INR files, lot 59 D 27, “Meeting Notes”

Notes on the Intelligence Advisory Committee Meeting, May 6, 1952 1

top secret

[Here follows discussion of the Fourth Progress Report on NSC 104/2, “US. Policies and Programs in the Economic Field Which May Affect the War Potential of the Soviet Bloc”; for text, see page 834. The minutes of the previous LAC meeting of April 24 were then amended and agreed to.]

3. Special Estimate 28: Consequences of the Future Revelation of the Contents of Certain Government Documents 2

General Smith began the discussion on the agenda item by revealing that the terms of reference are in fact different from those under which the Working Group considered the problem. He said that the President had asked CIA both to prepare an estimate, and also to undertake to recommend a sanitized version of the report for release, since it is virtually certain that the report will get out in one way or another. Among other things, the administration is considering placing the report before the full Judiciary Committees of the Senate and the House. Smith said that the CIA estimators were given instructions to word their estimate in such a way that intelligence will not suffer when the expected revelation is made. Smith said that the estimators had identified approximately 12 to 14 paragraphs as particularly injurious. He expressed his view that the preparers of the report (whom he referred to as “a peculiarly oriented minority group in the FTC”) have strongly implied in the way the report is written that private ownership and exploitation of natural resources in the manner revealed by the report is more dangerous to the American way of life than is anything emanating from the Soviet Union. It was the consensus of the meeting that (a) complete suppression of the report is impossible since it will unquestionably be leaked; (b) the official release of the complete report would be extremely injurious to U.S. interests in the Middle East and among our Western allies; and (c) the official release of a sanitized version, while damaging, is probably likely to result in slightly less harm. It was the consensus, further, that the release of [Page 1271] a sanitized version would probably suit the FTC’s and the Attorney General’s purposes since they will of course have, in addition, the unexpurgated edition. The following sentence was agreed upon for addition after paragraph two on page two: “The estimated adverse effects could be mitigated to a certain extent by withholding from general release certain of the more damaging paragraphs which provide political ammunition for groups in the Middle East operating contrary to U.S. interests.” It was also agreed that the final sentence under Scope in the estimate would have to be removed.3

The IAC agreed to the estimate as amended.

[Here follow discussion concerning the distribution to IAC members of CIA intra-agency studies and documents and a report by the Office of National Intelligence regarding the ownership of certain Greek ships.]

  1. Prepared by Howard Furnas of the Office of the Secretary of State’s Special Assistant for Intelligence.
  2. A copy of the approved text of SE–28, which dealt with the consequences of the future revelation of the “Report of the Federal Trade Commission on the International Petroleum Cartel,” was sent to President Truman under cover of a memorandum of May 8 from Director of Central Intelligence Smith. Both the covering memorandum and SE–28 are printed infra .
  3. No copy of the draft paper which was under consideration here was found in Department of State files.