Editorial Note

At its 205th meeting on July 1 the National Security Council considered six progress reports on continental defense, none printed, presented by Robert C. Sprague who had been appointed by President Eisenhower on June 18 as Consultant to the Council on the progress reports. In introducing Sprague, Cutler noted that on May 13, “the Council agreed that Progress Reports on Continental Defense should be rendered semi-annually with the first as of June 15, 1954.” Sprague then introduced the six reports based upon the basic continental defense report, NSC 5408 of February 11 (page 609). Following lengthy and detailed discussion of these reports, and of other matters, the Council turned briefly to a discussion of “Tentative Guidelines Under NSC 162/2 for Fiscal Year 1956”, and after further inconclusive discussion directed the Planning Board “to prepare, for early Council consideration, a statement of policy on the subject in the light of: (1) Council discussion of NSC 5422 and further review thereof by the respective departments and agencies; and (2) The reports on continental defense referred to in Item 1 above.” (Memorandum of discussion at the 205th meeting of the NSC, Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, Whitman file) For text of NSC 162/2, October 30, 1953, see page 577. The discussion of continental defense was formally recorded as NSC Action No. 1166; discussion of tentative guidelines under NSC 162/2 for fiscal year 1956 was formally recorded as NSC Action No. 1169 (S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) files, lot 66 D 95, “NSC Records of Action”).