Report of John Edgar Hoover (Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation) to the Acting Attorney General relative to the Report of the Federal Trade Commission on the International Petroleum Cartel-May 7, 1952.


From: Burton I. Kaufman, The Oil Cartel Case: A Documentary Study of Antitrust Activity in the Cold War Era (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978), pp. 121-22.


SOURCE: Department of Justice File, 60-57-140.


A special meeting of the Intelligence Advisory Committee, of which this Bureau is a member, was called on Tuesday afternoon, May 6, 1952, for the purpose of considering the consequences of the release of a study entitled, "Report of the Federal Trade Commission on the International Petroleum Cartel."

It was stated at this meeting that a copy of this report had been or will be furnished to you for study with respect to possible prosecution under the Anti-Trust Statutes. It was further stated this report contains many conclusions in addition to the facts set forth, which conclusions would be extremely harmful to our foreign relations and would furnish the Russians with excellent propaganda material. General Bedell Smith, Director, Central Intelligence Agency, advised he understood there was a discussion as to whether the report should be furnished to the Judiciary Committees of both the Senate and House, and that it will eventually have to be released to Congress, as well as to key governmental officials interested in the matter. He further pointed out that this would inevitably mean it would at least leak to the press. According to General Smith, there is a clique in the Federal Trade Commission who are urging that this report in toto be released.

Members of the Intelligence Advisory Committee agreed on an estimate as follows: "Official publication of this report would greatly assist Soviet propaganda, would further the achievement of Soviet objectives throughout the world and hinder the achievement of U. S. foreign policy objectives, particularly in the Near and Middle East, and would otherwise tend to injure U. S. foreign relations and strategic interests. . . ." It was also agreed that revelation of the report's contents other than by official publication in full would cause the consequences to differ only in degree from the consequences of other than official publication. The deletion of certain objectionable portions would likewise only lessen the degree of harm that would result.

The representative of this Bureau advised the Intelligence Advisory Committee that no comment could be made on the report inasmuch as a copy had not been provided this Bureau and we had no opportunity to study it. In view, however, of the statement that it has or will be referred to the Department for consideration as to prosecution under the AntiTrust Statutes, this information is being called to your attention.

cc-Assistant Attorney General H. Graham Morison


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