Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, Whitman me

No. 178
Memorandum of Discussion at the 188th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, March 11, 19541

top secret
eyes only


Present at the 188th Meeting of the Council were: The President of the United States, presiding; the Vice President of the United States; the Acting Secretary of State; the Secretary of Defense; the Director, Foreign Operations Administration; and the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization. Also present were the Secretary of the Treasury; the Attorney General (for Items 2, 3 and 4); the Secretary of Commerce (for Items 5, 6 and 7); Mr. Morrison for the Director, Bureau of the Budget; the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (for Items 2, 3 and 4); the Federal Civil Defense Administrator (for Items 2, 3 and 4); the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Director of Central Intelligence; Sherman Adams, the Assistant to the President; Robert Cutler and C.D. Jackson, Special Assistants to the President; Gen. Persons, Deputy Assistant to the President; Walter S. DeLany and Kenneth R. Hansen, Foreign Operations Administration; Marshall Smith, Acting Assistant Secretary [Page 387] of Commerce for Internal Affairs; the Executive Secretary, NSC; and the Deputy Executive Secretary, NSC.

There follows a summary of the Discussion at the meeting and the main points taken.

. . . . . . .

7 United States and Free World Controls Over Transactions With Communist China (Memo for NSC from Executive Secretary, same subject, dated March 3, 1954; NSC 152/3)2

Mr. Cutler suggested that in view of the problem presented by the UK proposals3 which had just been discussed, the Council might desire to postpone consideration of any relaxation of controls on trade with Communist China since, until the US-UK issue was settled, it would be difficult to reach a decision. He accordingly asked Secretary Weeks whether he wanted to press for Council consideration of this item or whether he would agree to its postponement until after the conclusion of the Geneva Conference.

Secretary Weeks said that he would like to remind the Council, for the record, that in the course of discussions of trade with Communist China last fall, the President and the Council had in effect asked for a thoroughgoing restudy of the problem of U.S. and free world trade with Communist China. The Commerce Department had for this reason put itself rather in the position of the devil’s advocate in this matter, and it still believed that the problem should be discussed. He was, however, in agreement with the proposal for postponement.

Secretary Smith said that there was one particular point in the reference report which he felt it desirable for the Council to act on at this time. This was to approve a gradual relaxation of the controls placed by the Japanese on their trade with Communist China down to the agreed CHINCOM level. The Council agreed to approve this proposal in the form presented by the Departments of State and Defense and the Foreign Operations Administration.

The National Security Council:4

Noted the Progress Report on Revision by EDAC-ACEP of the list of strategic items, contained in Annex C to the reference memorandum.
Adopted the proposal by State, Defense and FOA, regarding Japan, contained in the proposed paragraph 39-b-(l) as set forth in paragraph 7 of the enclosure to the reference memorandum.
Deferred action on the remainder of the enclosure to the reference memorandum until after the Geneva Conference.

Note: The action in b above, as approved by the President, subsequently circulated as an amendment to NSC 152/3.5

. . . . . . .

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Drafted by Gleason on Mar. 12.
  2. See footnotes 1 and 2, Document 175.
  3. The reference is to a British memorandum, given to the U.S. Embassy in London on Mar. 1, urging extensive reductions in the COCOM lists of items subject to multilateral trade controls and proposing a joint U.S.-British initiative supporting such reductions; for related documentation, see vol. i, Part 2, pp. 1082 ff.
  4. The lettered subparagraphs constitute NSC Action No. 1064. (S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) files, lot 65 D 95, “Record of Actions by the National Security Council, 1954”)
  5. A memorandum of Mar. 15 from Lay to the National Security Council transmitted a revised page, incorporating the new paragraph 39, to be substituted for the equivalent page of NSC 152/3. (S/SNSC files, lot 63 D 351, NSC 152 Series) The new paragraph reads as follows:

    “39. In the absence of further Chinese Communist aggression and during the period prior to achieving settlements satisfactory to the United States in the areas around Communist China, the United States should release Japan gradually, as appropriate, from its obligations under the U.S.-Japanese bilateral agreement to maintain export controls higher than the CHINCOM levels.” (NSC 152/3, “Economic Defense,” Nov. 6, 1953 (with later revisions incorporated); S/SNSC files, lot 63 D 351, NSC 152 Series)