30. Memorandum of Discussion at the 257th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, August 4, 19551

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and agenda item 1.]

2. Recommendations of the Report to the President by the Technological Capabilities Panel of the Science Advisory Committee, ODM (Report to the President by the Technological Capabilities Panel of the Science Advisory Committee of the Office of Defense Mobilization, dated February 14, 1955; NSC 5522; Memos for NSC from Executive Secretary, same subject, dated July 26 and August 1, 1955; NSC Action No. 13552)

The Council discussion was introduced by a briefing by Mr. Dillon Anderson on the Killian report and the agency responses. Following a general introduction of the subject he proceeded to a paragraph-by-paragraph discussion of the proposed Council action3 (copy of briefing note filed in the minutes of the meeting4).

In connection with paragraph a of the proposed action, Dr. Flemming inquired whether the Planning Board’s recommendation meant that the Planning Board would report back to the NSC on the Timetable before it completed its review of NSC 5501. The President stated that since the Timetable affects the other Panel recommendations, he assumed that the Planning Board would make such a report prior to completion of its review.5

Secretary Dulles noted that Governor Stassen’s presentation on disarmament had also included a timetable, and it had been the Secretary’s understanding that this Stassen timetable would be a guide to what our disarmament program should be. He inquired of Governor Stassen as to whether this was not correct.

Governor Stassen confirmed the Secretary’s statement, and stated that his timetable was one covering ten years. It is the second five years which we would like to avoid. Any speed-up of the timetable would therefore be of significance to our disarmament policy.

[Page 96]

Secretary Dulles went on to say that he didn’t want to leave the impression in this discussion that our international policy was determined and enforced by obliteration and warfare such as was envisaged in the Timetable and the Panel’s recommendation. Governor Stassen thought that that was not what the Panel had in mind. The Panel’s premise was that the Soviets would be more amenable during the period when they had, and knew that they had, a lesser power position, than they would be later. It didn’t mean that we should use our relative military advantage for military purposes.

The President said that he assumed that what was intended here was the same thing that we meant when we talked about negotiating from strength. He also believed that Secretary Dulles’ view was correct.

Governor Stassen suggested that the Soviets might desire a period of peace during which they could pull their manpower out of the army and put it into agriculture while they concentrated their military effort on such things as the missiles program.

The President said that in everything we have placed reliance on the Timetable; it should therefore be reviewed and a report made back to the Council. The Council should be notified of any radical change in the Timetable while the work is still going forward on the revision of basic policy. Mr. Anderson pointed out that the Planning Board planned to examine the policy implications of the Timetable and report back to the Council on them. The President said that that was true, but there should nonetheless be a report back on the Timetable itself which would indicate the changes that should be made in the various periods described.

Mr. Sprague told the Council that the Panel members concerned had recently reconsidered Period II in the light of recent intelligence, and that it was their unanimous opinion that the period may end nearer the end of 1958 than in 1960. There had been estimated an improvement in Soviet delivery capabilities but not in their nuclear weapons capabilities since the date of the Panel report.

Mr. Anderson then presented the briefing note regarding paragraphs b through d. After he had introduced paragraph d, he said that he believed the President had some views as to the kind of briefing that he desired on the vulnerability of SAC. The President said that the kind of briefing that would be valuable to the Council was not one which would go into great detail on the kinds of protection that might be provided, but one which would indicate where we were exposed and how badly, and that would give some idea of what could be done about the situation.

After Mr. Anderson’s presentation of paragraph f of the proposed action, Dr. Flemming said that it was true that there was general agreement among the agencies concerned that it would not be practical [Page 97] to set up an office to handle the rapid interchange and rerouting of communications traffic, but there was still some feeling that the basic idea in the Panel recommendation should not be dropped. He felt, for example, that it would be useful to have a display center at which the status of our communications networks would be clearly indicated at all times. Dr. Flemming also felt that it would be desirable to work out a three-Service procedure, under which each Service would transmit, on the same basis as its own first-priority messages, the first-priority messages of the other Services. He felt that these proposals could be worked out by the agencies.

