16. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Council on Foreign Economic Policy (Randall) to the Members of the Council1

SUBJECT

  • CFEP 560—Soviet Economic Penetration

I am sure that each of you has been disturbed, as I have, that our studies on the subject of Soviet economic penetration have so far produced so little that is specific and effective by way of countering this program. It seems to be an unusually baffling problem when it comes to bringing it out of the general into the definite.

Recently I have received from Assistant Secretary of Defense Mansfield Sprague such a thoughtful letter2 on this subject that I send it to you herewith, with his approval.

I invite your comments and suggestions as to what my office, or any agency represented on the Council, may do by way of direct action.

You will have in mind, I am sure, the following paragraph, which I quote from the letter of July 10, 1956, by which the President appointed me to my present responsibilities:

“As a part of this mission, I shall look to you and your associates for the development of foreign economic policies and programs designed to meet the special problems created by Communist economic activities in underdeveloped areas of the free world.”3

It seems clear to me that what we need is a small unit somewhere in the Government whose sole responsibility would be to keep abreast of Soviet economic penetration activities, and, in cooperation with appropriate agencies, to prepare recommendations for countermeasures for consideration by CFEP or NSC. This group would also act as a clearing-house for ideas that any agency might have on this subject.

If it met with your approval, I should be prepared to set up a small unit on my staff on a temporary and experimental basis to do this work.

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I would also hope to associate with me some man from the field of business who could bring to the work the viewpoint of industry.

Clarence B. Randall
  1. Source: Department of State, ECFEP Files: Lot 61 D 282A, Soviet Economic Expansion—CFEP 560. Confidential.
  2. Supra .
  3. For text of the President’s letter, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956 (Washington, 1958), p. 594.