75. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Administration (McCarthy) to the Secretary of State’s Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence (McCormack)0

Mr. J. Franklin Carter 1 and Mr. Henry Field have been engaged, during the period of the war, in some special intelligence activities directly under the President. Before the conclusion of the war, President Truman told them that he wished them to continue the projects which they initiated under orders from President Roosevelt and to continue their work at least until June 30, 1946.

In the meantime, with the conclusion of the war, the Bureau of the Budget has been called upon by the Congress to review the war connected activities in the various agencies and to discontinue, or at least to [Page 194] cut down to a minimum, such activities. We are concerned with Mr. Carter’s project because he and his associates have been administratively attached to the State Department. Actually this has meant only that the State Department has been the channel through which funds flowed to Mr. Carter from the President’s fund.

In connection with a consideration as to whether these special activities should be continued, the Bureau of the Budget, speaking as the President’s agent, believes that the Secretary of State should take a look at the activities and make a recommendation to the President as to whether they should be continued; if so, what unit within the State Department they could best be affiliated with.

I talked to Mr. Carter and Mr. Field today and they told me they were going to speak with the Secretary about this shortly after his return. It will not be possible, of course, for the Secretary to give an immediate decision on this and someone will have to advise the Secretary as to such details as he may need before he gets in touch with the President.

Since these are essentially intelligence activities, I suggest that you see Mr. Carter and Mr. Field early next week and be prepared to advise Mr. Byrnes on the subject. Mr. Carter and Mr. Field will not see Mr. Byrnes until after they have talked to you.

I suggested to Mr. Carter that he call you on Monday2 in order to arrange for an appointment very shortly after that.


I understand that Mr. Lyon has some very interesting information on this and suggest strongly that you see Lyon first.3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Decimal File 1945–49, 101.5/10–445. No classification marking.
  2. Carter was a newspaper columnist who had run a small, informal intelligence organization for President Roosevelt during World War II. See Troy, Donovan and the CIA, pp. 142, 226–227, 266–267, 275, and 276.
  3. October 8.
  4. The postscript is handwritten.