PSB files, lot 62 D 333, PSB D–18 Series
Paper Prepared by the Psychological
Strategy Board Panel on the Escapee Program1
Psychological Operations Plan for Soviet Orbit Escapees
To determine the best means under existing policy to employ, resettle, and care for current escapees from the Soviet orbit or its control.2
purpose of the study
- At its fourth meeting the Psychological Strategy Board took the action set forth in Annex 1.
- Pursuant to the Board’s direction, a panel was established on November 2, consisting of representatives of Department of State, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the NATO Standing Group, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force, CIA, the Mutual Security Agency, and the Bureau of the Budget. The Assistant Director of PSB’s Office of Coordination acted as steering member.
In the light of the initial panel discussion, the PSB staff determined that the total problem, which the Board had considered, must be separated into two parts, each of which required separate study.3 These separate studies are:
- A study to determine the best means, under existing policy, to employ, resettle, and care for current escapees from the Soviet orbit.
- In the light of national psychological strategy, to evaluate all existing policies and programs and to make recommendations for new policies and programs, . . . .
It was further determined that an issue to be covered in the course of both of these studies is the extent to which it will be desirable and necessary for the Board to recommend recourse to the hundred million dollars, authorized for expenditure for these purposes from MSA funds under the so-called Kersten Amendment to the Mutual Security Act of 1951.4
- The report which follows deals with the first of these two studies. It sets forth what is known of the character and numbers of current escapees. It describes existing programs and facilities for their employment and handling, and it recommends action to be taken to improve their treatment.
- The second of the two problems will be considered concurrent with further progress in the formulation of a strategic concept and plans which should provide a framework of requirements for the use of escapees and of persons residing behind the Iron Curtain.
statement of facts
Dimensions of the Escapee Problem
- The number of escapees to be handled during the calendar year 1952 is estimated for the purposes of this study at 18,000. Included in this number are 12,000 persons who fled the Soviet orbit from 1945 to 1951 and for whom no previous disposition has been made. Based on the flow during 1951, it is estimated that 6,000 more will cross the Curtain during 1952. Although this number is considered reasonable for planning purposes, it might increase during 1952, as a result of: (1) the psychological effect of better handling; (2) a more favorable power position of the West in relation to the USSR; . . . .
- In order of importance, the existing points of escape have been and presumably will continue to be Western Germany, Berlin, Western Austria, Trieste and Greece. Sixty-five percent or more of these escapees will, on the basis of past experience, come across into Western Germany and Western Austria.
Existing Facilities for Handling of Escapees
- Inter-government Migration Programs.
In November a Provisional Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe was established in Brussels. This Committee intends to arrange the resettlement of 115,000 migrants and for this purpose will utilize the 15 ships converted for migration purposes by the IRO.5 Although principally concerned with the problem of alleviating surplus populations in Europe, the Committee’s charter is broad enough to provide for movement overseas of Soviet orbit escapees. However, the Committee will probably concern [Page 162] itself only with escapees who are capable of resettlement, and it is not expected that escapees who are of lesser interest for reasons of security, political background, health, language, or lack of required skills will be migrated under the program. None the less, since the U.S. has contributed ten million dollars to the Committee’s thirty-four million dollar budget, and since the Director of the Committee will probably be a citizen of the United States, it is likely that the Department of State can influence the Committee’s action in directions which will assist in solving escapee problems.
Assuming that support of the Migrant Committee envisaged in this study is effected, it is estimated that during 1952, in conjunction with other programs, 14,000 of the 18,000 escapees will be resettled under the program.
- Assistance by European Governments and
Absorption into Local Economies.
- Virtually all escapees pass, at one time or another, through existing camps and/or hospitals maintained by Western European governments or U.S. public and private organizations. These facilities are generally inadequate and morale is low. While the majority of persons entering these camps are ultimately absorbed, about 400 per year can not for reasons of health, age and security be adequately disposed of. Present handling of this group is entirely inadequate.
- In addition, approximately 1200 escapees each year are absorbed into the economies of local Western European countries. These individuals usually have special skills, knowledge of language and often have relatives in Western Europe. Some of them are absorbed after a period of training and indoctrination.
- Capabilities of the United States Voluntary
- Fifteen United States private organizations contribute several million dollars annually to the relief and welfare of displaced persons and refugees. Much of this has been carried out by Jewish, Catholic and other religious welfare organizations. All private United States organizations in 1951 spent approximately 3½ million dollars for the care and resettlement of approximately 6,000 escapees. These private organizations received considerable assistance through the facilities of the IRO, which will be replaced in part by the Committee formed at Brussels. It is estimated that the private organizations with existing funds and facilities could significantly aid in the care and resettlement of 5,000 escapees during 1952.
