19. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Communications Intelligence Board (Armstrong) to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Lay)1


  • Communications Intelligence Requirements and Mobilization
At its Fifty-third meeting, 14 July 1950, the United States Communications Intelligence Board (USCIB) reviewed the status of the United States communications intelligence effort in the face of the world situation.
The members of the Board agreed unanimously that:
the total communications intelligence requirements of the United States at this time transcend the specific requirements springing solely out of the Korean problem;
the present scale of communications intelligence effort falls far short of meeting total requirements or even of enabling the United States to exploit available communications information to its full potential;
the intensification of the effort to meet even current requirements can be accomplished only slowly because of the time factor involved in obtaining the indispensable security clearances of added personnel and in constructing the complex physical apparatus required;
for the foregoing reasons, the expansion of the communications intelligence effort must be started now;
partial mobilization in the communications intelligence field should be undertaken on a selective basis immediately.
In view of the above, the United States Communications Intelligence Board recommends to the National Security Council that as a matter of urgency:
the National Security Council recognize that expansion of the United States communications intelligence effort is required and at the earliest possible moment;
the National Security Council recommend to the President that the member departments and agencies of the United States Communications Intelligence Board be authorized to intensify without delay the communications intelligence effort by proceeding with the selective [Page 23] mobilization of reserves in this specialized field and with a general expansion of other personnel and equipment.2
For the United States Communications Intelligence Board:
W. Park Armstrong, Jr.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, NSC Intelligence Directives. Top Secret. Lay circulated the memorandum to the NSC the next day. (Ibid.)
  2. The Intelligence Advisory Committee approved the recommendation, adding that “intensification” should apply to the entire intelligence structure, not just communications intelligence. Hillenkoetter informed NSC Executive Secretary Lay of this action in a memorandum of August 8, and Lay in turn informed the members of the NSC in a memorandum the same day. Both memoranda are ibid. The President approved the USCIB recommendation on July 27 in NSC Action No. 322. (Truman Library, President’s Secretary File)
  3. Printed from a copy that indicates Armstrong signed the original.