S/SNSC files, lot 66 D 95, “Jackson Committee”

Memorandum by Howland H. Sargeant to the Under Secretary of State (Smith) 1

top secret
  • Subject:
  • Chapter Seven of the Jackson Committee Report2

At the July 2 NSC meeting, Chapter Seven of the Jackson Committee Report, “Organization for a More Unified Effort”, will be discussed.3 If Chapter Seven recommendations are approved, the necessary Executive Order will be prepared and issued.

The eleven recommendations are set out concisely on pages 102–103.4 It is recommended that the Department approve these recommendations.


1. The recommended Operations Coordinating Board follows the pattern already discussed informally by you with the President and others. OCB’s main task would be to coordinate departmental execution of national security policies. OCB would replace PSB for assuring coordination between the foreign information program and covert activities, and would assume POC functions as well. OCB would take over the “follow-up” responsibility now vested in the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs.

2. Abolitions: the PSB; the POC; the Consultants Group established under NSC 10/2.

. . . . . . .

4. Relationship of these Recommendations to Reorganization Plans 7 and 8: 5

Recommendations 1, 2, 4, 5 and 10 have some bearing on the President’s proposals embodied in Reorganization Plans 7 and 8. Since the letter of Mr. William H. Jackson, of May 2 to the President [Appendix III—p. 114]6 had anticipated some of the problems that would arise in connection with the plans that were then being [Page 1876] recommended by the Rockefeller Committee,7 most of the problems are adequately taken care of. Although the Jackson Committee Report makes it quite clear that the Committee itself would have preferred a consolidation of foreign operating programs within an expanded Department of Foreign Affairs, Recommendation No. 10 quite appropriately takes the position, in view of the reorganization plans approved and forwarded by the President, that the Committee will make no recommendation on this point. Specifically:

Abolition of the Psychological Strategy Board—this in no way conflicts with the understandings or with the specific language of the President’s reorganization proposals embodied in the various documents which accompanied Plans 7 and 8.
The Committee’s criticism of giving to the Secretary of State the responsibility for “a program” setting forth official United States positions for use abroad was taken care of in the final revision of the reorganization papers and the existing language of Reorganization Plan No. 8 seems completely in accord with the Jackson Committee Recommendation. (This language is: “The Secretary of State shall direct the policy and control the content of a program, for use abroad, on official United States positions….”)
The recommendation to abolish the Psychological Operations Coordinating Committee and to transfer its function to the OCB and the staff of the OCB would require the President to modify the instruction contained in his June 1 letter to the Heads of all Executive Departments, which reads as follows: “I am directing that the necessary changes be made in existing arrangements for Government-wide coordination of foreign information activities to enable the Director of the United States Information Agency to serve as Chairman of the Psychological Operations Coordinating Committee”.

The Department has no objection to the functions of the POC being made an OCB responsibility. We should be clear, however, that these functions are those set out in NSC 59/1 and NSC 127/18 for the POC, and that the recommendation does not affect the Secretary of State’s responsibility for the formulation of national psychological warfare policy in time of national emergency or war.

  1. Sargeant, who had served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs from February 1952 to January 1953, was at this time attached to the office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Administration. Walter Bedell Smith had succeeded David K.E. Bruce as Under Secretary of State on Feb. 9, 1953.
  2. For Chapter Seven of the Jackson Committee Report, June 30, see p. 1853.
  3. The pertinent portion of the memorandum of discussion at the 152d meeting of the National Security Council, July 2, is printed infra.
  4. Reference is to the original pagination of the report; for text of the recommendations, see p. 1873.
  5. For documentation on Reorganization Plan No. 7, see vol. i, Part 1, pp. 628 ff. For information on Plan No. 8, see the editorial note, p. 1709.
  6. Brackets in the source text. Reference is to the original pagination of the report; for text of the letter, see p. 1868.
  7. Reference is to the President’s Advisory Committee on Government Organization, Nelson A. Rockefeller Chairman.
  8. NSC 127/1, “Plan for Conducting Psychological Operations During General Hostilities”, July 25, 1952, is not printed. (S/SNSC files, lot 63 D 351, NSC 127 Series)