The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Caffery)
4192. Reurtel 4982 Aug 17.18 All functions of US Censorship ceased as of Aug 15. For several months prior to that date Dept and Treas endeavored to forestall demise of Censorship on basis its major importance to Proclaimed List and Safehaven programs. However, notwithstanding strong objections expressed to Byron Price19 in letters under signature Sees State and Treas,18 Censorship was terminated with Presidential authorization. Price has indicated to Dept that with capitulation of Japan, mission of Office of Censorship has been completed and Agency will be demobilized as swiftly as possible, that censoring operations have entirely ceased, but that Censorship will pass on to Dept for next 30 days any info of interest received from other United Nations censorships. At end of 30–day period whole allocation machinery will be disbanded. War Dept has been asked by Censorship to allocate to Dept any intercepted info developed by their Censorship groups in occupied territory abroad and War Dept now considering whether it can also allocate to other agencies info developed by whatever civilian censorships are operating in Europe month from now.
Dept wishes to stress that demise of Censorship in no way affects policy to continue PL20 or follow active Safehaven program. Effectiveness of these programs will now depend to greater degree on ingenuity of missions and substitute techniques developed to offset loss represented by dissolution of Cenorship.
Re position to be taken with Fr[ance], see Dept’s cirtel Aug 1818 suggesting discussions with Fr authorities as to desirable censorship techniques. Some of Dept’s suggestions in this connection will have already been adopted by Fr censorship. Dept’s position vis-à-vis European govts as to censorship matters has, of course, been weakened by cessation of Censorship activities in US and it is recognized that question of local censorship is one for indigenous govts to decide. It is hoped, however, that liberated govts will maintain censorship until such time as their internal controls are effective and that basic purposes sought by Dept’s aforementioned cirtel can be achieved.
Sent to Paris, repeated to Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo, Berlin and missions for Netherlands and Luxembourg.21