74. Memorandum for the Record1
Washington, November 28, 1953.
- Chief, WH Division and [name not declassified]
- Exploitation of Military Missions
- DD/P’s Memos to DDCI and DCI dtd 19 Nov and 20 Nov 53 Respectively2
- At a recent meeting in DD/P’s office3 (a record of which is in your files) General Balmer was asked to make necessary arrangements with Col. Brad Smith in Gen. Erskine’s office for a briefing of the chiefs of the Army mission and Air Force mission in Guatemala City for PBSUCCESS purposes.
- Gen. Balmer informed me yesterday “that he had run up against opposition on the working level in the Pentagon”. This opposition was particularly on the part of Army, whereas Air Force appeared more cooperative. According to Gen. Balmer “there was a marked reluctance on the part of certain Army officers in the Pentagon to have their military missions, or the heads of same, engaged in intelligence activities”. Gen. Balmer emphasized that this was strictly a “working level attitude” on the part of Army and suggested that we think the matter over and discuss the issue with DD/P without undue delay.
- I told Gen. Balmer that it was my off–hand impression that the Army perhaps was making too much of our intentions for the military missions in Guatemala as outlined in referenced DD/P memos. It is my belief that we are not trying to levy a heavy reporting responsibility on the missions in addition to their routine duties. But rather that we were asking members of the military missions to pay specific attention to information that they would in any case accumulate during their day–to–day liaison within Guatemalan military circles; the only difference being that they would make some relatively minor but perhaps exceedingly interesting contributions to the PBSUCCESS effort through (a) processing their local know–how to a certain degree, and by (b) assisting the American Ambassador in gauging the current attitudes of leading [Page 154]personalities as well as the rank and file within the Guatemalan Army at a time when relations between Guatemala and the United States were particularly sensitive.
- In any case Gen. Balmer wants PBSUCCESS officers to give some thought to this matter and have another discussion with DD/P before he (Gen. Balmer) did anything further regarding this issue.
- Gen. Balmer further stated that he had ascertained that both chiefs of Army and Air Force missions were due to be replaced in March, 1954. Their successors were already or would be shortly in preparatory training in Washington, D.C. or nearby military installations.
- I suggest that we discuss this thoroughly at our Monday morning staff meeting, 30 November 1953, and brief DD/P immediately thereafter.4
Hans V. Tofte5
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 151, Folder 8. Top Secret.↩
- Documents 69 and 70.↩
- Not further identified.↩
- A handwritten notation reads: “Handled with [initial not declassified]” and an arrow points to Tofte’s typed signature.↩
- Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.↩