Foreign Intelligence

May 18, 1949

Report Outline
Spy and Anti-Spy Legislation in Congress
Intelligence Systems of Foreign Powers
Development of U. S. Intelligence System
Proposed Central Intelligence Agency Act

Spy and Anti-Spy Legislation in Congress

Bill to Strengthen Foreign Intelligence

Congress has been asked by the National Military Establishment and the Department of Justice to write into law at its present session both a “spy” bill and an “anti-spy” bill. The first is the proposed “Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949”; it would grant broad powers for the peacetime operation of a United States secret service in foreign countries. The second is “a bill relating to the internal security of the United States”; it would grant new powers to combat activities of foreign spies and saboteurs within this country.

The spy bill (HR 2663) has already been passed by the House. It was taken up Mar. 7 under suspension of the rules—a procedure which limits debate to 40 minutes and precludes amendment from the floor—and was passed by the overwhelming vote of 348 to 4. The lack of any substantial opposition may have been due to the fact that the fight against the bill was led by Rep. Marcantonio, the American Labor party member from New York. At the same time, many members protested the “hush-hush” atmosphere with which the legislation was surrounded.

Hearings on the bill by the House Armed Services Committee had been held in secret, without a stenographic record. In reporting the bill to the House, the committee had said:

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