd: I’m hardly in a position to designate anyone. If you want General Gruenther—I think he would be just as happy if he wasn’t called upon to do it.

Mr. Armstrong: I would suggest that the discussion only be confined to the first four, because our view is that some of those designated as DCI directives should be NSC.

Director: The first four have to have a priority because they have to go in.

Adm. Inglis: As a middle ground between those two thoughts, let us consider the first four NSC directives with the addition of anything in the DCI directives which the committee feels should be transposed to the NSC directives.

Director: No, because the NSC directives theoretically have to be in next Wednesday. I mean there is no time limitation to the others. You can have four or fourteen days.

Mr. Armstrong: I didn’t mean that I didn’t want the others to be included mechanically.

Adm. Gingrich: The question before this committee—would they discuss No. 2 in connection with these directives?

Director: I think that ought to wait until we see what comes out of this committee.

Adm. Gingrich: I think it has a bearing on the basic directive—whether you appoint it, or how.

Director: Let the committee discuss it. That, I think, can wait until after these others have gone in.

Adm. Inglis: At the moment we are operating under the blanket authority of the National Security Council because they approved for 60 days the directives of its predecessor the National Intelligence Authority [Page 817]and in turn authorized the Intelligence Advisory Board. So we have that authority to set and appoint our representatives. And I think that is proper at the moment. Is that right?

Director: I think that is debatable. No, I don’t think you can stand up and say it is right. Among other things the NIA went out of existence.

Adm. Inglis: Didn’t the National Security Council pick up the directives and say they would remain in effect for 60 days?

Director: I don’t remember the exact words. That point has come up here and I think you can make a good argument either way.

Gen. Chamberlin: The National Intelligence Authority created an IAB. So if the National Intelligence Authority directives are in effect for 60 days there is automatically an IAB until the termination of that period.

Director: But on the other hand Congress cut off all of those in the Act.

Adm. Inglis: Without an extra legal man.3

Director: Not extra legal, but one on this one. One thing you are sure of among other things is that there will be no NIA. The IAB reported to the NIA. The NIA doesn’t exist, who can they report to?

Adm. Inglis: By virtue of the National Security Council approving the old NIA directives.

Director: It is not clear at all on that. We are losing time, let this committee get started.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/HC–657. Secret. The meeting was held in the North Interior Building. The minutes themselves do not identify this as an IAB meeting and there was some debate on the subject at the table (see especially Hillenkoetter’s exchange with Admiral Inglis and General Chamberlin at the end of the meeting). Darling describes this as an IAB meeting, pointing out that the IAB did not go out of existence when the National Security Act came into force because the NSC extended the validity of National Intelligence Authority Directives for 60 days. (Darling, The Central Intelligence Agency, pp. 211–212)
  2. Dated November 10. (Memorandum, Hillenkoetter to Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence, and others; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Records of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research: Lot 58 D 776)
  3. Not found.
  4. Inglis’ statement has been crossed out in the source text.