335. Minutes of the 3d Meeting of the National Security Council0


  • Members Present
  • James V. Forrestal, Secretary of Defense, presiding
  • George F. Kennan, representing the Secretary of State
  • Kenneth C. Royall, Secretary of the Army
  • John L. Sullivan, Secretary of the Navy
  • W. Stuart Symington, Secretary of the Air Force
  • Arthur M. Hill, Chairman, National Security Resources Board
  • Dr. Vannevar Bush, Chairman, Research and Development Board (invited but unable to attend)
  • Others Present
  • Rear Admiral R. H. Hillenkoetter, Director of Central Intelligence
  • Cornelius V. Whitney, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force
  • Vice Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, Department of the Navy
  • Lieutenant General Lauris Norstad, Department of the Air Force
  • Major General Stephen J. Chamberlin, Department of the Army
  • Rear Admiral Thomas B. Inglis, Department of the Navy
  • John H. Ohly, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense
  • W. Park Armstrong, Acting Special Assistant to the Secretary of State
  • Robert Blum, office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Secretariat
  • Sidney W. Souers, Executive Secretary
  • James S. Lay, Jr., Assistant Executive Secretary


1. Organization, Activities and Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency

Admiral Hillenkoetter gave an oral report on the organization, activities and plans of the Central Intelligence Agency. All Council members asked questions and made suggestions on this subject.

Specifically, Admiral Hillenkoetter stated that there was a difference of opinion as to whether he had coordinating authority over the departmental intelligence agencies or whether the chiefs of such departmental agencies constituted a board of management over the Director of Central Intelligence.

Secretary Forrestal said, and the other members agreed, that there was no question as to the coordinating authority of the Director of Central Intelligence. Secretary Forrestal said that Admiral Hillenkoetter tells the Departments what he needs for collation and evaluation and the Departments are required to provide it.

Admiral Hillenkoetter answered various criticisms made in an article in magazine “Armed Forces” by Hanson Baldwin.

Secretary Forrestal said that he was not so concerned about such criticisms. The real test of the success of CIA, in his opinion, will be two years hence.

Admiral Hillenkoetter stated that the average annual pay of CIA personnel in grades equivalent to officer rank is $4000.

Secretary Forrestal expressed the belief, and other members agreed, that this appeared to be a low average. He said that he would rather have a few good men in CIA than many mediocre.

Admiral Hillenkoetter reported that the turnover in CIA as a result of loyalty screening was one per cent per year, while the turnover resulting from efficiency screening was eight per cent per year.

[Page 825]

The National Security Council:1

Noted and commented upon the oral report on the organization, activities and plans of the Central Intelligence Agency by the Director of Central Intelligence.

2. Proposed National Security Council Directives to the Central Intelligence Agency (Reference: Memo for the NSC from the Executive Secretary, same subject, dated December 10, 1947)2

The Council amended and approved the National Security Council Intelligence Directive (NSCID) No. 1.3

Secretary Symington felt that NSCID Nos. 2 and 3 were designed to avoid duplication while at the same time meeting the secondary needs of the various Departments. He said that if the Council would not assign primary responsibility for air intelligence to the Department of the Air Force, these papers would mean nothing.

Secretary Sullivan felt that such an assignment would mean that the Navy would lose all its naval air attachés and naval air intelligence. He said that the interests of the Air Force do not include all matters of interest to naval air intelligence.

Secretary Symington said that this was not necessarily the case and that the Air Force would use naval air attaches where they appeared to be appropriate.

Secretary Forrestal asked that Council action on NSCID Nos. 2 and 3 be deferred so that he might reconcile the diversion of views of the Navy and the Air Force.

Mr. Kennan urged that the assignment of responsibilities in NSCID No. 2 really be carried out in overseas missions, since it would eliminate costly duplication and lack of coordination.

The Council then amended and approved NSCID Nos. 4 and 5, and approved NSCID No. 6.

The National Security Council:4

Approved National Security Intelligence Directive No. 1 (NSCID 1) subject to the following amendments: [Page 826]
Revised paragraph 2 thereof to read:

“2. To the extent authorized by Section 102(e) of the National Security Act of 1947, the Director of Central Intelligence, or representatives designated by him, by arrangement with the head of the department or agency concerned, shall make such surveys and inspections of the departmental intelligence material of the various Federal Departments and Agencies relating to the national security as he may deem necessary in connection with his duty to advise the NSC and to make recommendations for the coordination of intelligence activities.”

In paragraph 4, second line, delete the words “and national policy.”
In paragraph 6, line 2, add the words “Federal Bureau of Investigation and” between “disseminate to the” and “other Departments”.
Deferred action on the proposed NSCID Nos. 2 and 3, pending reconciliation within the national military establishment of the divergent views of the Secretaries of the Navy and of the Air Force.
Approved NSCID No. 4, subject to the addition of the word “Staff” after “NSC” in the third line of paragraph 2. (The Council also noted the remarks of the Executive Secretary that, for this purpose, the NSC Staff shall consist of the Executive Secretary and the departmental representatives designated by Council members to advise and assist the Executive Secretary, and that any cases of disagreement within this group will be referred to the National Security Council for decision.)
Approved NSCID No. 5, subject to the following amendments:
Delete the asterisk in paragraph 1 and the footnote.
Revise paragraph 2 to read:

“2. The Director of Central Intelligence shall conduct all organized Federal counter-espionage operations outside the United States and its possessions and in occupied areas, provided that this authority shall not be construed to preclude the counter-intelligence activities of any army, navy or air command or installation and certain agreed activities by Departments and Agencies necessary for the security of such organizations.

Approved NSCID No. 6 without change.

  1. Source: Truman Library, Papers of Harry S. Truman, President’s Secretary’s Files. Top Secret. The meeting was held in the office of the Secretary of Defense.
  2. The paragraph that follows constitutes NSC Action No. 14. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Record of Actions, Box 55)
  3. Document 334.
  4. For text of this and other National Security Council Intelligence Directives, see Documents 422435.
  5. Paragraphs a–e constitute NSC Action No. 15. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Record of Actions, Box 55)