Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


General Records of the Department of State:
Supplementary Documents from the Foreign Relation Series Relating to the U.S. Intelligence Community
(Record Group 59)

Dates: 1945-1950, 1997.

These records consist mainly of letters, memoranda, minutes of meetings, and reports pertaining to the emergence of the U.S. intelligence establishment and its influence on American foreign policy.

[Administrative Information | Agency History Note | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 1 linear foot, 4 linear inches (about 2400 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Documents created by U.S. government officials in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Jennifer Wilborn (2008) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


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AGENCY HISTORY NOTE

The Office of the Historian in the Department of State is responsible for the publication of the Foreign Relations of the United States series, an official compilation of documents relating to U.S. foreign policy.

On October 24, 1997, the State Department released the 419 documents that make up this collection. These documents were supplements to the Foreign Relations volume entitled Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment, which covered the 1945-1950 period.

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

These materials from the General Records of the Department of State (Record Group 59) consist mainly of letters, memoranda, minutes of meetings, reports, charts, telegrams, general orders, and directives documenting the emergence of the U.S. intelligence establishment and its influence on American foreign policy. The documents were collected by the State Department’s Office of the Historian to serve as a supplement to a volume in the Foreign Relations of the United States series relating to the U.S. intelligence community.

The collection is arranged according to a numerical system established by the Office of the Historian; this arrangement is also roughly chronological. The collection begins with a number of documents on intelligence-related developments in the immediate postwar period. Among the issues covered are the dissolution of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the transfer of its functions to other agencies; the conflicting concepts and plans of the Bureau of the Budget, the Department of State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the armed services concerning a postwar intelligence system; the gradual emergence of leadership by the armed services on the issue; the deadlock between the Department of State and the military; and the eventual breaking of the impasse leading to the issuance of the President’s letter of January 22, 1946, which established the National Intelligence Authority (NIA) and the Central Intelligence Group (CIG).

Also documented in the collection are the administrations of three Directors of Central Intelligence (Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, Lieutenant General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, and Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter); the Department of State’s attempts to create an intelligence organization in 1945-1947; the transition from the Strategic Services Unit (SSU) to the Office of Special Operations of the Central Intelligence Group; the development of the intelligence provisions of the 1947 National Security Act; and the history of National Security Council (NSC) decisions dealing with covert psychological warfare, which began the “secret operations” (as distinct from “secret intelligence”) functions of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

It is important to recognize the distinct character of the collection, which documents the planning and establishment of national intelligence coordination and national intelligence policies, but does not include documentation of the planning and implementation of specific intelligence operations or the impact of intelligence appraisals upon particular foreign affairs policymaking or negotiations. Although the collection addresses geographical areas such as Asia, Latin America, and the USSR, the intelligence reports, estimates, and analyses dealing with specific regions, countries, or issues are not included.

Further information about the CIA and the NSC may be found at the Truman Library in the papers of Harry S. Truman (President’s Secretary’s Files and National Security Council Files).

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1-3 NUMERICAL FILE, 1945-1950, 1997
Letters, memoranda, minutes of meetings, reports, charts, telegrams, records of conferences, general orders, directives, and other documents pertaining to the U.S. intelligence establishment and American foreign policy. Arranged numerically.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1

  • List of Documents
  • 1-6 [August 1945]
  • 7-17 [September 1945]
  • 18-36 [October 1945]
  • 37-55 [November 1945]
  • 56-70 [December 1945]
  • 71-81 [January 1946]
  • 82-94 [February 1946]
  • 95-96 [March 1946]
  • 97-113 [April 1946]
  • 114-125 [May 1946]
  • 126-136 [June 1946]
  • 137-156 [July 1946]
  • 157-168 [August 1946]
  • 169-176 [September 1946]
  • 177-186 [October 1946]
Box 2
  • 187-196 [November 1946]
  • 197-204 [December 1946]
  • 205-213 [January 1947]
  • 214-219 [February 1947]
  • 220-223 [February-March 1947]
  • 224-234 [April 1947]
  • 235-244 [May 1947]
  • 245-249 [June 1947]
  • 250-256 [July 1947]
  • 257-261 [August 1947]
  • 262-271 [September 1947]
  • 272-274 [October 1947]
  • 275-281 [November 1947]
  • 282-285 [December 1947]
  • 286-288 [January 1948]
  • 289-291 [February 1948]
  • 292-297 [March 1948]
  • 298-306 [April 1948]
  • 307-316 [May 1948]
  • 317-326 [June 1948]
  • 327-331 [July 1948]
  • 332-337 [August 1948]
  • 338-340 [September 1948]
  • 341-344 [October 1948]
  • 345-347 [November 1948]
  • 348-356 [December 1948]
Box 3
  • 357-366 [January 1949]
  • 367-380 [February 1949]
  • 381-388 [March 1949]
  • 389-392 [April 1949]
  • 393 [May 1949]
  • 394-396 [July 1949]
  • 397-400 [August 1949]
  • 401-402 [October 1949]
  • 403-408 [December 1949]
  • 409-410 [January 1950]
  • 411-412 [February 1950]
  • 413-414 [March 1950]
  • 415 [April 1950]
  • 416-418 [May 1950]
  • 419 [June]

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