Exploitation by United States Government.
. . . . . . .
- Lodge Bill: The Lodge Bill passed in 19506 and amended in 1951 authorizes the enlistment in the United States Army of 12,500 [Page 163] unmarried aliens. During 1950, no escapees were enlisted. During 1951, 113 had been enlisted, 97 of whom are presently training in the United States. Four thousand escapees have applied for enlistment and of these 1500 are in the process of security screening. Under the program as it is now being administered by the Army, it is unlikely that a significant number of the 18,000 escapees will be enlisted in the United States Army during 1952.
Other Capabilities of the U.S. Government.
Under the Mutual Security Act in the Kersten Amendment, Congress authorized $100,000,000 which can be drawn upon for utilization in the problem of escapees. Congress apparently intended that these funds should be used primarily for training and equipping escapee forces to be added to NATO, rather than for the care of escapees. However, the authorization is sufficiently broad to permit the utilization of a portion of these funds for the latter purpose in the implementation of the program contemplated in this study. MSA and the Department of Defense may feel that this authorization is in fact a requirement for the use of some of these funds for the first purpose and it will be recommended that programs of this character be considered in the second PSB study.
discussion and conclusions
- It is estimated that some 13–15,000 escapees can be resettled through the Migrant Committee aggressively encouraged by the U.S. and with maximum support of voluntary agencies. Some 2,000–2,500 can be absorbed into the indigenous facilities of Europe; the Lodge Bill, while it will, under present programs, absorb less than 300, has a considerably larger authorization.… While it is recognized that these programs can only satisfy those requirements if they are fully coordinated, adequately financed, and aggressively administered, it is apparent that the programs are capable of absorbing the expected flow of escapees.
- While it is possible that the psychological effect of adequate handling of these escapees will increase the flow, it is equally likely the Communists will increase the severity of repressive measures and that this will reduce the rate of escape. However, if the flow should increase there is sufficient flexibility in the programs envisaged above to absorb some increase if they are carried out as recommended. It is therefore concluded that there is little risk that these programs will require extensive modifications or great expansion during the foreseeable future.
- It is concluded, therefore, that the main problem to be solved in connection with escapees are those of organization, control, financing, administration and coordination. Despite the existence of [Page 164] IRO, there has never been an international or national or private organization with the authority and capacity to deal with the escapee problem as a whole. With the end of IRO and the expansion of U.S.… programs, the establishment of an adequate agency with such authority has become critical. It is clearly necessary to center the total coordinating and administrative responsibility in one organization and provide it with the authority and funds necessary to carry out the job.
- Such an organization should be capable of insuring or arranging the employment, resettlement, or care of all escapees from the Soviet orbit who are not otherwise used and at the same time should be capable of providing certain necessary services to assist U.S. operating programs. It should be capable of rapid creation and should be insured of the necessary funds and an experienced staff.
- Specifically, this program should be responsible for:
- Cooperation with foreign governments to assist them in the collection and registration of escapees. All escapees should be grouped and maintained in suitable government reception centers. U.S. Government officials should assist in the registration and allocation of escapees, for the purposes of insuring maximum migration and local absorption and in order to screen all qualified escapees for placement in U.S. operational programs. European governments will cooperate with U.S. officials in these efforts because they are anxious to have the escapees disposed of.
- Arrangements for the provision of supplemental care and maintenance. Provision of immediate and interim care and maintenance at the present inadequate and minimum level carried out by local governments should continue. However, in order to raise the standards of this care to adequate levels an average of 150 per annum must be provided by the U.S. program. Officials administering the program should provide necessary coordination of U.S. private refugee organizations to insure maximum supplemental care from those sources in the form of additional food, clothing, medical supplies, legal advice and other material assistance to give escapees best possible care.
Arrangements to use available funds for part of overseas transportation costs of the ships provided by the Migrant Committee. The cost of emigration transportation for the majority of individuals under the Migrant Committee program will normally be charged to the receiving governments. In order to insure the handling of a maximum number of escapees, however, the escapee program should provide for the subsidization of a major part of the transportation costs for escapees.
It is considered that if the program provided three-fourths of this cost, sufficient inducement would be provided so that the receiving governments would give special consideration to accepting escapees on a priority basis. Full cooperation of private organizations in the refugee field should be sought to the end that they finance the transportation of as many escapees as possible with their own funds. It is important that the escapee program arrange the necessary [Page 165] screening of skills and job qualifications and other processing steps connected with resettlement so that qualified escapees can be brought to the attention of receiving governments as rapidly as possible.
