Memorandum on the Organization of the Executive Branch for the Conduct of Foreign Affairs.
To: - The Heads of All Executive Departments The Director for Mutual Security
I have today transmitted two reorganization plans to the Congress and taken other actions by Executive order providing for a significant reorganization of the executive branch for the conduct of foreign affairs. This letter further defines relationships which will govern executive branch officials in the conduct of our international responsibilities.
The over-all foreign affairs reorganization which I desire to achieve is designed to emphasize the primary position of the Secretary of State within the executive branch in matters of foreign policy. I personally wish to emphasize that I shall regard the Secretary of State as the Cabinet officer responsible for advising and assisting me in the formulation and control of foreign policy. It will be my practice to employ the Secretary of State as my channel of authority within the executive branch on foreign policy. Other officials of the executive branch will work with and through the Secretary of State on matters of foreign policy. I shall also look to the Secretary of Defense as the Cabinet officer responsible, within the framework of foreign policy, for advising and assisting me in the formulation and control of military policy. Similarly, the Secretary of the Treasury, within the framework of foreign policy, shall continue to be the Cabinet officer responsible for advising and assisting me in the formulation and control of monetary and financial policy.
The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of the Treasury, as appropriate, shall review plans and policies relative to military and economic assistance programs, foreign information programs, and legislative proposals of the Foreign Operations Administration and the United States Information Agency, to assure that in their conception and execution, such plans, policies and proposals are consistent with and further the attainment of foreign policy, military policy and financial and monetary policy objectives. The Director of the Foreign Operations Administration and the Director of the United States Information Agency will assure the concurrence or participation of the appropriate Secretary before taking up with me any policy matters of concern to that Secretary.
The heads of these new agencies should furnish information to the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury in such manner and form as may be agreed between the head of the agency and the Secretary concerned to insure that the program of the agencies and the implementation of such programs conform with foreign policy, military policy, and financial and monetary policy objectives.
To the maximum feasible extent consistent with efficiency and economy, the internal organization of the new agencies should be designed to permit ready coordination with subordinate levels of the Department of State. This would suggest parallel areas of responsibility for constituent units of the State Department and of the two new operating agencies wherever feasible. The two operating agencies should also enter into appropriate arrangements to insure the necessary coordination with each other. Overseas regional staffs should ordinarily be established for the operating agencies only where there is a regional organization or multilateral activity of sufficient importance to warrant the establishment of a diplomatic mission. The Chief of the United States diplomatic mission in each foreign country must provide effective coordination of, and foreign policy direction with respect to, all United States Government activities in the country. To the maximum practicable extent, there should be integrated supervision of personnel performing related economic or information activities in each foreign country. Appointments of all chief representatives abroad of the two new agencies, and of the chiefs of military assistance advisory groups abroad, should be cleared with the Secretary of State.
The Director of the Foreign Operations Administration should take full advantage of the advice and assistance available in other agencies. He should coordinate his operations with related operations in other agencies. At the same time, I expect the Director of the Foreign Operations Administration to maintain full control and direction over all foreign economic and technical assistance programs rather than turn this responsibility over to other agencies. We must have an integrated direction of technical assistance and other foreign assistance activities.
Since I am assigning to the Mutual Security Agency responsibility for paying ocean freight on voluntary relief shipments, I wish to make a corresponding change respecting the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid. This Committee, which was created pursuant to the President's letter to the Secretary of State, dated May 14, 1946, operates under the guidance of the Department of State, and coordinates public and private programs for foreign relief. The Committee should hereafter operate under the guidance of the Director for Mutual Security or the Director of the Foreign Operations Administration, as the case may be, and the State Department staff now assisting the Committee should be transferred to the Mutual Security Agency and thereafter to the Foreign Operations Administration.
The reorganization plan which creates the United States Information Agency also assigns exclusive responsibility to the Secretary of State for the control of the content of a program designed to assure accurate statements of United States official positions on important issues and current developments. It is my desire that this program be so administered as to keep these official United States positions before the governments and peoples of other countries. No material which is not a statement of official United States views, regardless of its nature, or origin, or the medium used for its dissemination, should be identified by the exclusive label which is provided.
The United States Information Agency will be the normal outlet for this program, but the Secretary of State may use other channels for disseminating this program abroad when in his judgment the use of such channels is required. The Director of the United States Information Agency should give full cooperation in providing the services and facilities necessary for the preparation, translation, transmission, and distribution of materials for this program.
The Director of the United States Information Agency shall report to and receive instructions from me through the National Security Council or as I may otherwise direct. I am directing that the necessary changes be made in existing arrangements for Government-wide coordination of foreign information activities to enable the Director of the United States Information Agency to serve as Chairman of the Psychological Operations Coordinating Committee.
The Secretary of State has an obligation to develop means of providing foreign policy guidance fully and promptly. The Foreign Operations Administration and the United States Information Agency must seek such guidance and establish appropriate means of assuring that its programs at all times conform to such foreign policy guidance.
The instructions in this letter supplement the actions which I have taken by Executive order and the reorganization plans. They will in turn be supplemented as necessary by other orders and by interagency arrangements. I am confident that the members of the executive branch, under the clear assignments of responsibility which I have provided, will continue to work together even more effectively as a team. Such teamwork is essential to our success in the conduct of foreign affairs and to the achievement thereby of a greater measure of peace, well-being, and freedom throughout the world.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memorandum on the Organization of the Executive Branch for the Conduct of Foreign Affairs. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231881