341. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Souers) to Secretary of State Marshall 0


  • Survey of the Central Intelligence Agency


  • NSC Action No. 251

Pursuant to the resolution of the National Security Council, arrangements have been made for a survey of the organization, activities and personnel of the Central Intelligence Agency and its relationship to other agencies. This survey is to be conducted by Mr. Allen W. Dulles, Mr. Mathias F. Correa and Mr. William H. Jackson.

These gentlemen feel that the resolution of the National Security Council authorizing the survey is not broad enough to permit them to present a comprehensive study of all Federal intelligence activities relating to the national security.

I explained to them that I did not believe the National Security Council had the right to authorize an examination of departmental intelligence agencies beyond that contemplated in the Council resolution. Mr. Jackson, representing the group, then discussed the matter with the Secretary of Defense, who expressed a desire to have the intelligence agencies of the Military Establishment examined and stated that he would place the matter before his War Council.2

I am now informed that the Secretary of Defense concurs in the examination of such intelligence activities within the service departments as relate to the national security. He has also asked the service Secretaries, as heads of their respective departments, to indicate their approval of the attached draft memorandum3 as a means of assuring a coordinated and comprehensive consideration of the entire intelligence problem related to the national security.

I would appreciate your advice as to whether the terms of the enclosed memorandum are acceptable to you, both as a member of the Council and in your capacity as head of the Department of State.

Sidney W. Souers
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Decimal File 1945–49, 101.61/3–848. Restricted.
  2. Document 336.
  3. Additional information is provided in Souers’ February 26 memorandum to Forrestal. (Central Intelligence Agency Records, Job 86–B00269R, Box 5) See the Supplement.
  4. The draft, not printed here, is virtually identical to the final version of the memorandum; see Document 343.