Memorandum by the Director of the Planning Staff of the Bureau of European Affairs (Labouisse) to the Secretary of State


Subject: Recommendation 3 of NSC 1041

The following points may help to answer the questions you raised yesterday evening concerning the recommendation on NSC 91/1,2 contained in NSC 104.

The intent of recommendation 3 is to permit flexibility in implementing 91/1 comparable to that already provided by the NSC in the procedure laid down in 94/1 for implementing the Cannon Amendment. It is not our intent to make 91/1 inoperative by this amendment.

As it is now drafted, NSC 91/1 requires that licenses be denied for shipments to cooperating friendly countries of 1–A items (i.e., items [Page 1054] which the U.S. embargoes, but which have not been agreed for international control) unless assurances are received that identical items will be totally denied to Soviet bloc countries. A similar policy is laid down for the 1–B items. The determination also requires the application of a comparable policy to Sweden and Switzerland, including in these cases the List 1 commodities, since Sweden and Switzerland do not participate in the present international control arrangements.

A procedure has been proposed by the Secretary of Commerce for review of items on a country basis before taking action and therefore our suggestion that the determination in NSC 91/1 be qualified to provide that the general security objectives be taken into account is intended merely to make explicit the need for a procedure similar to that which we understand the Secretary of Commerce is in any case proposing to follow.

Specifically we propose that the determination in NSC 91/1 be qualified to provide “that the general security objectives of the United States be taken into account in determining whether action is required in specific cases.” If however there should be opposition to this qualification or inadequate time to consider the question as thoroughly as other members of the NSC may consider necessary, it is recommended that the question be referred to the special East-West subcommittee for examination in the light of the substantial progress made in recent negotiations with other countries in Paris and London, and the need to avoid taking any action which will unnecessarily jeopardize further action along these lines.

  1. Dated February 12, p. 1023.
  2. NSC 91/1 of November 17, 1950, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, p. 227.