Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Claiborne Pell of the Office of Eastern European Affairs

Participants: S/P—Mr. Joyce1
EE—Mr. Reinhardt2
P—Mr. MacKnight3
CIA—Mr. Offie4
EE—Mr. Campbell5
RA—Mr. Holder6
EE—Mr. Pell


Mr. Joyce called a meeting to discuss the relationship to be established between the Department and Radio Free Europe.7

After a general exposé of Radio Free Europe, its origin, personnel and mission, Mr. Offie gave the following replies, which were concurred in by the other participants of the meeting, to an informal questionnaire that was being used as a basis of discussion.


Mr. Joyce will, on the policy level, act as the Department’s cut out with Radio Free Europe.

The Department will prepare a regular policy guidance for the American supervisory personnel of Radio Free Europe. This guidance will be used as the basic terms of reference by Radio Free Europe. Furthermore, Radio Free Europe will be open to any positive ideas that the Department may offer.

There will be a man at the working desk level who will be responsible that there will be no deviation from overall policy. Furthermore, the program will be recorded and translations will be given to the Department when requested.

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As presently conceived, the vast bulk of the material will come from unclassified (including wire services) and underground services. However, a small, but spicy percentage will be culled from official sources.

The Department of State is recognized as the senior clearance agency and, when an item is carried by State and one or more other government agencies, the item will be submitted to State for clearance.

As a general rule, State originated material that is used will be non-classified or restricted. There will be a few instances when more highly classified items will be used.

The responsibility for clearance rests with the geographic offices. The mechanics of clearance are to be worked out later at a meeting of the interested Departmental officers.

It was agreed that State-originated non-classified material may be used without further clearance.

It was further agreed that, for the time being, a detailed list of items desired by Radio Free Europe would not be sent out to the EE missions.

[Claiborne Pell]
  1. Robert P. Joyce, member of the Policy Planning Staff.
  2. G. Frederick Reinhardt, Deputy Director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs.
  3. James M. MacKnight, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.
  4. Carmel Offie of the Central Intelligence Agency.
  5. John C. Campbell, Officer in Charge of Balkan Affairs, Office of Eastern European Affairs.
  6. Oscar C. Holder of the Office of European Regional Affairs.
  7. Radio Free Europe was established in December 1949 as a division of the National Committee for a Free Europe, a private organization created in June 1949 to find occupations for Eastern European exiles and to facilitate broadcasts by these exiles to the peoples of Eastern Europe. For documentation on the attitude of the U.S. Government toward the National Committee for a Free Europe, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. v, pp. 277 ff. Transmission of Radio Free Europe broadcasts began in July 1950 from a transmitter located in Western Germany. For an account of the origins of Radio Free Europe, see Robert T. Holt, Radio Free Europe (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1958).