62. Memorandum of Discussion at the 13th Meeting of the Special Working Group on Stalinism, Department of State, Washington, May 22, 1956, 4 p.m.1


  • State—Mr. Jacob D. Beam, Chairman
  • State—Mr. Francis B. Stevens
  • State—Mr. Howard Trivers
  • State—Mr. Philip Burris
  • State—Mr. Boris Klosson
  • State—Mr. William Harben
  • CIA—Representative present
  • USIA—Mr. Alfred V. Boerner
  • OCB—Mr. Roman V. Mrozinski, Staff Representative
[Page 171]
A memorandum2 was distributed to all the participants by the Chairman outlining a revised mission for the group as set forth at the OCB meeting of May 9.3 This revised mission included a study of (1) the opportunities which may exist to profit from differences within the orbit and to widen the cracks in the satellite countries, and (2) what can be done to challenge the Soviet and satellite governments to lift the Iron Curtain.
The group discussed various techniques that might be useful in encouraging nationalistic and pro-Western elements in the satellites through exchange visits and increased information activities.
Various participants were asked by the Chairman to prepare studies4 prior to the next meeting on (1) evidence of a weakening of ties between the satellites and the Soviet Union, (2) . . . and (3) the types of pro-Western and anti-Soviet appeals to which individual satellites (government-bureaucracy) may be susceptible.5
R. V. Mrozinski 6

OCB Staff Representative
  1. Source: Department of State, P/PG Files: Lot 60 D 661, Miscellaneous 1956. Secret. Drafted on May 25 by Roman V. Mrozinski. No complete set of the records of the Special Working Group on Stalinism or its successor committee exists. Those that do exist are either ibid., Miscellaneous Files or Central File 104–OCB.
  2. The memorandum, in undated draft form, is ibid., EUR Files: Lot 59 D 233, Memos 1956–7.
  3. Notes of the May 9 OCB meeting are ibid., OCB Files: Lot 62 D 430, Preliminary Notes.
  4. Final versions of these studies have not been found, but draft versions of some are in Department of State, P/PG Files: Lot 60 D 605, OCB Group, Extension of Responsibilities.
  5. At its May 23 meeting, the Operations Coordinating Board took the following action:

    “Agreed that it would be desirable to maintain an interdepartmental group at the same level as the special working group on Stalinism so as to provide a forum in which new developments in the Soviet Union and the Soviet Satellites could be discussed and an evaluation made of the impact of such developments on existing operations.” (Extract from the minutes of the May 23 meeting, as quoted in the terms of reference for the OCB Special Committee on Soviet and Related Problems, June 26; ibid.: Lot 62 D 316, Soviet and Related Problems (Beam File)).

    The terms of reference for the OCB Special Committee on Soviet and Related Problems, dated June 26, were approved by the OCB Board Assistants on June 22 on behalf of their principals. The terms of reference noted that the Special Committee succeeded the Special Working Group on Stalinism and broadened its function to include special assignments related to the Soviet Union and the Eastern European satellites and their impact on existing operations. The Special Committee was also empowered to initiate consideration of subjects in this general area which it wished to draw to the attention of the Board. (Terms of reference, June 26, and covering memorandum of the same date by Charles E. Johnson, OCB Executive Assistant; ibid.)

  6. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.