The President said that every time a new function or need was identified, it was suggested that a new department be set up. This led to confusion and overlapping. Nonetheless, the idea that, in the event of extensive jamming, rapid action would be required to get warning information through to responsible officials, was, he felt valid. He would like, he said, to have this matter followed up and reported on to the NSC. Secretary Wilson said that Defense was the only department that could do the things proposed. In response, the President said that if this were the case, Defense should be the department to report. Mr. Anderson said that he believed that the action the President desired could be taken under the Council action proposed by the Planning Board. In response, the President said that it could be done, but he wanted to know whether it was done.

(Note: The following portion of this memorandum was dictated by Mr. Lay from Mr. Johnson’s notes.)

Mr. Anderson spoke from his briefing notes regarding paragraph g. He added that prior to revision of NSC 5501, the Planning Board would be submitting, within the next thirty days, related policy recommendations as to U.S. action in the event hostilities are renewed in Indochina.

The President said he wished to issue one word of warning. From the beginning, the U.S. has pursued a policy of supporting the free world economically and militarily, and has regarded itself as a central reserve ideologically, militarily and industrially. However, we do not want to get the idea that wherever there is a peripheral war we will send off U.S. expeditionary forces. Ground forces for such wars will have to be supplied indigenously, and we are trying to build them up. Support will come from us with our mobile reserve of naval and air forces and logistic support. If this sort of aggression, however, gets to be too common, we may have to fight a major war because we can’t go around wasting our strength, [remainder of this paragraph and next paragraph (6 lines of source text) not declassified]

Mr. Anderson then presented the briefing note regarding paragraph h.

[Page 98]

The President commented that, as he recalled his decision, U.S. capability to damage the USSR was included in the net evaluation directive.6 He said that he had always talked about reciprocal action and counter-action, and assumed that it would be included in any such study. We have to calculate what we have done to them to know what they can do to us.7

General Twining assured the President that the first 30-day war period is being war-gamed to show the damage we could do to the Russian Air Force but not to Russian industry.

The President said that “You have assumed, then, that they will attack us in the same way—that is, hit our SAC—as we would attack them.”

General Twining said that Admiral Radford had been planning, in the report to the Council of the Net Evaluation Subcommittee, to show only what had been done to the U.S., but that he (Twining) was sure that the report could show the effect of our attacks on the Russian Air Force.

The President stated that, if we are confining U.S. attacks initially to the Russian SAC, the present study will give the picture. He agreed that we should knock out their SAC first.

Mr. Anderson thought that in the present study the U.S. attack on the Russian SAC was incidental, and he thought that the President wanted a complete evaluation on the other side, namely, what we could do to them.

The President said that, if our plans for attack don’t include other targets, then we don’t need a complete evaluation.

Mr. Anderson asked whether the President wished, therefore, that the study be completed as planned. The President wondered whether we should not also study, after the first thirty days are over, then what do we do?

Dr. Flemming believed that it was not necessary to wait until the October 1st report to decide whether to expand the terms of reference of the George Committee.

The President thought that it would be sufficient to be sure that General George was taking account of our power to damage the Russian SAC.

[1 paragraph (11 lines of source text) not declassified]

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Mr. Anderson then presented his briefing notes on paragraphs i, j and k.

Regarding informing the public on civil defense, the President admitted that this was very difficult because we want to avoid hysteria on one side and complacency on the other. Secretary Dulles commented that what we should say also depends on the reaction of our foreign friends. Governor Peterson stated that, for the first time, FCDA got enough money from Congress to do more basic research, and he thought that we should now do more working and less talking in the next few months. The President summed up by saying “We will have to figure out what the various agencies (FCDA, Defense, AEC, and others) should keep before the public on this subject.

[2 paragraphs (½ page of source text) not declassified]

With regard to the recommended improvement of continental defense relations with Canada, Dr. Flemming thought we shouldn’t just turn that recommendation down, since all the Panel meant was to keep it under constant reexamination. The President thought this was true of any aspect of our relations with all countries.

