138. Editorial Note

On July 31, 1963, President John F. Kennedy convened the 516th meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) at 4:30 p.m. in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Director of Central Intelligence John A. McCone, Acting Secretary of Defense Roswell L. Gilpatric, Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Earle G. Wheeler, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and U.S. Information Agency (USIA) Director Edward R. Murrow were among those who attended the meeting together with President Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson. The focus of this particular meeting was “Chinese Communist Intentions” in the context of SNIE 13–4–63.

During the course of the discussion, Murrow raised the issue of USIA’s approach to the Sino-Soviet split: “Mr. Murrow asked for Presidential approval of the way USIA is handling the Sino-Soviet split. He said that existing guidance forbade polemics and attempts to exacerbate relations between Communist China and the Soviet Union. The Voice of America is playing straight the comments on the split coming out of both Peking and Moscow, but it does not attempt to exploit the difference. The President agreed that this was the proper way to handle the current situation.” The summary record of the NSC meeting is printed in Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. XXII, Northeast Asia, Document 181. For the policy on the U.S. Information Agency’s handling of the Sino-Soviet split, see Document 83 and Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. XXV, Organization of Foreign Policy; Information Policy; United Nations; Scientific Matters, Document 136.)