78. Editorial Note

In the fall of 1959, the Bureau of the Budget proposed, and President Eisenhower approved, a study of the intelligence agencies. The Joint Study Group on the Foreign Intelligence Activities of the United States Government was chaired by Lyman B. Kirkpatrick, Jr., Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency. Other members were Lieutenant General (Ret.) Graves Erskine, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense; Allan Evans, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State; James Lay, Executive Secretary of the National Security Council; Robert Macy of the Bureau of the Budget; J. Patrick Coyne, Executive Secretary of the President’s Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities; and Brigadier General Jesmond Balmer, Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence for Interagency Coordination. The Group submitted its 141-page report on the deadline date, December 15, 1960. (Eisenhower Library, White House Office Files, Project Clean Up, 1960)

The National Security Council addressed the report of the Joint Study Group in the waning days of the Eisenhower administration, at its meetings of January 5, 12, and 18, 1961. For the memoranda of discussion at the January 5 and 12 meetings, see Documents 80 and 84. The NSC approved most of the 43 recommendations in the report on January 18. (Memorandum of Discussion at the NSC meeting of January 18; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)

The Kennedy administration subsequently adopted many of the Joint Study Group’s recommendations. One of the most far-reaching was the need for modernizing and streamlining the military intelligence system, which led to the creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency in August 1961 (see Document 89).