2. Memorandum of Discussion at the 230th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, January 5, 19551
Present at the 230th meeting of the Council were the President of the United States, presiding; the Vice President of the United States; the Secretary of State; the Secretary of Defense; the Director, Foreign Operations Administration; the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization. Also present were the Secretary of the Treasury; the Attorney General (for Item 1); Mr. Williams for the Secretary of [Page 4] Commerce (for Item 3); the Director, Bureau of the Budget; the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (for Item 1); the Federal Civil Defense Administrator (for Item 1); the Director, U.S. Information Agency; the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force (all for Item 1); General Twining for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (all for Item 1); the Director of Central Intelligence; Mr. Cutler, Mr. Dodge, and Mr. Rockefeller, Special Assistants to the President; 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.
[Here follows discussion of agenda items 1, “Basic National Security Policy,” and 2, “U.S. Aid to France.”]
3. Current U.S. Policy Toward the Far East (NSC 5429/5; NSC 5429/4; Memo for NSC from Executive Secretary, same subject, dated December 20, 1954;2 NSC Actions Nos. 12753 and 1292;4 Memo for Executive Secretary, NSC, from Secretary of State, same subject, dated January 4, 19555)
Mr. Cutler briefed the Council on the remaining problems to be settled with respect to NSC 5429/4, and pointed out that the Secretary of State had just circulated versions of paragraphs 5–g and 7–c which were satisfactory to him and which, in the case of paragraph 7–c, had been concurred in by the Secretary of Commerce.
With respect to paragraph 7–c, which dealt with controls on free world trade with Communist China, Governor Stassen inquired whether he was correct in perceiving an indication that some relaxation of these controls might be permissible during the interim period. Secretary Dulles replied that a decision on this matter must result from a case-by-case appraisal. He said that he did not wish to destroy the good will of our allies, which was necessary if we were to maintain controls on essential strategic items, by too great insistence on the maintenance of controls on less important commodities.
Mr. Cutler added that according to his interpretation of paragraph 7–c, a certain degree of flexibility was permitted in the interim [Page 5] period before the Council on Foreign Economic Policy completed its over-all study of East-West trade.
Secretary Dulles then said that he wished to suggest a change in the present language of paragraph 9 of NSC 5429/5, which originally read as follows: “The United States must keep open the possibility of negotiating with the USSR and Communist China acceptable and enforceable agreements, whether limited to individual issues now outstanding or involving a general settlement of major issues.” Secretary Dulles said that as written above, the paragraph contained an implication that such agreements might be readily achieved. He doubted very much whether there was any such possibility of achievement, and he therefore concluded that if the above paragraph were to be included at all, it should be changed to reflect the unlikelihood that such agreements could be achieved. We should therefore substitute “should keep an open mind on” for “must keep open”.
The National Security Council:
- Adopted the amendments to paragraphs 5–g and 7–c of NSC 5429/4 as proposed in the report by the Secretary of State contained in the reference memorandum of January 4 circulated at the meeting.
- Adopted the amendment to paragraph 9 of NSC 5429/5 to substitute “should keep an open mind on” for “must keep open”.6
Note: Paragraphs 5–g and 7–c of NSC 5429/4 and paragraph 9 of NSC 5429/5, as amended, approved by the President and subsequently circulated for insertion in NSC 5429/5.
[Here follows discussion of agenda items 4, 5, and 6: “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security,” “Areas Considered Accessible in Calculating Long-term Stockpile Objectives,” and “NSC Status of Projects.”]
- Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by NSC Deputy Executive Secretary Gleason on January 6.↩
- The memorandum enclosed a memorandum of December 17, 1954, from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, giving the JCS views on NSC 5429/3 of November 19, 1954; for text of the JCS memorandum, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. xii, Part 1, p. 1050. NSC 5429/3 is printed ibid., p. 972.↩
- In NSC Action No. 1275 of December 1, 1954, the Council agreed upon a number of revisions in NSC 5429/3 and agreed that further revisions should be prepared for future consideration; see ibid., footnote 7, p. 1013.↩
- See ibid., footnote 10, p. 1061.↩
- The lettered subparagraphs constitute NSC Action No. 1295. (Department of State, S/S–NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95)↩