Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Economic Resources and Security Staff (Wright) to the Special Assistant to the Counselor of the Department of State (Kirlin)


Subject: Meeting with Mr. Roy Bullock, Staff Member of the Special Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee

As arranged through your office on March 21, Mr. Bullock came to my office this morning to ask a number of questions concerning export controls and to outline briefly the type report he was to prepare for the use of the Battle Subcommittee. Mr. Bullock explained that the report should be completed by the middle of April and would be required to support any action the House Foreign Affairs Committee may take on H.E. 1939 and H.E. 1621 (to cut off financial and economic assistance to countries exporting “war material” to the Soviet Bloc).1

Mr. Bullock expressed special interest in ascertaining which part of the executive branch was responsible for the “grand strategy” in the field of economic relations with the Soviet Bloc, and what individual “master-minds” this East-West strategy. Although taking exception to Mr. Bullock’s phraseology, I indicated that this office has primary jurisdiction for policy formulation in the trade security field in consultation with other Government agencies. I did not mention the current discussion in the NSC for the creation of a high-level strategy board in the State Department. Should such a board be established, however, it would undoubtedly reduce the number of such questions by Congress.

Mr. Bullock emphasized that East-West trade is a “hot” political issue and that the Battle Subcommittee does not intend to “whitewash” existing United States and allied controls without careful investigation. In this connection, Mr. Bullock stated he felt there was [Page 1059] entirely too much secrecy concerning export controls. Mr. Bullock expressed particular interest in British, German, and Japanese controls.

In the course of this hour-long conversation, a considerable amount of confidential information similar to that given by Mr. Thorp in executive session was discussed with Mr. Bullock. In view of the nature of the conversation and future requests for information Mr. Bullock may make to this office, I would like to suggest, if you think it appropriate, that you attempt to arange with Congressman Battle for informal submission of Mr. Bullock’s report to the State Department in advance of distribution for review at least from a security standpoint.

  1. A Special Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Laurie C. Battle of Alabama, began executive hearings on March 5 in order to examine the two House bills under reference. For information concerning the report of the Special Subcommittee, subsequently known as the Battle Report, see the editorial note, p. 1176.