183. Report by the Operations Coordinating Board1

REPORT ON NSC 59/12 AND NSC 127/13

1. NSC 59/1, “The Foreign Information Program and Psychological Warfare Planning,” approved by the President March 19, 1950, has been largely superseded by subsequent directives, notably: Reorganization Plan No. 8,4 which established the United States Information Agency; the President’s letter of June 1, 1953, to heads of Executive [Page 508]Departments;5 and Executive Order No. 10483,6 which established the Operations Coordinating Board. The functions of the Psychological Operations Coordinating Committee, established pursuant to NSC 59/1, were transferred by the President by a special memorandum to the NSC dated September 3, 1953,7 to the Operations Coordinating Board. The POCC has been discontinued as a separate coordinating arrangement. OCB arrangements for former POCC functions are described in Annex “A”.8

2. The OCB has noted with approval certain interagency relationships and arrangements as indicated in Annex “A”. It is considered that these arrangements will serve the requirements of interdepartmental coordination of international information activities until such time and under such conditions of hostilities as the President may otherwise direct. In the event that the NSC in its consideration of over-all policy and organizational arrangements with respect to prescribed theaters of war determines that an information and psychological warfare arrangement may be required different from that set forth in Annex “A”, the OCB when directed by the NSC, will develop specific recommendations for its consideration.

3. NSC 127/1, approved by the National Security Council on July 24, 1952, NSC Action No. 657, concurred in a plan for conducting psychological operations during general hostilities submitted by the Psychological Strategy Board, subject to two modifications:

Overt information facilities and personnel in military theaters of operations were to be made available to the U.S. military commander designated by the JCS during a period of hostilities. Determination of the facilities and personnel so transferred and their later return were to be coordinated by the Psychological Strategy Board.
Subsequently, the responsibility for the determination was placed upon the organization established pursuant to NSC 59/1.

4. The President approved NSC 127/1 as a basis for emergency planning related to sudden general hostilities and directed that subsidiary plans and measures should provide maximum flexibility for the President in determining the ultimate organization required for full scale general hostilities.

5. NSC 127/1 was designed for a period of full mobilization or general hostilities and therefore did not apply to the hostilities in Korea. Subsequent to the approval of NSC 127/1, the President on March 12, 1953 assigned responsibility to the ODM and the Bureau of the [Page 509]Budget, under the coordination of the President’s Advisory Committee on Reorganization, for the development of a plan of organization for full mobilization required for general hostilities. No specific plan related to information and psychological warfare activities has yet been developed. The OCB apparently has no responsibility under NSC 127/1 for any aspects of this planning.

6. A PSB contingency plan, D–11b, “National Overt Propaganda Policy Guidance for General War,”9 is still in effect and will continue to be utilized as appropriate. The OCB will refer it for revision or other disposal by the appropriate authority as indicated by the plan of organization for full mobilization (par. 5 above) when provisions for information and psychological warfare activities have been developed and approved.


It is recommended:

7. That the NSC, recognizing that the organizational aspects of NSC 59/1 and NSC 127/1 are obsolete, rescind these papers without prejudice to the principles of operation and the responsibilities of departments and agencies to engage in psychological warfare and psychological warfare planning enunciated therein or elsewhere.

8. That the NSC note that the OCB serves as the body for dealing with requirements for interdepartmental coordination concerning overseas information and psychological warfare activities in carrying out NSC assignments or upon specific request by participating departments and agencies.

9. That the NSC note that the OCB developed, on an urgent basis, a detailed contingency plan for information and psychological warfare activities in Indochina and that the OCB will not develop any further detailed subsidiary plans of this type for designated areas unless so directed by the NSC.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 273, National Security Council Files, NSC 127/1. Secret. Attached to the report is OCB Acting Executive Officer George Morgan’s July 22 covering memorandum to NSC Executive Secretary Lay, which indicated that the Operations Coordinating Board approved the report on July 21. The report was forwarded to the National Security Council under cover of a July 23 memorandum from NSC Executive Secretary Lay. (Ibid.)
  2. Document 2.
  3. See Document 123.
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 2, pp. 1709 1711.
  5. Text in Public Papers: Eisenhower, 1953, pp. 351–354.
  6. Document 157.
  7. The memorandum is dated September 2; See Document 158.
  8. Entitled “Interagency Liaison with U.S. Information Agency,” dated June 28. Not printed.
  9. Not found.