Mr. E. Ralph Perkins,44 on Detail to the Embassy in London, to Mr. Fletcher Warren, Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Warren: An important letter was sent on January 20 by Mr. George L. Powell, Joint Chairman of the Grey List Panel45 of CIOS, to Mr. Howland Sargeant of the Special Areas Branch, F.E.A.46 in Washington, outlining a proposed organization for a Technical [Page 1100] Industrial Intelligence Branch in London to effectively put into operation for the American side of the Grey List Panel the listing and exploitation of intelligence targets in Germany. The Department will doubtless receive a copy of this plan through its representative on TIIC.47

In his covering letter Mr. Powell wrote:

“Also, you will note that we have not included Working Party “E” in the Technical Intelligence Branch. The reason for this is that we do not know to what extent TIIC is planning to coordinate intelligence targets for various U.S. Government agencies, such as the Department of State, Justice, Commerce, FEA, and the Library of Congress, etc., which are interested in Item 28 of the Black List, Sections 30, 31, and 32 of the Grey List.

However, it would be our suggestion, if only from the standpoint of good organization, that this field be coordinated under TIIC machinery rather than to have it coordinated by some other Government agency such as the State Department.”

Item 28 of the Black List, referred to above, is the section for “Documents and Personnel”. Sections 30, 31, and 32 of the Grey List are the groups to be covered by Working Party “E” and includes: (30) Business Institutions; (31) Governmental and Party Organizations; (32) Education, Religious Affairs, Fine Arts and Monuments. (See Target Categories for Grey List Panel annexed to Grey List Panel Minutes for meeting of January 19th, which will be forwarded to you with other CIOS Minutes48).

Mr. Powell’s suggestions are in line with those which I made in my memorandum to Mr. Allison of December 27th,49 forwarded to you in a letter from Mr. Daniel Hanley.50 If the whole range of intelligence in German Archives with respect to financial, economic, cultural and other activities in addition to those of a diplomatic and political nature is to be exploited, obviously there must be close cooperation between all the interested agencies in the selection of targets and the organization of teams to investigate them. That can much better be done at the base in Washington than it can be here.

I have discussed the situation with Mr. Allison and we are in agreement that he and I are not in a position to undertake the involved specialized work of taking a leading part in setting up and administering an organization for the collecting of intelligence from the wide range of governmental, party and business archives which it is contemplated will be covered by Working Party “E”. We feel that [Page 1101] the interests of the Department will be best served by organizing its own team to examine the major German diplomatic and political records, encouraging FEA, OSS51 and perhaps other agencies to undertake the survey of financial, economic, cultural and other archives for which they are probably better organized and staffed. OWI52 might be the best agency to study German propaganda records. I feel, however, that the Department should act promptly in determining the extent of its interests and making sure that they are covered either by its own representatives or by those of some other agency. A committee in Washington, such as Mr. Powell and I have suggested, would seem to serve that purpose, but, of course, it is not for us here to try to determine the organizational set-up in Washington.

At this end, I think it will be well for me to be a member of Working Party “E” of the Grey List Panel, but if practical to avoid becoming chairman or team organizer or deputy chairman or organizer. The work of the Grey List Panel here will probably continue after the collapse of Germany and I should be free to leave as promptly as possible for Berlin with the Department and Foreign Office teams. I should think that when the proposed German economic section is set up in the Embassy here, it should be in a position to play a leading part in the economic phases of CIOS work with respect to German archives.

I hope preparation in the Department for organizing a team to work with that of the Foreign Office is going forward so that when the big moment comes we will not be caught unprepared. The Foreign Office is at an advantage in that they are so much closer to the field of action. Their team members have been designated and are in consultation with the leader, Mr. Thomson, but can continue at their present assignments until called.

On January 16th Mr. Thomson and I discussed our plans with Mr. Hilary Jenkinson and other officers at the British Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Branch (Interior Division) Control Commission for Germany. I enclose a memorandum53 of the conversation sent to me by Mr. Jenkinson, which gives some indication of how our plans are developing, especially on the British side. It will be noted that the Foreign Office has provided for microfilming facilities. They believe they are in a position to do the work for both the British and American branches of our joint team, although they may wish to ask us for assistance in the form of securing materials, etc., should difficulties occur in the field. You will note in the memorandum mentioned above that the problem of clerical assistance has not been settled. [Page 1102] I raised the point, and there seems to be doubt whether we can depend on the military service for such aid.

Lieut. James S. Beddie, U.S.N.R. is anxious to join our team and I hope that the Department has done all it can to secure his assignment for that purpose. The fact that we are asking for the return of one of our own men whom we released to the Navy should be a strong point in favor of the proposal.54

I am enclosing a list of additional targets placed on the Black List at the proposal of the War Department.55 The State Department will also be interested in these targets and the interest of Military Intelligence suggests the possibility of securing assistance from that source in forming our team. It will be noted that three of the Foreign Office team are British Army officers, one at least, and perhaps all, being intelligence officers.

From now on I will occasionally write reports direct to you, as Mr. Allison is finding himself swamped with other work. We have been in complete agreement and I have felt that there was no occasion to present my views separately from his.

Sincerely yours,

E. R. Perkins
  1. E. Ralph Perkins, editor of Foreign Relations, was detailed on December 14, 1944, to the Embassy in London to serve as the Embassy’s deputy representative on the Combined Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee (CIOS), a committee of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and to arrange for cooperation between the Department of State and the British Foreign Office in respect to their interests in German captured archives. It was arranged to send to Germany Department of State and Foreign Office teams under the leadership of Mr. Perkins and Mr. Robert C. Thomson, respectively. These two teams were to work together as a unit. They were designated as CIOS teams, but worked under the direction of their respective agencies.
  2. Grey List Panel was created to deal with military, economic, and political targets of less urgency for exploitation than those designated for the Black List Panel.
  3. Foreign Economic Administration.
  4. Technical Industrial Intelligence Committee.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Memorandum to John M. Allison, Second Secretary of Embassy and Consul in London, not printed. Mr. Allison was the Embassy’s representative on CIOS.
  7. Senior Economic Analyst at Lisbon, at the time consulting in London.
  8. Office of Strategic Services.
  9. Office of War Information.
  10. Not printed.
  11. Lieutenant Beddie was a Navy intelligence officer with SHAEF. He was not transferred to the Department of State team.
  12. Not printed.