85. Report From the Assistant Secretary of State for Administration (Russell) to Secretary of State Byrnes 0
[Here follows a table of contents.]
On 12 February 1946 the Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence submitted to the Secretary’s Staff Committee Document SC–185 entitled “Permanent Location and Organization of the Office of Research and Intelligence” (ORI). By direction of the Secretary, this document was referred to the Assistant Secretary for Administration for consideration and clearance, in accordance with Departmental Order No. 1356 (Tab A).1
This paper involves an issue on which there is an irreconcilable difference of opinion in the Department. The issue is whether, as the Special Assistant contends, the intelligence activities of the Department shall be centralized—that is, organized outside of, and not accountable to, the policy offices of the Department, or whether, as held by Assistant Secretaries Dunn and Braden, such activities, to the extent necessary, shall be integrated with, and made responsible to, the Offices of the Department charged with policy development and formulation.
[Here follow sections II–V, Prior History of Controversy, Basic Elements of the Problem, Analysis of Argument in Support of Centralized Intelligence Organization, and Conclusion.][Page 213]
It is recommended that:
- The functions of the geographic intelligence divisions of the Office of Research and Intelligence (ORI) be transferred to the geographic offices of the Department and that ORI be renamed as the Office of Intelligence Coordination and Liaison.
- Subject to appropriate policy control by, and the instructions of,
the Standing Committee on Intelligence hereafter proposed, the
Office of Intelligence Coordination and Liaison, in collaboration
with the Office of Intelligence Collection and Dissemination, should
perform the following functions:
- Represent all interested elements of the Department on the staff of the National Intelligence Authority.
- In cooperation with the geographic and economic offices, prepare special intelligence estimates for the Secretary and the Under Secretary, the Assistant Secretaries, and for the National Intelligence Authority.
- To establish and maintain standards of research and analysis throughout the Department.
- To formulate, in consultation with geographic and economic offices, a Departmental program for basic research, and to coordinate and stimulate its execution.
- To organize and supervise cooperative projects in research cutting across the lines of the geographic and economic offices.
- To maintain a central clearing house of information regarding research studies prepared or planned anywhere in the Department.
- To maintain liaison with other agencies of the Government, and with private institutions, for the purpose of utilizing all possible research resources to meet the Department’s needs.
- To conduct specialized research on economic or other technical subjects.
- The Secretary should appoint a Standing Committee on Intelligence
consisting of the two Assistant Secretaries for Political Affairs,
the Assistant Secretary for Administration and the Special Assistant
for Research and Intelligence to:
- Supervise the establishment and coordination of Departmental intelligence objectives and policies.
- Subject to the direction and control of the Secretary, to formulate and supervise the implementation of Departmental policy with respect to the National Intelligence Authority.
- To approve participation by the Department in any centralized operations or projects which the Director of the Authority may propose.
- The transfer of functions, personnel and facilities envisaged in recommendation (1) above should be executed in such manner as to leave the Special Assistant with adequate resources to carry out his mission as redefined in recommendation (2).
- The phasing of the transfer and the disposition of the personnel, functions and resources of ORI should be left to the determination of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, with due regard to the recommendations submitted by the Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence.
- Each geographic office shall organize and maintain a Division of Research, set up with geographic sections corresponding to the other divisions of the office. The establishment of such offices and the timing thereof shall be under the supervision and direction of the Assistant Secretary for Administration.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Records of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research: Lot 58 D 776, Birth of the Intelligence Organization in the Department of State. No classification marking. Attached to a February 25 covering memorandum in which Russell noted that it was in response to SC–185 and reminded Byrnes that according to his directive of January 5 (Document 84) the issue was to be determined by Byrnes before March 1. The covering memorandum and the full text of the report are in the Supplement. SC–185, February 12, is not printed. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 353, Records of Interdepartmental and Intradepartmental Committees—State Department, Lot File No. 122, Records of the Secretary’s Staff Committee 1944–47) See the Supplement. This report, also known as the “Russell Plan,” is printed in Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee To Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Laws, 83d Congress, 1st Session, Hearings on Interlocking Subversion in Government Departments, part 13, pp. 865–867.
On February 25 Byrnes sent McCormack a note acknowledging one from McCormack and transmitting SC–185. Byrnes said: “I cannot make a decision in this matter by the 1st, and I will not do anything about it while you are away.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Records of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research: Lot 58 D 776, Birth of the Intelligence Organization in the Department of State)↩
- Not printed.↩