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Letter to Dr. James R. Killian, Jr., Appointing Him Chairman, Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities.

January 13, 1956

[Released January 13, 1956. Dated January 11, 1956]

Dear Dr. Killian:

I am establishing a Board of Consultants on foreign intelligence activities of this Government for the purpose of providing me periodically with independent evaluations of the work of the organizations involved. This Board will consist of eight outstanding citizens in whose high qualifications and discretion I have the fullest confidence. I would like to have you serve as Chairman of this Board.

It is my desire that this Board should meet not less often than once every six months to analyze carefully the work of the Government's foreign intelligence activities. These sessions might involve meetings over a period of several days. While the review by your group would be concerned with all Government foreign intelligence activities, I would expect particular detailed attention to be concentrated on the work of the Central Intelligence Agency and of those intelligence elements of key importance in other departments and agencies. I am particularly anxious to obtain your views as to the over-all progress that is being made, the quality of training and personnel, security, progress in research, effectiveness of specific projects and of the handling of funds, and general competence in carrying out assigned intelligence tasks.

It is my sincere conviction that prompt and accurate intelligence is essential to the policy making branches of the Government in the field of national security and foreign relations. By serving on the Board you can make a real contribution to the task of Government.

It is my hope that you and the others whom I am inviting to serve will be able to meet with Mr. Allen W. Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence, and me in the near future to determine the scope of your review of the work in the foreign intelligence field and to draw up terms of reference to permit you effectively to carry out your assigned task.



Note: The President sent similar letters to the following persons requesting them to serve as members of the Board: Adm. Richard L. Conolly, Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle, Benjamin F. Fairless, Gen. John E. Hull, Joseph P. Kennedy, Robert A. Lovett, and Edward L. Ryerson.

See also Item 9 and note.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Dr. James R. Killian, Jr., Appointing Him Chairman, Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234411

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