The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, under the direction of the General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg first promulgated official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which was signed by President George H.W. Bush on October 28, 1991, established a new statutory charter for the preparation of the series. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded. The editors are convinced that this volume meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a retrospective subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that fills in gaps in the volumes of the Truman and Eisenhower subseries. At the time the Truman and Eisenhower volumes were prepared, the Office of the Historian did not have access to documents related to intelligence. This is the second volume that documents the institutional foundations of the relationship between [Page IV] foreign policy and intelligence. The first, Foreign Relations, 1945–1950, Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment, was published in 1996. This volume is a sequel, and it will be followed by a third volume with the same focus, covering the years 1956–1960. After 1960, the Foreign Relations volumes for the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon-Ford subseries include a chapter on intelligence and foreign policy in their volumes on the organization and management of foreign policy, thus negating the need for separate retrospective volumes.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1950–1955, Development of the Intelligence Community

This volume is organized along chronological lines in one large chapter covering 1950–1955, and a second chapter that includes the key National Security Council Intelligence Directives of the period. The volume documents the institutional growth of the intelligence community during the first half of the 1950s. When Lt. General Walter Bedell Smith took over as Director of Central Intelligence in October 1950, he inherited an agency that was widely believed to have been unable to establish itself as the central institution of the U.S. intelligence community. Utilizing his great prestige, and a national security directive from President Truman, Smith established the multiple directorate structure within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that has continued to this day, brought the clandestine service into the CIA, and worked to effect greater inter-agency coordination through a strengthened process to produce National Intelligence Estimates. The exponential growth of the national security establishment and of the intelligence community was due to the impact of two factors: NSC 68 (a clarion call for more active containment of the Soviet Union) and the Korean War. The Central Intelligence Agency was called upon to expand the clandestine service, and the intelligence community was required to provide better and more definitive intelligence on the Soviet bloc and China. When Allen Dulles took over as Director of Central Intelligence in February 1953, these pressures continued. By 1955, the general consensus of two commissions appointed by President Eisenhower to review the intelligence effort was that the clandestine service had grown too rapidly and was plagued by poor management. In general, the commission implied that the clandestine service’s growth had come at the expense of the agency’s intelligence analysts.

This volume presented the editors with documentary challenges. The documents used to compile this volume were unique by Foreign Relations standards. Rather than documenting the formulation of foreign policy decisions or important diplomatic negotiations, this volume is a record of high-level policy plans, discussions, administrative decisions, and managerial actions that transformed the intelligence community from its somewhat shaky establishment into a community [Page V] that collected intelligence worldwide; provided extensive analysis of that intelligence for policy makers; and carried out covert operations, as approved by the United States Government, on a global scale. The intelligence community under President Eisenhower in 1955 was a much more significant player and a more robust bureaucracy than it was under President Truman in the late 1940s. This volume documents that growth and development.

In preparing this volume, the editors sought to limit their selection of documents to those dealing with national intelligence coordination, planning, and policies. The editors did not seek to document the planning and implementation of specific intelligence operations, or to document the impact of intelligence appraisals upon specific foreign policy decisions or negotiations. Intelligence reports, estimates, and analyses dealing with particular regions, countries, or issues have not been included. The important intelligence operations of the Truman and Eisenhower years, missing in the coverage of Foreign Relations for 1945–1960, are covered in other retrospective volumes. The first, Guatemala, 1952–1954, was published in 2003. Others will follow.

The preparation of this volume raised special problems since many of the intelligence documents for 1950–1955 have been destroyed, or were widely scattered in multiple archival holdings. Documents were hard to locate because of the shifting and rapid growth of various intelligence organizations. It became obvious that some important decisions were probably reached without written records having been made. Still, this volume presents an extensive collection of documents that will go a long way to demonstrate the growth of the intelligence community during the key period 1950–1955. That growth and development was not without growing pains, as the documents reveal.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the date and time of the conversation, rather than the date a memorandum was drafted. Documents chosen for printing are authoritative or signed copies, unless otherwise noted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor. The documents are reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents within the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the original text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently [Page VI] corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the documents are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the original text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount and, where possible, the nature of the material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed with headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. All brackets that appear in the original text are so identified in footnotes. With the exception of Presidential recordings transcribed in the Office of the Historian by the editor(s) of the volume, all ellipses are in the original documents.

The first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

The numbers in the index refer to document numbers rather than to page numbers.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. The Advisory Committee does not necessarily review the contents of individual volumes in the series, but it makes recommendations on issues that come to its attention and reviews volumes, as it deems necessary to fulfill its advisory and statutory obligations.

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Declassification Review

The Office of Information Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, conducted the declassification review for the Department of State of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12958, as amended, on Classified National Security Information and other applicable laws.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security, as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments. The declassification review of this volume, which began in 2002 and was completed in 2006, resulted in the decision to withhold 18 documents in full, excise a paragraph or more in 28 documents, and make minor excisions of less than a paragraph in 35 documents.

The Office of the Historian is confident, on the basis of the research conducted in preparing this volume and as a result of the declassification review process described above, that notwithstanding the number of denied and excised documents, the record presented in this volume presented here provides an accurate and comprehensive account the development of the intelligence community, 1950–1955.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at National Archives and Records Administration for their assistance in providing access to documents at the Truman and Eisenhower Presidential Libraries. David Haight at the Eisenhower Library was particularly helpful. The History Staff of the Center for the Study of Intelligence was extremely cooperative in assisting the editors in collecting relevant documents from Central Intelligence Agency files. Michael Warner, then Deputy Historian of the History Staff, was so instrumental in the production of this volume that he is listed as a co-editor. Special thanks to David Hatcher, Historian at the National Security Agency, and the historian at the Defense Intelligence Agency, who provided advice and key documents from their agencies.

The retrospective volumes on the organization and development of the intelligence community during the Truman and Eisenhower years was the brainchild of Neal Petersen, a long time editor of Foreign Relations and an expert on intelligence history. Petersen retired from the Office of the Historian before the first volume on the Establishment of the Intelligence Community was published in 1996, but the idea and [Page VIII] basic concept was his. Douglas Keene and Michael Warner selected and annotated this volume under the supervision of David S. Patterson, then General Editor of the Foreign Relations series. The current General Editor, Edward C. Keefer, oversaw the final revisions and production of the volume. Susan Weetman and Dean Weatherhead coordinated the declassification of the volume and, with Edward Keefer and Renée Goings, prepared extensive declassification appeals which resulted in significantly more documentation being released. Florence Segura and Carl Ashley did the copy and technical editing. Caroline Sapp revised and updated the name list. Juniee Oneida prepared the index.

Bureau of Public Affairs

December 2007

Marc J. Susser

The Historian