Regarding the recommended extension of the three-mile limit, Dr. Flemming thought the panel was concerned with controlling hostile vessels approaching our shores in the event that a sea plot indicated unusual concentrations of such vessels. Mr. Sprague said that the Panel had no disagreement with what is proposed by the agencies and the Planning Board.8 Secretary Wilson asked if we were being realistic in this matter. The President admitted that the three-mile limit had been set by the range of cannon on sailing ships. However, he thought that when we have a strong Navy and the other side is weak, this limit is to our advantage. Secretary Wilson said he always gets concerned where technological change requires a reexamination of old concepts. He thought we sometimes tend to put our heads in the sand. The President thought this was a good general proposition, but questions its applicability here. However, he suggested that Defense might study this further and bring any suggestions before the NSC if necessary.

Mr. Anderson stated that he understood that, with regard to the rejection of the recommendation that Nike’s be free to fire at planes above a certain altitude, the Panel concurred in the Defense comment. In answer to the President’s question as to how long it takes Nike to get in the air, Mr. Sprague said that some are on 15-minute alert.

After briefing the Council on paragraphs 1 and m, Mr. Anderson explained the split views in paragraph n.

[Page 100]

The President said that, if we just continue to look over the shoulders of the people in charge of these various projects, we will interfere with their work. He would rather take the judgment of the department heads on this matter. If we overload the staffs with reports, things are glossed over and dished up to us. He suggested that the next time this subject is reported on, he would like use made of maps and diagrams to show the Panel recommendations and where the departments agreed and where they didn’t. He thought such visual aids would show the position where the Panel recommendations would place the U.S. defensively and how far the departments would go along with them. Mr. Anderson suggested that the next status reports from the agencies, such as Defense, could be done in that way.

Dr. Flemming, noting that certain items are earmarked for report by December 1, suggested that thirty days prior to that the responsible agencies should be provided with an opportunity to make a progress report on significant developments.

Secretary Wilson asked how do we get out of this reporting system. We bury ourselves in paper work so that there are too many reports and not enough people working. Mr. Anderson commented that Dr. Killian felt that the earliest a meaningful report would be possible is the year’s period suggested by the majority.

Dr. Flemming agreed regarding an over-all report, but thought that some recommendations were so significant we should have a progress report on them in the meantime. He commented that we have had an outstanding group of scientists make this study, and therefore shouldn’t just put it on the shelf, but give some assurance of a follow-through.

The President said it would be all right if the agencies thought that a progress report would be desirable, but that he would not put it on the schedule. In answer to Mr. Anderson, the President said that the progress reports should be largely on a voluntary basis.

Governor Stassen said there was one aspect which affected his disarmament studies. He noted that the heartland of the free world was the East-Central industrial triangle of the United States. One of our strengths is that this area is so much further from the Russians than their targets are from us. A 1500-mile missile is therefore more important to us than to the Russians. Governor Stassen felt that having this project a component development of a 5500-mile missiles is not enough, particularly in a matter where we are as far behind as we now know. He thought we should make the 1500-mile missile a special objective rather than a part of the 5500-mile missile development.

[Page 101]

Secretary Wilson noted that the decision was made some years ago not to push the 1500-mile missile. Defense is now reviewing five plans and will come up in December with its choice. We now have additional information we didn’t have at the time the original decision was made.

Governor Stassen believed that if we just look at the 1500-mile missile as part of the ICBM program, it would not move as fast as if it were a separate project. Yet the 1500-mile missile would cancel out the advantage the Russians would otherwise gain by achieving the 5500-mile missile first.

Secretary Wilson pointed out that there are other developments for the 1500-mile range, such as pilotless ships that will fly faster and more accurately and can do the trick better than a missile.

General Twining pointed out that we may not always have our overseas bases to launch the 1500-mile missile. Governor Stassen nevertheless thought that there should be another project on the 1500-mile missile if we assume our bases are available. On such an important matter Governor Stassen felt we needed to bet on two or three possibilities.

The President said he agreed in general with Governor Stassen’s point. However, if the Russians can fire 1000 a day at us and we can fire 1000 a day at them, then he personally would want to take off for the Argentine. Governor Stassen commented that we still need them in order to keep the Russians from starting to use them against us. The President agreed that we do need some of these missiles as a threat and a deterrent; but we don’t want to produce them in quantity because we can’t fight that kind of a war.

