511.00/3–653: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Posts 1


931. Following is InfoGuide Bulletin 287:

Stalin : In light Moscow announcement new governmental organization following death Stalin,2 all US information output on subject overall, in addition to reporting factually hard news of developments and backgrounding personalities involved with suitable biographical material, should concentrate on following themes, developed in form of insistent questioning:

Is Malenkov competent to succeed Stalin, in terms political experience, ideological leadership, and party and state authority and control? Malenkov’s whole personality and record shows he no Stalin No. Two.
Are party seniors now subordinated to Malenkov going to reconcile themselves to present relative positions in new governmental party structure; to seeing Malenkov sitting in Stalin’s chair? May not period of another struggle for power be expected?

For subsidiary themes, those outlined Department Circular Telegram 925 (Infoguide Bulletin 285) of March 5, still stand, except for obviously outdated portion FYI section and themes relating to “succession”.

It should be emphasized that it continues be our major objective to sow doubt, confusion, uncertainty about new regime not only [Page 1685] among both Soviet and satellite elites and masses, but among local Communist parties outside Soviet Union.

  1. Drafted by Montgomery and Huyler; cleared in draft by McCardle, Pratt, and Connors; in substance byPhillips and Bohlen; and approved by Montgomery. Distribution was same as for circular telegram 925, supra.
  2. See the editorial note, p. 290.