150. Memorandum From the President’s Chief of Staff (Leahy) to President Truman0

Referring to the attached letter addressed to you by General Eisenhower on 27 April 19461 in regard to the appointment of a Director of Central Intelligence to relieve Rear Admiral Souers, I have looked into the suitability of Major General Bonesteel for this assignment and am in agreement with the memorandum of 7 May by Rear Admiral Souers attached hereto.2

In my opinion it is essential in the formative period of the National Intelligence Authority to have as Director of Central Intelligence an officer of proved ability in the collection and evaluation of intelligence, who has also superior executive ability and an established prestige in the intelligence field, as well as in the opinions of the Secretaries of State, War, and Navy.

We appear to be unable to find any available officer of the Army other than General Vandenberg who fully meets these specifications.

It is therefore recommended that the Secretary of War be informed of the high importance that the President attaches to the successful completion of the development of the National Intelligence Authority and that he desires that General Vandenberg be made available for assignment as Director of Central Intelligence to relieve Rear Admiral Souers within the ensuing two months.

W. D. Leahy 3
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Leahy Papers, No. 131. Secret.
  2. Not printed, see the source note, Document 149.
  3. Document 149.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.