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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 08, 1953

MEMORANDUM OF INFORMAL PSYCHOLOGICAL STRATEGY BOARD MEETING

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    The logistics behind a food relief distribution plan for East Germany are discussed.
    "Memorandum of Informal Psychological Strategy Board Meeting," July 08, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library (mandatory review release). On file at the National Security Archive, “Soviet Flashpoints” Collection. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111804
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PSYCHOLOGICAL STRATEGY BOARD
WASHINGTON, D.C.

July 8, 1953

MEMORANDUM OF INFORMAL PSB MEETING, JULY 8, 1953.

Place: Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense

Present: Messrs. Jackson, Smith, Kyes, Dulles, Stassen and Morgan.

Agenda Item 1. Report from the Under Secretary of State on the Advisability of Food Relief for East Germany.

The Board approved the plan to ship food to Eastern Germany developed by an interagency working group chaired by Mrs. Eleanor Dulles, subject to changes noted in sub-paragraphs b, d, and f, below. Principal features of the plan are:

a. That Ambassador Conant be instructed to suggest to Chancellor Adenauer that his request for food be addressed directly to the President.

b. That the President reply to Adenauer along the lines of the draft which has been prepared by the working group, except that synagogues be mentioned along with Catholic and Protestant churches as suggested distribution agencies if appropriate to conditions in East Germany. A direct approach to the Soviet Government which is proposed in the draft reply is believed to be most suitable under the circumstances.

c. That the bulk of food be taken from U.S. agricultural surpluses in this country supplemented by surplus Army C rations now available in Europe, and possibly some food from the Vienna stockpile.

d. That the distribution should be through the German churches (and synagogues if appropriate, as stated above), but that “charitable organizations” not be mentioned for this purpose lest the Soviet Government seize this opportunity to utilize communist fronts.

e. That appropriate members and committees of Congress be consulted.

f. That the British and French Ambassadors in Washington be informed, but that endorsement of their governments should not be requested because of the probable delays involved.

g. That the interagency working group which developed the plan be assigned action on it.

Mr. Stassen agreed to make funds available and to assign a project manager to superintend operations. Mr. Kyes offered to make military air transport available to fly in at least some initial shipments of food for spectacular effect. He asked me to let him know what specific requests were to be made along this line and also with regard to amounts and destinations of surplus Army C rations.

[...]

[Signed]

George A. Morgan
Acting Director