81. Memorandum of Conference With President Eisenhower1
- General Hull, General Doolittle, Admiral Conolly, Messrs. Lovett, Ryerson, Baker, Darden, Coyne, Gordon Gray, General Goodpaster
General Hull made an oral report to the President from a text which he said he would send to me.2 The President said he not only agreed with the observations of the group, he agreed so strongly he might have written them himself. He said he hoped that the new administration would continue a board such as this one, but was loath to make a suggestion since this might prove “counter productive.”
Regarding intelligence organization in Defense, he said he favored the recommendation outlined by General Hull. As a second solution, however, he would center all intelligence about foreign military matters in the JCS with a strategic intelligence group concerned with broader matters, feeding in worldwide intelligence, in the CIA.
The President said he will endorse the Board’s recommendation and will give it to Mr. Gates with a request that he pass it on to his successor in the new administration. He repeated that he wants to avoid any fatherly or professorial manner toward his successor. General Hull commented that the report had been prepared so that it could be provided to the new administration.
Governor Darden said he was convinced from the work he had done with the Board that reorganization would result in substantial savings in the intelligence field (or at any rate, better use of the resources now being made available). Mr. Lovett said he agreed but thought the resources should go toward better use. Admiral Conolly supported this [Page 147] judgment, stating that organization is now the root cause of excess costs, and that better organization can bring better efficiency.
Brigadier General, USA