Memorandum by Mr. E. Ralph Perkins and Mr. Robert C. Thomson, Leaders of the Department of State and British Foreign Office CIOS Teams, Respectively


Objectives for the Combined Teams of the British Foreign Office and the U.S. Department of State in Searching German Archives

The Foreign Office and the Department of State have found that their interests in locating and microfilming German archives are so similar that it has been decided to have their teams work together in closest cooperation, members of each team to consider themselves as working jointly for the interests of the two Governments. These teams are under the general agency of the CIOS, and will cooperate with other CIOS representatives working on targets of mutual interest. CIOS leaders may not, however, divert our team members for use in investigating CIOS targets other than those for which these teams are specifically sent out or targets of opportunity arising therefrom. (See CIOS minutes 11th Meeting, 31 January 1945, par. 4, [Page 1103] page 6 as corrected in minutes of the 12th Meeting, 14 February, par. 1, page 3.56) With this reservation, team members will bear in mind their responsibility to proceed in harmony with CIOS directives, and, of course, to comply with all applicable military regulations in their zone of operations.

It may be assumed that the Foreign Office and the Department of State have a general interest in the whole range of information regarding German financial, economic, political and military affairs both as to domestic conditions and activities abroad. Obviously with the limited personnel available, we must restrict the field of our own study of German archives. Numerous other agencies of our two Governments will be making studies of German records for their own purposes and their reports will be available to the Foreign Office and Department of State. Our teams might well confine their efforts to a study of such major Government and Nazi Party records as deal with German international relations in the fields of diplomacy, politics and broad economic policies.

The finding of evidence on war crimes and Nazi investments and flight of capital abroad, as well as any study of propaganda methods, cultural activities, means of maintaining control in Germany, tracing of enemy agents abroad, fifth column activities, etc. will be the primary responsibility of other agencies, but the combined teams should always be on the alert for information which may be of value in these fields as well as in their own spheres of special interest. Such finds should be reported immediately to the team leaders who will notify the appropriate authorities. In like manner we may expect to receive from other investigators notifications of items of interest to us. For this reason it is important to maintain friendly contact with other teams working in fields similar to ours.

Documentation within even the limits proposed above is, of course, vast and will require months of work in examining and microfilming if the German Archives, or any substantial part of them, can be located and preserved for exploitation. With this in mind, it is important that the interests of the two offices be determined so that records which may be of immediate value will be given first attention by the combined teams.

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E. E. Perkins
R. C. Thomson
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