- Provide special consideration to insure the adequate care and employment of escapees who cannot be migrated. This is the responsibility of the local governments. However, special assistance will be required in situations which the local governments are not handling adequately. U.S. counterpart funds will be required as an added inducement for the local governments to absorb escapees into their own economies. Private refugee organizations should also be persuaded to give special consideration to those cases for which they have special qualifications, such as escapees requiring hospitalization and old age care. There will also be a group of escapees involving criminals and political security cases who will have to be given special attention under this program in order to avoid undesirable psychological repercussions. These people will not be capable of normal migration nor will they be welcomed by the local economies.
- Excluding the cost of programs for direct U.S. Government use of escapees (such as the Lodge Bill) and excluding the cost of care provided by local governments, it is estimated that the remaining expenses to care for and resettle escapees in 1952 will be approximately $7,200,000. This budget is admittedly generous and provides for considerably better care than has been provided by IRO. The budget breakdown is as follows: (a) $3,500,000 for inland and overseas transportation; (b) $2,700,000 for care and maintenance in Europe; (c) $1,000,000 for administrative expenses. This would provide for care and maintenance at a standard of living equal to the particular Western European country to which the escape is made. It would also provide for the full cost of transportation for those escapees who are migrated.
[Here follows numbered paragraph 7, a four-page discussion of which agencies or organizations could best administer the escapee program.]
- It is recommended that the Psychological Strategy Board:
Request the State Department:
- To accept the responsibility of administering the escapee program outlined in this study.
- To develop and put into effect as a matter
of urgency an operational plan under which the
functions set forth in Section IV, paragraph 5
will be carried out. Among other actions this plan
should provide for: [Page 166]
- The necessary administrative action, both in Washington and in the field.
- Coordination with other U.S. Government departments and agencies to insure that adequate facilities are provided for the screening of all escapees for employment in the several U.S. psychological, operational or intelligence programs.
- Periodic reports to the PSB on the implementation of this program.7
. . . . . . .
- Request the Department of Defense:
- To request the Department of the Army to liberalize the conditions under which escapees may be recruited under the authorization of the Lodge Bill and to take all feasible steps to expand such recruiting.
- Request the Mutual Security Agency:
- To cooperate with the Department of State in planning and programming for the necessary use of an estimated $2 million of counterpart and GARIOA funds.
- To provide an estimated $4,300,000 of the funds authorized by the Kersten Amendment for utilization in effecting the implementation of the escapee program.
- Request the Director of the PSB:
- To insure that arrangements be made under which the necessary interdepartmental coordination of this program will be effected.
- To undertake the continuing evaluation of the effectiveness of this program as a matter of national psychological interest.
- To continue with the immediate preparation of the additional studies and recommendations authorized in the 4th meeting of the PSB.
- In addition to the paper and annex printed here, PSB D–18/a included a cover sheet on which it was noted that the PSB approved this guidance paper at its sixth meeting on Dec. 20. The code name for this operation was Engross; PSB D–18/a was Phase A of this plan.↩
- For the purpose of this paper, escapees are those persons from the territory or control of the USSR, the Baltic States, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Albania, who escape into Western Europe, ranging from Turkey to Sweden. East Germans, Chinese, and ethnic expellees, such as Turks and Greeks, are not included. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- [Footnote in the source text deleted.]↩
- Reference is to Section 101 (a)(1) of the Mutual Security Act of 1951, P. L. 82–165 (65 Stat. 373), Oct. 10, 1951.↩
- The International Refugee Organization, which since the end of World War II has been the agency primarily responsible for the handling of refugees, will cease to exist not later than the end of February, 1952. The IRO was established for the purpose of care and resettlement of those persons displaced by the war, but also helped with escapees. Fourteen out of every fifteen refugees were handled, including several thousand escapees. Of the 100,000 refugees not yet resettled, 12,000 are escapees from the Soviet orbit. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- Reference is to the Alien Enlistment Act of 1950, P. L. 81–597 (64 Stat. 316), June 30, 1950.↩
- By letter of Dec. 28, the Director of the PSB, Gordon Gray, formally requested that Secretary Acheson, on behalf of the Department of State, accept the responsibility recommended in the preceding paragraphs. In a reply of Jan. 23 to Raymond Allen, who had replaced Gray as Director at the beginning of the year, Webb assented to the request. (PSB files, lot 62 D 333, PSB D–18 Series)↩