No. 608


Memorandum by the Secretary of State

top secret

Memorandum on the National Security Council Meeting1

item 2port control

The President approved the document dated 30 January 19512 and at the meeting signed a letter to the Secretary of Defense and a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury putting its provisions into effect. Prior to his approval, I asked the three questions indicated on Mr. Fisher’s memorandum,3 and got the following replies.

The memorandum of January 30, in paragraph (a) recommended that certain vessels were to be denied entry to the major ports listed on page 3 of NSC 78/1.4 I asked whether it was quite clear that we meant the list on page 3 and not the list on page 4,5 since only exclusion from the latter list had been recommended in the main paper. The President replied that reference to the list on page 3 was correct and had been made at his suggestion because he thought that the list on page 4 was too restrictive.

Second, I asked whether I was correct in the belief that since United States flagships and friendly ships which had docked at Soviet or satellite ports were not mentioned in the memorandum of January 30, this meant that they were not to be subjected to the controls discussed in the main paper and earlier papers. The answer was that I was correct in this belief.

Third, I asked whether I was correct in believing that Finland would not be treated as a satellite country in view of the arrangements which had been worked out.6 The President replied that this was correct.

I did not raise the question as to whether we should denounce the treaty with Poland. This was in part because I could not remember whether or not we were firmly of the opinion that it [Page 1213] should be renounced. I suggested that this be taken up by Mr. Fisher with the appropriate agencies or by me with the President.

D[ean] A[cheson]
  1. The National Security Council’s 82d meeting, February 1.
  2. Document 606. NSC Acting Executive Secretary Gleason’s memorandum of February 1 to the National Security Council recording the President’s action indicates that it was NSC Action No. 428a. (S/PNSC files, lot 61D167, NSC 78)
  3. Legal Adviser Fisher’s memorandum has not been further identified.
  4. The major ports under reference here are listed in footnote 3, Document 606.
  5. The major ports listed on page 4 of NSC 78/1 were: Boston, New York, Norfolk, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Galveston.
  6. The treatment of Finnish ships under U.S. port control measures was described in Legal Adviser Fisher’s memorandum of August 22, 1950, to the Secretary of State, printed in Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, p. 50.