87. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Administration (Panuch) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Administration (Russell)0


  • Progress of attempt to settle L’affaire McCormack

Things are not going so good in the “settlement” of the above matter. Indeed, I am afraid we, i.e., the Secretary and in a lesser degree you and I are going to end up “in the middle” again despite our noble intentions. Here is why.

1. McCormack’s Gethsemane Hour

On Thursday, Al McCormack came to see me to seek my advice as to how he should quit. He said that on the preceding day he had had an unpleasant session with the Secretary (who was quite unfriendly) at the conclusion of which he (McCormack) advised the Secretary of his intention to resign immediately. The Secretary (according to McCormack) told Al that in his own interest he should quit after the Congress restored the Intelligence cutback. I advised McCormack strongly to accept the Secretary’s suggestion in this regard, and he said he would think it over and let me know.

2. Reprieve

On Friday, I reported the above to you to be passed on to the Secretary. You asked me whether there was any chance of securing McCormack’s [Page 218] concurrence to our compromise plan of Intelligence organization filed with the Secretary on 25 February 1946, and it was decided to summon McCormack to discuss this possibility with him. You told the Secretary of your intention to do this. He said “OK” but that he had to have a decision on the matter by Tuesday, 16 April. Accordingly, we met with McCormack on Friday forenoon and urged him to relax his intransigence. He said he would consult Tyler Wood, a fellow Princetonian, and let us know. That afternoon Tyler Wood phoned you, stating that he was authorized to negotiate a settlement on behalf of McCormack. You authorized me to represent A–R in these negotiations. On Saturday, I sent Wood a copy of McCormack’s brief of 12 February and our report of 25 February (i.e., the Russell plan) for study before undertaking his efforts at conciliation.

3. The Old School Tie

On Monday, 15 April, Wood conferred with me, and I outlined to him the basic issues involved in the controversy. It became clearly evident very quickly that poor old Ty did not “know the score.” Furthermore, it was apparent that he had no intention of attempting to negotiate an acceptance of the Russell plan or even some formula based thereon. Indeed, he expressed confidence that he could “sell” the political divisions the McCormack plan. I pointed out that what he hoped to sell in 48 hours had been the subject of an irreconcilable difference of opinion since 1 October. Nevertheless, he stated he was certain that this could be done in that “Doc” Matthews, a classmate of McCormack’s at Princeton, was “for” McCormack’s plan, and, with the Doc’s backing, he (Wood) felt the other political divisions would be a pushover—except maybe Braden, who could be dealt with after everyone else was “lined up.”

4. Briefing The Conciliator

I told Wood that in my opinion this was a naive estimate of the situation—but that I did not wish to discourage any method that would bring about a settlement of the present wrangle and that he was free to proceed in any way he saw fit. I pointed out to him, however, that A–R occupied a judicial position in the dispute and could not become a part of any plan to “gang up” on Braden; that we expected him to negotiate with all of the Geographic Divisions with his cards on the table “face up.” He allowed that this was his intention and that he would “talk turkey” with Braden despite McCormack’s hatred of him. I left him with this thought as a guide to his negotiations:

That, in my opinion, the Russell plan was the ticket; but that we did not object to some other formula provided;
It was workable and acceptable to all of the Geographic Divisions; that harmony was the sine qua non of any formula;
That under any plan (whether (a) or (b)) McCormack had to confine himself to overt intelligence and that secret intelligence must remain as at present.

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5. Violation of Truce

While I was under the impression that everyone was interested in pouring oil over the controversial waters, McCormack’s side launched a psychological press blitz over the week-end, to wit:

Sunday—N.Y. Herald Tribune

Article by William Attwood, laudatory of McCormack and derogatory of Congress, career diplomats and Braden.

Monday—Washington Post

Savage editorial written apparently by Schwarzwalder of the Bureau of the Budget (via Wayne Coy) condemning political and foreign service officers for opposing McCormack.

The two editorials above-referred to offset Drew Pearson’s patriotic effort in his Sunday broadcast to break the impasse by appealing to McCormack to accept the Russell compromise plan.

6. Who’s Who on Intelligence (As of 6:00 P.M., 15 April)

In terms of key personalities, a round-up of key personalities and their current positions on intelligence is as follows:

The Secretary—A settlement must be reached by Tuesday, April 16th.

Acheson—Originally for the McCormack plan. However, is now sick of the whole business and will have nothing more to do with the controversy.

Dunn—Standing pat on the Russell plan.

Braden—Standing pat on the Russell plan.

Matthews—While embarrassed by the fact that he is a Princeton classmate of McCormack’s, is for the Russell plan. He needs research people but does not want any of McCormack’s intelligence characters in his organization.

Loy Henderson—Standing pat with Jimmy Dunn and unalterably opposed to McCormack’s plan.

John Carter Vincent—Views unknown at the present poll. However, in Dunn’s absence he will probably be influenced by Ben Cohen’s views. These, on past performance, would be against the Political Divisions.

Bob Reams—100% for the Russell plan and unalterably opposed to McCormack plan.

Fred Lyon—100% for the Russell plan and unalterably opposed to the McCormack plan.

Fred Searls—For the Russell plan.

Franz Schneider—For the Russell plan.

Private Views of Officials of War, Navy, NIA, FBI and Congress:

Outside of the Department, in the other agencies concerned with intelligence, i.e., War, NIA and FBI, there is increasing impatience with [Page 220] the endless intelligence row which has been raging in State. The view has been repeatedly expressed by Admiral Souers and Colonel Douglas of NIA and by J. Edgar Hoover of FBI that the Secretary should take prompt action to determine the dispute so that these agencies can begin to cooperate with State in the intelligence field on an effective basis.

The views of Congressman Rabaut and Congressman May are well-known to you.

Supporters of the McCormack Plan

Support for the McCormack plan is concentrated chiefly in the Bureau of the Budget (Schwarzwalder), the Washington Post (Wayne Coy) and the New York Herald Tribune (Joe Barnes).

Conclusion and Recommendation


There is only one recommendation that can be made. The row must be immediately settled, i.e., by the close of business 16 April on a mutually livable formula or it must be determined immediately and finally on the merits.

The best interests of the Department, indeed the best personal interests of the Secretary, make such action imperative.


If A–R does not report to S by the close of business 16 April that a satisfactory settlement has been negotiated, the Secretary should immediately sign the orders (now before him), putting into effect the recommendations of the Russell plan of 25 February 1946.

J. Anthony Panuch
  1. Source: Truman Library, Papers of J. Anthony Panuch, State Department, Research and Intelligence #2. Secret.