December, 1976 "Memorandum to File" by Hugh Cullman, CEO of Philip Morris, regarding Operation Berkshire

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

December, 1976 "Memorandum to File" by Hugh Cullman, CEO of Philip Morris, regarding Operation Berkshire

This memo, written by Hugh Cullman, Chief Executive Officer of Philip Morris in 1976, reveals the beginning of the official collusion between major tobacco companies worldwide to fend off government and private sector efforts to reduce the disease and death being caused by their products. The meeting was first proposed by Tony Garrett, the CEO of Imperial Tobacco of the United Kingdom in late 1976.

The purpose of the meeting was "to develop a defensive smoking and health strategy for major markets such as the U.K., Germany, Canada, U.S. and possibly others." The memo stresses that the meeting should be "as discreet as possible" with "no publicity emanating therefrom." It also specifies that the attendees be the CEO's of the major tobacco companies. It was to be a clandestine meeting, and the companies would have a "public affairs statement ready should news of such a meeting leak out." The purpose of the meeting was to address universal concerns within the industry that intensifying actions worldwide to address the smoking and health issue would lead the companies to "be picked off one by one and that the Domino theory would impact on all of us."

The meeting did take place on March 6, 1977, in the U.K. and that the collusion was referred to among the companies as "Operation Berkshire."

Title: No title
Date: 19761203 (December 3, 1976)
Type: Memorandum to file
Bates No. 1002601155
Collection: Philip Morris
Pages: 1

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