17. Memorandum of Discussion at the 271st Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, December 22, 19551

Present at the 271st Council meeting were the President of the United States, presiding; the Vice President of the United States; the Secretary of State; the Acting Secretary of Defense; the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization. Also present were the Secretary of the Treasury; the Attorney General; the Secretary of Commerce (for Items 3 and 4); the Special Assistant to the President on Disarmament; the Director, Bureau of the Budget; the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (for Items 4 and 5); the Acting Director, U.S. Information Agency; the Acting Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Director of Central Intelligence; the Deputy Assistant to the President; Special Assistants to the President Anderson and Rockefeller; the White House Staff Secretary; the Director, International Cooperation Administration; Assistant Secretary of State Bowie; Assistant Secretary of Defense Gray; 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 item 1, significant world developments affecting United States security.]

Recent NATO Council Meeting

Secretary Dulles said that he would report very briefly on this subject, since he had already reported on the meeting to the President. All in all, it was one of the best meetings that the NATO Council had ever had. It was notable for its cohesion, solidarity, and particularly for the sense of continuity. The communiqué that had followed the conclusion of the meeting had had a more dynamic [Page 51] quality and a better propaganda value than any that had preceded it. The members of the Council had shown particular enthusiasm for the statement on new weapons and also on our willingness to offer a pilot operation for the so-called scatter system of communications. Secretary Dulles concluded by suggesting that Secretary Humphrey might have a word to add.

Secretary Humphrey said that the only point omitted by Secretary Dulles was the obvious effort at the NATO Council meeting to expand the scope of NATO’s economic activity, a development which Secretary Humphrey thought might or might not be useful. Secretary Dulles replied that of course we could always expect some effort at these meetings to involve the United States in further economic support for NATO. His own guess was that these moves were mostly propaganda and wouldn’t come to very much in the realm of genuine economic planning.

The National Security Council:

Noted and discussed a brief oral report on the subject by the Secretary of State.

[Here follows discussion of agenda items 3–5: multilateral export controls on trade with Communist China, United States policy toward Yugoslavia; and United States policy on control of armaments; all are scheduled for publication in forthcoming Foreign Relations volumes]

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Prepared by Gleason on December 23.