S/SNSC files, lot 63 D 351, NSC 5424 Series

Memorandum by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (Wilson)1

  • Subject:
  • NSC 5424—Antarctica
The Joint Chiefs of Staff submit herewith their views regarding a draft statement of policy prepared by the National Security Council Planning Board, titled “Antarctica,” NSC 5424, which is intended, if adopted, to supersede the NSC 21 Series.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are in general agreement with the objectives and courses of action proposed in NSC 5424. With respect to the alternative proposals set forth in paragraph 9, the Joint Chiefs of Staff favor the majority proposal (left column). They consider that the majority proposal is preferable in that the area in which United States rights would be claimed under that proposal includes the area of the Palmer Peninsula, where the increased scale of activities of other countries tends to depreciate the potential claims of the United States. The CIA proposal would not include this significant area, where lack of an official claim in the near future might involve serious risk of the loss of United States “rights.” Further, the Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that the substance of subparagraphs 9–b and c of the CIA proposal deals more with specific steps which might later be taken toward resolution of [Page 1757] conflicting claims, rather than with the broader policy aspects of the Antarctic problem to which NSC 5424 is addressed.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that, subject to the acceptance of the majority proposal contained in paragraph 9, you concur in the adoption of NSC 5424 as a statement of United States policy to supersede the NSC 21 Series.
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Arthur Radford
Joint Chiefs of Staff
  1. This memorandum was transmitted to the National Security Council under cover of a memorandum by the Executive Secretary of the NSC James S. Lay, Jr., dated July 13, 1954, in connection with the Council’s consideration of NSC 5424 at its meeting on July 15, 1954.