March 6, 1958
Dear Mr. Stanton:
It is always possible that the United States might need suddenly to mobilize resources for a maximum national effort. Although it is my devout hope that this will never happen, the national interest requires that against that possibility we achieve and maintain a high state of readiness.
I am delighted to know of your willingness to serve as Administrator of the Emergency Communications Agency in the event that a national emergency would compel its formation, and, accordingly, I hereby appoint you such Administrator effective upon activation of the agency. As Administrator, you will, in the performance of your duties, be subject to the direction, control and coordination of the Director of the Office of Emergency Resources, and you will receive such compensation as the President may hereafter specify. Your tenure as Administrator-designate or as Administrator shall be at the pleasure of the President.
In the event of an emergency, as soon as you have assured yourself, by any means at your disposal, that an Emergency Communications Agency has been activated, you shall immediately assume active direction of that agency and its function. This letter will constitute your authority.
I have requested the Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization to communicate with you regarding any planning activities in connection with the creation of and activation of an Emergency Communications Agency.
Until such time as an Emergency Communications Agency may be created, I am certain that you will treat your designation as Administrator as classified information and that you will impress upon any staff you select to assist you that their designations are to be treated similarly as classified information.
You have my deep appreciation of your acceptance of this vitally important assignment.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Mr. Frank Stanton
Columbia Broadcasting System
485 Madison Avenue
New York 22, New York
FRANK STANTON: President of CBS, Inc. from 1946-1971. Chairman of the RAND Corporation from 1961-1967. Instrumental in bringing about the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon televised presidential debate. One of four senior CBS executives present at the pitch session for "Gilligan's Island."