266. Memorandum of Discussion at the 328th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, June 26, 19571
Present at the 328th NSC meeting were the President of the United States, presiding; the Secretary of State; the Secretary of Defense; and the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization. Also present were the Under Secretary of the Treasury; the Acting Secretary of the Interior (for Item 1); the Director, Bureau of the Budget; the Acting Director, U.S. Information Agency; the Director, National Science Foundation (for Item 1); the Director, International Cooperation Administration; the Deputy Secretary of Defense; Assistant Secretary of Defense Sprague; the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Director of Central Intelligence; The Assistant to the President; Special Assistant to the President Cutler; the White House Staff Secretary; Administrative Assistant to the President Harlow; the Acting Executive Secretary, NSC; and the Director, NSC Secretariat.
There follows a summary of the discussion at the meeting and the main points taken.
[Here follows discussion of item 1, “Antarctica”.]
2. Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security
The Director of Central Intelligence commented briefly on the propaganda reactions from Peiping, Moscow and North Korea, to the [Page 555] U.S. announcement of its intentions to modernize U.S. forces in South Korea.
Mr. Dulles then analyzed the increased Chinese Communist military activity in the Amoy-Quemoy area. In the course of their shelling of the Nationalist-held offshore islands, the Chinese Communists had apparently fired 9350 rounds in a single day recently,2 the heaviest such bombardment ever recorded and directed against the Quemoy island group.
The President interrupted to ask whether our Government had people on these offshore islands. Mr. Dulles replied that we had a MAAG group, .… Secretary Dulles, who was obviously very concerned over this increased military activity, complained that he hadn’t been able to find that the State Department had had any report from representatives of the Department resident in the area, with respect to the Communist shelling of the offshore islands.3 Secretary Wilson interrupted to say he would not be in the least surprised if it had been the Nationalists who had initiated these artillery exchanges. Secretary Dulles went on to ask whether we did not get reports on such events, and as to what is going on in the Quemoy area, from representatives of the Department of Defense .…
Mr. Allen Dulles expressed the view that now that the Chinese Communists had completed their new railroad into Amoy, they wanted to open up the Port of Amoy to shipping. Accordingly, they might wish either to seize or to neutralize the small islands—Little Quemoy, Tatan and Ehrtan—which could block entrance to the Port of Amoy. It was suggested that the absence of official U.S. reports on this stepped-up shelling might indicate that our people in this area regarded the matter as no great departure from the routine artillery exchanges between the Communists and the Nationalists.
Mr. Dulles went on to comment on the movement of a light bomber group of Chinese Communist IL–28s in the direction of the Amoy area. He closed his comments on the general topic of the offshore islands by stating that there existed no real evidence that the [Page 556] Chinese Communists were about to try to seize these offshore islands at the present time. He pointed out, however, that there were plenty of Chinese Communist troops in the general area if a decision to move were made.
[Here follows discussion of developments in the Soviet Union, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt.]
The National Security Council:4
Noted and discussed an oral briefing by the Director of Central Intelligence on the subject, with specific reference to Communist reaction to U.S. announcements regarding the introduction of advanced weapons into Korea; recent Chinese Communist military activities in the Amoy-Quemoy area; the cancellation of the Moscow Air Show; recent Soviet propaganda attacks on the United States; developments in the Soviet missiles program; Soviet naval activities in the Mediterranean; and developments in the Middle East.
[Here follows discussion of items 3, “U.S. Policy Toward Libya”, 4, “U.S. Policy Toward Turkey”, and 5, “Further Application of ‘New Look’ to U.S. Defense Efforts”.]
- Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Gleason on June 27.↩
In telegram CX 86 from the Army Attaché in Taipei to the Department of the Army, June 25, the Attaché reported:
“Big shoot on Kinmen group 24 June began during morning hours as fairly light exchange continuing into early afternoon with ChiNats apparently stepping up pace. During period 1813–1930I ChiCom batteries fired 9132 rds, mostly on Little Kinmen, with over 4000 rds in vicinity 81st Div command post. No further firing reported up to 251200I.” (Department of State, CA Files: Lot 60 D 648, 410.2 Off-shore Islands)↩
- In telegram 1363 from Taipei, June 25, the Embassy reported that 9,000 shells had fallen on Little Kinmen island in 1 hour and 15 minutes. The Embassy speculated that the most plausible explanation for the heavy fire directed at Little Kinmen was that “it dominates entrance Amoy harbor and Reds may wish neutralize it in order facilitate greater use of harbor following British de-embargo”. There is no indication in the telegram that the information cited was derived from reports from representatives of the Department of State. (Ibid., Central Files, 793.00/6–2557)↩
- The following paragraph constitutes NSC Action No. 1739, the record copy of which is in Department of State, S/S–NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95.↩