79. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Public and Cultural Relations (Benton) to the Secretary of State’s Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence (McCormack)0

On your memorandum of the 23rd,1 dealing with your talk with Colonel Little of General Donovan’s staff:

I agree with you emphatically that the United States should not maintain any kind of clandestine or under-cover propaganda operation.
I agree that we should have full information on foreign propaganda, not only in this country, but in other major countries, and I hope, with you, that such information can be adequately collected without the maintenance of any “separate collecting organization” such as the Morale Operations Branch.
I emphatically agree that this foreign propaganda must be systematically and carefully analyzed, and if the best way to proceed to collect it and to analyze it is through taking over that part of the Morale Operations Branch, which has been trained in this work, then the State Department should certainly proceed and take over—with the responsibility for operations centered under you.

If Congress agrees that we are, through the State Department, to operate an overseas information service, this service seems to me to be essential to its intelligent direction and operation.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Decimal File 1945–49, 101.5/10–2445. No classification marking.
  2. Document 78.