Secretary Dulles said that we don’t want to put all our eggs in the 1500-mile basket because our bases are doubtful. [1 sentence (23 words) not declassified]

Secretary Wilson said that he was worried about the number of new projects we have already. Once they get started, we can’t stop. Congress will always vote for new stuff (such as opposing the reduction of Marine strength), but it will never eliminate old projects or provide the taxes to pay for new ones.

Governor Stassen thought that the decision made earlier on the 1500-mile missile was now shown to be wrong. General Twining pointed out that availability of bases had been an important element in that decision. Secretary Wilson said that big rockets cost twice as much or more than a plane, and can only be used once.

The President agreed to the December 1st reporting date on the 1500-mile missile. However, he thought that Governor Stassen’s point was valid, that we should exploit the advantage now of our overseas [Page 102] bases. At some future time we may have to take account of the possibility that they will not be available, and so the ICBM must also be pushed.

Mr. Sprague pointed out that both the long- and medium-range missiles aren’t going to replace manned bombers, for three reasons: First, they are one-way devices; secondly, they can carry a much smaller warhead, but are also expensive in fissionable material; and third, their accuracy is less. On the other hand, they are a nasty thing to defend against, and therefore we need that program. He said that the Panel agreed with the Planning Board’s recommendation for delay until December 1st to pick the best approach.

The President stated vigorously that, if this is the only means of waging war, he would never wage it. If we wage such a war to establish respect for free government in Europe and Asia, we won’t have that type of government left ourselves. He thought we should develop a few of these missiles as a threat, but not 1000 or more. The nature of conflict has gotten beyond man. We are getting to the point where it is no longer worthwhile to have the operating staffs study such a war.

Secretary Dulles commented that, as we approach this period, peripheral wars will become more important as general war is no longer possible. Then what do you do? The President thought that when you start a little fight there is every chance that it will get larger. Korea stayed a little war, and we have criticized others for their action to keep it so.

Secretary Wilson thought that little people can fight little wars, but big people such as us cannot fight little wars.

The President expressed the hope that the future character of war will repel men from the use of force. In a few years it may be possible for Guatemala to build these weapons to threaten us. The President noted that Mr. Baruch brought up this possibility to the USSR in 1946 or 1947 in trying to sell them on atomic controls. Mr. Baruch pointed out that Greece or Turkey might be able to make these weapons in the future, and they would be more willing to fight the USSR than the United States. The President said that research reactors are being put up in every country, and they may soon be able to build bombs.

With regard to the split views as to another Killian-type study, Dr. Flemming said that he withdrew his split and supported the majority.

The President said that he would like to see some social scientist brought into our security planning to study how long civilization can take these weapons developments.

Mr. Anderson said that the Planning Board would make some recommendations on how that might be done.

[Page 103]

