Policy Planning Staff Files

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Lay)

top secret

Memorandum for the NSC Staff

Subject: Meeting With the Ad Hoc Committee on NSC 68, August 22, 1950

Present: Senior NSC Staff Ad Hoc Committee
Mr. Jessup Mr. Nitze
Mr. Finletter General Spalding
Mr. Smith1 Mr. Lanphier
Mr. Glendinning2 (for Mr. Martin3) Mr. Leahy5 (for Mr. Haas)
Admiral Wooldridge4 Mr. Montague
Admiral Hillenkoetter Mr. Dearborn
Mr. Lay Mr. Schaub
Mr. Cleveland6 (for Mr. Bissell)
Mr. Gleason

Others in Attendance

  • Mr. Keyserling, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
  • Mr. Murphy, Special Counsel to the President
  • Mr. Hitch (Mr. Harriman’s Staff)
  • Mr. Bishop (Department of State)
  • Mr. Macy (Bureau of the Budget)
[Page 374]

The first issue discussed was the meaning of the term “utmost urgency” both with respect to the timing and the magnitude of the program. A two-page statement7 was presented on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee defining this term. After considerable discussion it seemed generally agreed that the programs contemplated in the draft response would not accomplish the objectives set forth in NSC 68 with sufficient speed. General doubt was expressed as to the adequacy of the programs, and particularly of the military programs as set forth in the draft document.

The Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers restated the views of the Council as to the impact upon the domestic economy, but pointed out that these views might require revision if the programs were very substantially increased.

Doubt was expressed as to whether realistic estimates could be projected beyond FY 1952, but it was noted that the effort to project the estimate through 1955 would be valuable even though these figures were highly tentative for the latter years.

As a result of the discussion it was agreed:

that the President should be asked to extend the September 1 deadline to September 15 (in which event the deadline for submission of the report to the Council would be September 9);
that emphasis should be placed on realistic cost estimates for FY 1951 and 1952 but an effort would be made to project the estimates through 1955;
that the Defense and JCS members would undertake to obtain revised military programs and cost estimates based upon a restatement of the military objectives of the build-up;
that the Ad Hoc Committee should continue its work of perfecting the draft of the response, incorporating the new military programs and estimates when received.
James S. Lay, Jr.
  1. Robert J. Smith, Vice Chairman of the National Security Resources Board.
  2. C. Dillon Glendinning, Deputy Director, Office of International Finance, Department of the Treasury.
  3. William McChesney Martin, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in charge of the Office of International Finance.
  4. Thomas F. Leahy, Assistant Director, Office of Technical Staff, Department of the Treasury.
  5. Rear Admiral E. T. Wooldridge, Deputy Director, Joint Staff, for Politico-Military Affairs.
  6. Harlan Cleveland, Deputy to Administrator for Program, Economic Cooperation Administration.
  7. Not printed.