236. Memorandum From the Deputy to the Director of Central Intelligence for National Intelligence Programs Evaluation (Bross) to Director of Central Intelligence Raborn1


  • Proposed Issuance of New Terms of Reference for the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB)
Issuance of proposed new terms of reference for the PFIAB along the lines of the memorandum delivered by Bromley Smith to Mr. Helms2 seems to me to pose somewhat of a dilemma. On the one hand, it can be said that the new terms of reference only serve to confirm the existing situation and reaffirm the authority which already exists in Executive Order 10938.3 The Agency has lived with this relationship for many years and has never, as far as I know, actively sought to modify or limit the authority exercised by the Board or its members. On the other hand, relations with the Board have been strained and a certain antagonism between the Agency and the DCI on the one hand, and the Board on the other, has developed largely, it seems to me, because of the way the affairs of the Board are administered and conducted. The DCI does not attend meetings of the Board, except insofar as they relate to the Central Intelligence Agency and is not privy to any of their deliberations or discussions. He receives no copies of minutes of meetings of the Board or any of its panels, except insofar as memoranda for the record are written by representatives of the Agency who attend these meetings. Reports of other components of the community are solicited, prepared, submitted and considered by the Board without reference to the DCI. Conclusions and recommendations to the President are formulated and submitted without any substantial opportunity on the part of the DCI to review or comment upon the information upon which many, at least, of these recommendations are based.
The foregoing appears to me to reflect a basically unhealthy situation, given the expressed Presidential mandate to the DCI to serve as the principal intelligence officer of the Government and exercise responsibility for the over-all coordination and guidance of the intelligence effort as a whole. On the one hand the Board has constantly pressed the DCI to assert a greater and more effective measure of [Page 518] authority over the affairs of the community. On the other hand, the proposed letter of authority to the Board4 appears to degrade and erode the DCI’s position by making it apparent that it is the Board and not the DCI which has the ultimate authority for evaluating and determining the relationships appropriate for the community and its over-all level of effort. It would seem to me that some redefinition of the relationship between the Board and the DCI would be desirable as a prerequisite to concurrence in the issuance of the new terms of reference.
Specifically, I would recommend that the DCI indicate his concurrence in the issuance of a new letter of authority provided there be agreement that:
The DCI attend all meetings of the Board at which representatives of any component of the community testify concerning the affairs or activities of the community.5
All reports from individual components of the community be submitted to the Board through the DCI with the understanding that they will be forwarded as initially submitted but that the DCI reserves the right to comment.
A record of all hearings before the Board be kept by the Executive Secretary of the Board and that a copy of these minutes be provided the DCI for his retention.
John A. Bross 6
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry: Job 80–B01676R, PFIAB Committee 1965. Secret. Copies were sent to Helms and White.
  2. Not further identified.
  3. See Document 183.
  4. See Document 239.
  5. Thomas Parrott of CIA raised this issue with General Taylor, noting that he understood Raborn had suggested it to Clifford. Parrott summarized the ensuing discussion in a memorandum for the record, October 7: “General Taylor demurred, saying that there could well be cases where the Board would want to have frank, ‘internal discussions’ and that the presence of ‘an outsider’ might inhibit them. I replied that sessions of that kind would of course be privileged to the Board, but that the idea would be that the DCI would be present when other major components of the intelligence community are making presentations, in order to help him in carrying out his coordinating responsibilities and perhaps avoid having some of them pass by default to the Board.” After further discussion, Taylor said he would think about it and perhaps discuss it with Clifford. (Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry, Job 80–B01676R, PFIAB Committee 1965)
  6. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.