The National Security Council:9

Study of the TCP Timetable and its Policy Implications: With respect to General Recommendation 1, directed the NSC Planning Board to examine in the light of recently available intelligence the validity of the “Timetable of Change in Our Military Position Relative to Russia”, and its policy implications, as part of the Planning Board review of key aspects of basic national security policy; and to report to the Council promptly any significant changes which, during the course of such examination, the Planning Board believes should be made in this “Timetable”.
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program: Noted that, with respect to General Recommendation 2 and Specific Recommendation A–1, the Planning Board will prepare at an early date a recommended Council action, based upon the Defense briefing of July 28, and formulated in the light of the recommendations of the Department of Defense.10
Development of a 1500-mile Ballistic Missile: Noted that, with respect to Specific Recommendation A–2, the Department of Defense concurs in principle, has five development plans under consideration, and will report to the Council not later than December 1, 1955, on the status of these plans, indicating, if possible, which of these plans it proposes to implement and an estimate of the time when such a missile might become operational.11
The Security of SAC: Agreed that, with respect to General Recommendation 3 and Specific Recommendations A–6 and C–2, the security of the Stategic Air Command is so vital to the basic national security policy of the United States that the Council should be briefed by the Department of Defense at an early date on the subject of the vulnerability of SAC to attack.12
Translation of Early Warning into Action; Planning and Execution of Readiness Tests: With Respect to General Recommendation 5:
Noted that ODM will examine and study jointly with each department and agency involved and report to the Council on the technical, procedural and personal links by which the decisions resulting from receipt of attack warning information are translated into responsive national action; such examination and study will be directed primarily to interagency links and procedures rather than to those internal to any department or agency of government.
Noted that ODM will serve as the mechanism within the Executive Office of the President for promoting and monitoring the planning and execution of integrated national readiness tests [Page 104] intended to test the capability of the Federal Government as a whole to functon effectively in an emergency and specifically to serve the President as necessary in the decision-making process.
Agreed that responsibility for implementation of NSC Action No. 1342–c,13 which applies to procedures for the general Public, should be transferred from the Committee on Attack Warning Channels and Procedures for Civilians (NSC 5513/1)14 to FCDA.
Overseas Communications Networks: With respect to General Recommendation 10:
Noted that the Office of Defense Mobilization, with the advice and assistance of other interested agencies, will coordinate the functions outlined in the first sentence thereof (investigating the reliability and reducing the vulnerability of the overseas communications networks); and that the Department of Defense will assume responsibility for providing continuing collection and evaluation of information on the current performance of all vital links of Government-owned and common carrier facilities used in the overseas communication networks.
Requested the Department of Defense to report to the Council as soon as possible measures being taken to implement its responsibilities under (1) above and to make possible the rapid interchange and re-routing of traffic in the event of widespread interference with military communications.
Examination of Peripheral War Problem: With respect to General Recommendation 11:
Noted that the proposal for a study of techniques and weapons technology for peripheral wars is being implemented through a study by the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group and through a study under a CIA contract.
Directed the NSC Planning Board to make a comprehensive study of the peripheral war problem, as a part of the Planning Board review of key aspects of basic national security policy, taking acccount, to the extent that they are available, of the results of these and other studies and reports being prepared on this subject.15
Comparative Study of U.S. and USSR Target Systems: Agreed, with respect to Specific Recommendation A–9, that further consideration—including consideration of the desirability of changing the terms of reference of the next net capabilities evaluation to include a comprehensive examination of the capability of the U.S. to injure the USSR as well as the capability of the USSR to injure the U.S.—should be deferred until after the completion of the report of the Net Evaluation Subcommittee on October 1, 1955.
Noted that the responsible agencies have concurred either in full or (as indicated by an asterisk) with qualifications in the following recommendations and will implement them as indicated in their comments:
  • General Recommendation 4: Revision of NSC 5408 (NSC Action No. 1417–c).16
  • *General Recommendation 6; Specific Recommendation C–7: Establishment of stations on the Polar ice pack for intelligence and other purposes.
  • *General Recommendation 7a: Negotiations with Canada for authority to use atomic warheads for air defense over Canada.
  • General Recommendation 7c; Specific Recommendations B–6b and B–11b: Sea detection and surveillance systems [16 words not declassified].
  • General Recommendation 9b: Reexamination of the international legal concept of freedom of space.
  • A–3 and A–4: Support of high energy aircraft fuel program.
  • A–5: Support of aircraft nuclear propulsion program.
  • A–7: Use of small aircraft in striking force.
  • A–8: Determining the feasibility of a seaplane nuclear bomber force.
  • A–10: Assumption with respect to the maximum yield per weight, nuclear weapons.
