8. Memorandum From the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Hoover) to Attorney General Clark0

I have received information today from two independent outside sources relating to General William Donovan’s plans for the perpetration [perpetuation] of his dynasty within the Office of Strategic Services by the continuation of his agency under another name in the world-wide intelligence field, which I thought would be of interest to you. These sources advise that General Donovan has already selected his candidate to head up the new organization and that his selection is Brigadier General John Magruder. Another and independent source has quoted Donovan as stating that he has submitted John Magruder’s name to Bob Hannegan to head up the new world-wide intelligence organization and that Hannegan has approved Magruder for this post.

John Magruder is an Army officer who during the course of his Army service was at one time chief of the intelligence branch of the War Department General Staff, was Assistant Military Attaché in China and was Chief of a Military mission to China in 1942. In addition, Magruder served in the Philippine Islands and was Military Attaché in Bern, Switzerland. Magruder has served for some time under General Donovan as Deputy Director of the Office of Strategic Services.

John Magruder married Helen Schurman, who is the daughter of Jacob Gould Schurman, who has held various diplomatic posts, including the post of Ambassador to China, Ambassador to Germany and various other positions intimately associated with the State Department. In addition, my sources state that Mrs. John Magruder is reported to be the niece of Jacob L. Crane, deceased, who held various posts within the State Department. General Donovan’s selection of John Magruder, I have been advised, was prompted in some degree by the good will and support which are attached to Magruder by a certain clique in the State Department because of their pleasant relationships with Mrs. Magruder’s father and her uncle. This clique consequently is reported to be strongly supporting John Magruder for the new post as head of the World-wide Intelligence Service.

General Donovan’s selection of John Magruder and the reported approval of his selection by Bob Hannegan is another of Donovan’s deadly died-in-the-wool secrets which appear, however, to be matters of general knowledge. Two independent sources have advised me today [Page 32] that Brigadier General John Magruder has confided in certain persons that he has been selected for the post of head of the intelligence service and he has allegedly even gone to the extent of advising a large business enterprise with foreign holdings and international interests that he would “look out for their interests” in the foreign field when he takes over his new post of duty.

Although, as I have indicated, this information is allegedly very, very confidential, I have every reason to assume from the source from which I received it that ultimately this information will appear in the press.


John Edgar Hoover 1
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Troy Papers, FBI Documents. Personal and Strictly Confidential. Drafted by Tamm.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.