Memorandum of Conversation, Prepared in the Department of State 1
Subject: State–ECA Information Program.
|S. S. Marlowe|
The ECA position on our proposal to merge its information program with ours apparently crystallized during the week and was clearly announced. That position is, briefly, that ECA believes that it is vital to the success of their economic aid programs that they be supported by aggressive and effective propaganda. Further ECA does not believe that the State Department as it is presently constituted (taking into account traditions, personnel policies, caliber and type of personnel, Washington-field relationships and organization) is able to operate as effective a propaganda program as ECA does and that therefore a merger of the two programs would mean that they would lose the propaganda support they feel they need.
Mr. Drummond went so far as to say that he would favor a merger of the ECA Information Program with that of USIE if USIE were divorced from the State Department and set up an independent agency. [Page 912] Neither Mr. Berding or Mr. Bellows made themselves completely clear on this point.2
- This unsigned memorandum was apparently written by Marlowe.↩
- A further meeting was held on January 29 between Barrett; Charles M. Hulten, General Manager of the USIE; Drummond; and Berding. Barrett reported in a brief memorandum of that date that they had agreed in principle to some definitions of the functions of the ECA information program and had agreed to ask the Bureau of the Budget or another third party to determine whether or not the two programs should be merged (Barrett Files, Lot 52 D 432). A study of the two programs was made later in the year by the Bureau of the Budget as part of an assignment by President Truman to examine the relationship between the State Department and the ECA. Its conclusions, summarized in an October 1 memorandum from George F. Schwarzwalder and E. B. Strait to William F. Finan, all of the Bureau, were that the existence of two programs was not only justifiable but beneficial, but that the Department of State should assume leadership in developing plans for a comprehensive and coordinated information program encompassing both State Department and ECA information activities (A/MS Files, Lot 54 D 291, USIA file).↩