No. 611

Under Secretary’s Meetings, lot 53D250, Minutes

Record of the Under Secretary’s Meeting, February 2, 19511


[Here follows discussion of certain banking problems.]

Radio Free Europe

3. Mr. Barrett reported2 that the Committee for Free Europe started some time ago with informal assistance from the Department. [Page 1218] During the past few months it has not been too effective. However, General Smith has persuaded Mr. CD. Jackson, Editor of Fortune, to head the Committee, and it is now hoped that some progress will be made.

4. Radio Free Europe has only one small operating transmitter and this is located in Germany. It is expected that this transmitter will be enlarged in April and gradually most of the operations will be shifted to Europe. Mr. Barrett emphasized that it is important for the public impression to be preserved that Radio Free Europe, as well as the Committee, is independent. They operate with considerable leeway but we attempt to give them some guidance. Mr. Barrett urged that the Assistant Secretaries and their subordinates cooperate with the staff of the Committee for Free Europe. He pointed out that many things could be said by Radio Free Europe which we could not say since they do not openly reflect government policy.

Programming of Voice of America in Europe

5. Mr. Barrett reported that a survey mission, headed by Mr. Shouse, President of Crosley Radio Corporation, recently completed its work in surveying the facilities in Germany, Greece, and Austria. They strongly recommend that some of our broadcasts emanate from Munich to the satellites. They also recommend that Salonika be used later. This system of programming part of the Voice activities in Europe itself would have the obvious advantage of a clearer signal and being closer to the target area. With this new operation in Europe, obviously we must have some control here in Washington and it is planned that this could be accomplished through a direct teletype tieline to our European stations. This would also permit us to utilize defectors who cannot be brought to this country.

Internationalization of Information Activities

6. Mr. Barrett pointed out that we are attempting to internationalize some of our information activities. Some utilization has been made of local labor groups and others in the distribution and handling of information materials. Mr. Barrett felt that we should do a great deal more in this direction.

  1. The principal officers of the Department of State, or their alternates, met regularly, often several times a week, under the chairmanship of the Under Secretary of State, to consider important foreign policy problems. The following officers were present for this meeting: Webb, Howe (R), Barrett (P), Lewis (GER), Fisher (L), Hickerson (UNA), Scott (A), Jessup (S/A), Matthews (G), McFall (H), McGhee (NEA), Mann (ARA), Nitze (S/P), Bonbright (EUR), Thorp (E), and McWilliams (S/S). This record was presumably prepared by Sohm (S/S–S) who was also present for the meeting.
  2. Barrett’s report presumably followed the lines of his memorandum of January 24; see the attachment to Document 605.