3. Letter From the Department of State Member of the Standing Committee (Trueheart) to the Chief of the Coordination, Operations, and Policy Staff of the Central Intelligence Agency (Childs)1

Dear Mr. Childs:

Reference is made to your memorandum of March 6, 1950, forwarding a draft interagency operating procedure for the proposed Watch Committee.2

As you are aware, we are in full accord with the Watch Committee idea. We believe, however, that the specific procedures outlined in [Page 5]the CIA proposal tend to obscure the method by which the Committee should operate and, indeed, the basic purpose for which the Committee needs to be established.

In considering procedures for the Watch Committee, it is important to bear in mind that a committee is not needed merely to effect an exchange of pertinent items of information. The unique feature of a committee—and the reason a committee is needed in this field—is that it provides a mechanism whereby all such items of information may be juxtaposed, compared with each other, discussed, and jointly evaluated by the members. Similarly, the committee structure permits joint consideration of the important question: What are the proper and significant categories of information (indicators) having a bearing on Soviet intentions to make war in the near future?

With this is mind we are submitting for your consideration a redraft of the agreement.3 While there are a number of minor changes, the most important adjustments we propose are designed to emphasize this deliberative aspect of the Committee’s work. I should be glad to discuss it with you in detail at your convenience.

I am sending copies of this letter to the other action addressees of your memorandum.4

Sincerely yours,

William C. Trueheart
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry, Job 80–R01731R, Box 43, Folder 7. Top Secret. A handwritten notation indicates a copy was sent to AD/ORE on March 30.
  2. Not found.
  3. The enclosure, entitled “Draft of Proposed Interagency Operating Procedure,” was not found.
  4. Not further identified.