PSB files, lot 62 D 333, “Record of Meeting”

No. 726
Memorandum of Informal Meeting of the Psychological Strategy Board on July 8, 1953, by the Acting Director of the Psychological Strategy Board (Morgan)

top secret

Place: Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense


  • Messrs. Jackson, Smith, Kyes, Dulles, Stassen and Morgan.
[Page 1614]

Agenda Item 1. Report from the Under Secretary of State on the Advisability of Food Relief for East Germany

The Board approved the plan1 to ship food to Eastern Germany developed by an inter-agency working group chaired by Mrs. Eleanor Dulles, subject to changes noted in sub-paragraphs b, d, and f, below. Principal features of the plan are:

That Ambassador Conant be instructed to suggest to Chancellor Adenauer that his request for food be addressed directly to the President.
That the President reply to Adenauer along the lines of the draft which has been prepared by the working group, except that synagogues be mentioned along with Catholic and Protestant churches as suggested distribution agencies if appropriate to conditions in East Germany. A direct approach to the Soviet Government which is proposed in the draft reply is believed to be most suitable under the circumstances.
That the bulk of food be taken from U.S. agricultural surpluses in this country, supplemented by surplus Army C-rations now available in Europe, and possibly some food from the Vienna stockpile.
That the distribution should be through the German churches (and synagogues if appropriate, as stated above), but that “charitable organizations” not be mentioned for this purpose lest the Soviet Government seize this opportunity to utilize communist fronts.
That appropriate members and committees of Congress be consulted.
That the British and French Ambassadors in Washington be informed, but that endorsement of their governments should not be requested because of the probable delays involved.
That the inter-agency working group which developed the plan be assigned action on it.

Mr. Stassen agreed to make funds available and to assign a project manager to superintend operations. Mr. Kyes offered to make military air transport available to fly in at least some initial shipments of food for spectacular effect. He asked me to let him know what specific requests were to be made along this line and also with regard to amounts and destinations of surplus Army C-rations.

[Here follow discussion of sending a Presidential representative to the Perry Centennial Celebration in Japan and several remarks on other business.]