CON files, lot 53 D 233, “Investigations, 1952”

Memorandum by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Administration (Scott) to the Administrator of the United States International Information Administration (Compton) 1

eyes only
  • Subject:
  • Investigation at Voice of America, New York City

Our Security people have reported the results obtained so far by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and SY 2 on certain charges and allegations made by employees of IBS.3

Since the IBS employees against whom allegations have been made were originally investigated by the FBI, the FBI was called in to make the appropriate inquiry. The FBI has reported on the basis of an initial investigation that most of the allegations concern administrative practices, with fewer charges bordering on disloyalty or suitability. The charges concerning disloyalty are, in [Page 1639] most part, allegations of deliberate tone-down and sabotage of Voice program content. Deliberate, skillful countering of U.S. objectives by choice of material and emphasis is alleged.

The FBI representative at New York stated that since their initial inquiry had indicated the greater percentage of the information was primarily State’s responsibility to investigate, it was the FBI’s desire that SY develop all information possessed by informants, and refer to the FBI only such data as would form the basis for an FBI investigation on loyalty.

As a result of Mr. Ford’s recent visit to New York, and from the results of SY’s inquiry to-date, it does appear that the greater percentage of the charges will concern administrative practices. However, there are a considerable number of allegations pertaining to moral deviation, security or loyalty. Some of the allegations on moral deviation have been proved true and the individuals involved have been dismissed. Other moral deviation allegations are currently under investigation.

For the purpose of conducting an investigation into the situation, four SY Agents have been assigned to New York to carry out the required interviews. The Agents are obtaining insofar as possible full signed statements from the persons interviewed. Information developed by SY during the investigation will be segregated into the following categories:

loyalty information to be furnished FBI for investigation.
information requiring further SY inquiry on security or suitability grounds.
information requiring administrative inquiry on policy or program questions.

I suggest you may wish to approach the investigation of these allegations of an administrative or policy nature by undertaking a thorough review of the content of questioned broadcast material, checking the selection of material, emphasis, et cetera. A study of this sort would have to cover a sufficient number of broadcasts to establish a clear case, which I realize would impose a considerable burden.

I suggest, therefore, that you designate Mr. Art Kimball to consult immediately with Mr. Ford concerning the findings of an administrative or policy nature which have been obtained so far, in order that Mr. Ford and Mr. Kimball may jointly recommend action to be taken in light of the investigation now in progress.

  1. Drafted by John W. Ford, Assistant Chief of the Division of Security, Bureau of Administration.
  2. Division of Security, Bureau of Administration.
  3. International Broadcasting Service, U.S. International Information Administration.