Truman Library, Spingarn papers, FTC International file

The Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (Mead) to the President


Dear Mr. President: I refer to your letter of June 5, 1952,1 requesting that the Federal Trade Commission not make public at that time the report prepared by its staff on the International Petroleum Cartel because of your belief that the publication of the report at that time would have an adverse effect on national security. I replied to your letter on June 122 to advise you that the Commission would, of course, accede to your request.

More than two months have now elapsed since you wrote us on this matter. During this period, our staff has made a number of revisions in the draft report submitted to the White House, on the basis of which you wrote your June 5 letter. Some of these changes have been editorial in character and others have been made to incorporate more up-to-date material in the staff report. The foregoing changes have already been accomplished by the substitution of corrected pages in the copies of the staff report previously sent to the White House.

We now have also given attention to the security considerations mentioned in your June 5 letter and the Central Intelligence Agency’s Special Estimate of May 83 which accompanied your letter. An attempt has been made to meet those security considerations by certain proposed deletions and revisions in the staff report. I enclose as Attachment A, dated August 15, 1952, a draft of the deletions and revisions which we suggest for this purpose.4

The purpose of this letter is to inquire whether, in view of the passage of time and any possible changes in the circumstances which may have prompted your letter of June 5, you would feel it appropriate to authorize the publication of the staff report at this time with the deletions and revisions specified in the Attachment. [Page 1281] By direction of the Commission.

Sincerely yours,

Jas. M. Mead
  1. Ante, p. 1275.
  2. Chairman Mead’s reply of June 12 is not printed, but see footnote 2 to the President’s letter, p. 1276.
  3. SE–28, “Consequences of the Future Revelation of the Contents of Certain Government Documents,” p. 1272.
  4. Not printed. This 3-page attachment, entitled “Proposed Deletions and Acceptable Amendments in Staff Report of the Federal Trade Commission on the ‘International Petroleum Cartel’”, contained 23 items with reference to a total of 71 pages of the 912 pages in the unpublished version of the report. Located in the Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Industrial Economics files, is a 7-page undated paper, entitled “List of Deletions and Amendments to the Report on the International Petroleum Cartel,” which lists the same items and gives page references to both the unpublished and published versions of the report. Attached to this paper are copies of the 71 pages in question from the unpublished report showing the material deleted or amended.