75. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Dulles to the Deputy Director for Plans (Wisner) and the Acting Deputy Director of Administration of the Central Intelligence Agency1


  • Project PBSUCCESS
I have approved Project PBSUCCESS and the allocation of not to exceed $3,000,000 of funds available to the Agency for its support. The Comptroller is directed to make the necessary adjustments to charge any prior or current expenditures for this Project to this allocation and to credit back any withdrawals made from other allocations.
In view of the security aspects of this Project, I hereby authorize the Comptroller to make funds, within the above limitations, available to the Chief, WH Division, at his request and with the prior approval in writing of the DD/P or COP, in such amounts and to such persons as he may desire. The Chief, WH Division, will be the accountable officer for all funds so advanced and will be responsible for assuring that all expenditures are reasonable and necessary for the support of the Project [Page 156]and for obtaining such documentation and receipts for expenditures for these operations shall remain with the WH Division, and the Certifying Officers may accept the certification of the Chief, WH Division, that he has evidence to support the propriety and reasonableness of the expenditures and that they have been made for the official purposes of the Project.
The Auditor–in–Chief shall provide for periodic audits, not less than semiannually, under arrangements mutually satisfactory to himself and to the Chief, WH Division.
Allen W. Dulles2
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 167, Folder 6. Top Secret; Eyes Only. A series of memoranda attached to this memorandum track the PBSUCCESS planning process, including Documents 51, 65, and 67. Also attached is a “Report on Stage One,” dated December 15, drafted by [name not declassified] and approved by King. The report noted that the element of surprise had been lost and that the opposition consisted of 100 “top–flight” Communists who had been to the Soviet Union. In comparison the pro–Western forces included only two “more or less” untested leaders with liabilities: “Neither man is effectively controlled by PBSUCCESS to date, and achievement of control may be complicated by past financial largess on the part of CIA.” In addition, “Past security practices of both men have been poor.” The report also noted that the CIA had only limited capabilities in Guatemala: “The Station has no penetrations of the PGT, government agencies, armed forces, or labor unions.” Nevertheless, based on information from the Station in Guatemala, the “possible pool of passive supporters of anti–Communism” might total “perhaps 90%” of the politically active population, and that “there is recent evidence of widespread, if still latent, officer dissatisfaction with President Arbenz and the Communists.” The report concluded that it was “normal for revolution” to start with a few men, however, and posited four recommendations: “A. That the concept of proceeding on the basis of potential assets, rather than on the basis of existing assets, be approved; B. That, keeping in mind that the U.S. national interest, as defined by the National Security Council, requires a change of government in Guatemala, the TOP Operational Priority of PBSUCCESS be formally assured for at least six months; C. That definite, high–level accord be maintained that any Guatemalan or other charges of U.S. intervention will be met with positive U.S. denial based on factual or notional plausibility; D. That in view of the urgency and magnitude of the problem, early approval be granted to implement Stage Two, Plan of Operations, including the organizational concept and financial requirements.”
  2. Printed from a copy that indicates Dulles signed the original.