16. Editorial Note

On March 10, the President, in a letter to Nelson A. Rockefeller, established the Planning Coordination Group (PCG) within the framework of the OCB and designated Rockefeller chairman. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Administration Series, Rockefeller) The President thus put into effect Budget Director Hughes’ proposals to strengthen the coordination of economic, psychological, and political warfare and foreign information activities. Hughes’ recommendations, contained in a March 3 memorandum to the President, called for the establishment of a special grouping of OCB members chaired by Rockefeller and consisting of the Under Secretary of State, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Director of Central Intelligence, with representation from other agencies when appropriate.

This Planning Coordination Group, “with reference to overt and covert actions to implement those national security policies appropriate to its functions,” was to advise and assist the responsible operating agencies in the coordinated development of plans and programs whose implementation, with respect to overt actions, was to be coordinated by the OCB. In addition, the PCG was to be advised “in advance of major covert programs initiated by the Central Intelligence Agency.” Furthermore, the PCG “should be the normal channel for giving policy approval for such programs as well as for securing coordination of support therefor among the Departments of State and Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency.” The PCG was also directed to coordinate the implementation of the policies contained in NSC 5502/1, “U.S. Policy Toward Russian Anti-Soviet Political Activities,” and NSC 5505/1, “Exploitation of Soviet and European Satellite Vulnerabilities,” both of which were approved by the President on January 31. (See Document 7)

On December 14, the Planning Coordination Group met and approved a report stating that, after 7 months’ experience, it was clear to the four constituent members that the PCG mechanism would not be able to accomplish its assigned objectives and they were therefore recommending that the President abolish the PCG effective December 31. On December 20, the President approved this recommendation.

Department of State records on the PCG are in Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 66 D 148, PCG, and ibid., Coordination of Economic, Psychological and Political Warfare.