PSB files, lot 62 D 333, PSB D–18 Series
Paper Prepared by the Staff of the
Psychological Strategy Board1
Progress Report to the Psychological Strategy Board on Psychological Operations Plan for Soviet Orbit Escapees—Phase “A” (PSB D–18a)2
This plan, approved by PSB December 20, 1951, includes programs to care for and resettle current escapees, and envisages maximum possible utilization of escapees in … under the Lodge Amendment to the Universal Military Training and Service Act, Public Law 51, which permits recruitment of escapees into the U.S. Armed Forces.
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, Yugoslavs, Chinese and ethnic expellees, such as Turks and Greeks, are not included.
On April 7, pursuant to approval by the President, $4.3 million were made available by the Director of Mutual Security to the Department of State, which had been given responsibility for the program.
The time since funds were made available has been used:
- to identify and care for the most urgent immediate needs of escapees; and
- to build the organization and staff for the continuing administration of the program.
… A regional office has been established in HICOG and a policy and coordination unit in the Department of State has been attached to the staff of the Advisor on Refugees and Displaced Persons, Bureau of United Nations Affairs.
A general contract was signed on June 16, 1952, with the Provisional Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe (PICMME, an international body organized in November, 1951) for the overseas transport of up to 14,000 escapees during one year at an estimated rate of $100 per capita. Further detailed negotiations on movement of escapees under the PICMME contract and operating procedures with voluntary agencies took place during July.
The first escapee to be moved under the program left Germany for the United States on June 4; eight others departed June 16, and another shipment was scheduled for July 14. In Austria, 123 persons are being prepared for resettlement to Canada; two have been moved from Italy to Ecuador. It is anticipated that a scheduled flow may be attained in August.
Projects have been authorized to care for urgent immediate needs of escapees resident in Greece, Germany, Austria, Turkey, and Italy. The assistance has taken the form of food, clothing, shoes, repair and decontamination of barracks, medical treatment and the like. For example, in Germany, projects developed by the National Catholic Welfare League, the Lutheran World Federation, and World YM/YWCA, are being supported by funds obligated under this program and will provide aid regardless of religious affiliation. In every country of operation the immediate needs of the escapees are being met.
For the present, no general propaganda utilization of the plans and activities of the Escapee Program is contemplated by State Department. Spot treatment through overseas information media of newsworthy care and resettlement projects and of assistance to key individuals will be undertaken when circumstances are favorable and opportunities are presented. Dissemination will be confined to Iron Curtain areas. When the program has greater accomplishments [Page 178] to point to, the State Department plans more general treatment.
Of the initial authorization of $4,300,000 an estimated $1,500,000 was obligated during the fiscal year 1952. It should be noted that the request to the Congress for fiscal year 1953 was in the amount of $4,260,500, consisting of the $2.8 million unused in FY ’52 plus an additional $1,460,500 to cover an increase in the estimated number of escapees already requiring assistance. Under the terms of the Mutual Security Act further determination by the President authorizing the use of the additional $1,460,500 for the Escapee Program will be required.
Accomplishment of Other Purposes.
The Department of Defense was requested under this phase of the plan to liberalize the conditions under which escapees may be recruited under the authorization of the Lodge Amendment to the Universal Military Training and Service Act and to take all feasible steps to expand such recruiting. Physical and mental requirements have been somewhat relaxed. Of 5194 applications from escapees, 3916 have been rejected, 295 have been accepted (262 of whom are already on active duty) and 982 are being processed. Most of the latter cases are still in the hands of CIC.
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