  • A–11: U.S. defense planning to assume feasibility of very large bombs.
  • A–12: U.S. defense planning to assume feasibility of clandestine introduction of megaton weapons.
  • B–2: Endorsement of long-range and gap-filler radar program.
  • B–3: Nuclear warheads as the major armament for air defense.
  • B–4c through B–4h: Intensified effort to create effective defenses at low and very high altitudes (air-to-air and ground-to-air nuclear weapons; high altitude interception; fire control and guidance; low altitude weapons systems; radar R and D program; effect of enemy jamming on air battles).
  • B–5: Coordination of activities of CINCONAD, CINCLANT and CINCPAC to meet attack over the sea.
  • B–7a, b and e: Initiation of new civil defense research and formulation of a new civil defense policy.
  • *B–7c: Informing the public on the nature of the threat, effects of thermonuclear weapons, and civil defense measures.
  • B–7d: Reexamination and restatement of civil-military relations under disaster conditions.
  • B–7f: Further attention to measures to reduce vulnerability of civilian-supporting industry.
  • B–8c: Consideration of ultimate replacement of Alaska-Hawaii line by Aleutians-Midway line.
  • B–8d: Determination of effectiveness of AEW planes in trailing aircraft crossing DEW line.
  • B–8e: Experimentation with surveillance near enemy’s perimeter, particularly near forward launching bases.
  • B–9b: Extension of radar cover northward and use of U.S. interceptors in Canada.
  • B–9d: Immediate development and installation of data-handling equipment to integrate over-water surveillance with “ground environment”.
  • B–10: Drastic revision of function and form of interceptor aircraft to conduct effective combat at very high altitudes.
  • B–12a, c and e: Introduction of certain measures for control of surface and subsurface ocean traffic.
  • B–12d: Making maximum use of surface surveillance capability of air defense radar.
  • B–13 and –14: Studies and warning equipment component development for defense against intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  • C–l: Planning to take account of both the following possibilities: (a) that there will be strategic warning of surprise attack; and (b) that there will not be strategic warning of surprise attack.
  • C–3: Vigorous program for application of science and technology to intelligence.
  • C–4: Discovery of intelligence hoaxes.
  • C–5: Establishment of procedure for automatic downgrading classification of information re enemy military in event of war.
  • C–6: Solution of administrative and technical problems in the field of ELINT (electronic noise listening) (being implemented under NSCID 17).17
  • C–8: Initiation of program for small earth satellite (being implemented under NSC 5520).18
  • C–9: Application of principles and technology of information retrieval to intelligence data.
  • C–10: Heavy long-term investment in preparation of covert agents.
  • *D–1 through D–17: Technical improvements in communications equipment.
  • E–1 through E–4: Development of a professional military maintenance force.
  • E–5: Use of industrial contractors for military maintenance.
Noted that the following recommendations, in which the responsible agencies concurred in principle, will not be implemented at present but will receive further consideration by those agencies:
  • General Recommendation 7b; Specific Recommendations B–1 and B–8b: Installation of DEW line without delay for technical and geographical refinements; early installation of extension of north Canada line to Greenland; and shifting of northern terminus of Atlantic extension from Newfoundland to Greenland; extending DEW line from Greenland to join NATO system with early installation of ground-based components; and related international negotiations.
  • B–4a: (That part of the recommendation relating to maintaining Nike radars in a continuous alert status.)
  • B–4b and B–4i: Intensified effort to create effective defenses at low and very high altitudes (matching radar net to needs and capabilities of SAGE system; field and operational trials and experiments).
  • B–8a: Installation of new “action” line 500–700 miles from U.S. boundaries.
  • B–9a: Extension of contiguous radar cover by 300 miles.
  • B–9c: Extension seaward of air control and surveillance zones to exploit future improvements in interceptor ranges.
  • É–6: Consideration of establishment of Arctic military maintenance corps.
Noted that the following recommendations, in which the responsible agencies do not concur, will not be implemented:
  • General Recommendation 8: Reexamination of U.S.–Canadian continental defense relationships.
  • General Recommendation 9a and Specific Recommendation B–12b: Reexamination of three-mile limit and revision of missions of Navy and Coast Guard accordingly.
  • B–4a: (That part of the recommendation relating to maintaining Nike batteries in a free-to-fire status.)
  • B–6a: Accelerating Pacific “Caesar” Lofar system and San Salvador-Hatteras station.
  • B–11a: Installation of harbor entrance detection and surveillance equipment.
Agreed that the implementation of any of the recommendations in the TCP Report by the responsible agencies should be guided by the national strategy contained in NSC 5501; and noted that final determination on any relevant budget requests will be made by the President after normal budgetary review.
Noted that the Secretary of Defense, prior to December 1, 1955, will report to the President and the National Security Council his recommendations as to whether new funding beyond that currently available or contemplated should be requested for Fiscal year 1956 or Fiscal year 1957 to implement (in accordance with paragraphs b, c, d, f, i, and, if implementation is subsequently decided upon, j) those recommendations of the TCP Report which are the responsibility of the Department of Defense.
Agreed that a report on the status of those recommendations in the TCP Report which are to be implemented or which will receive further consideration by the responsible agencies in accordance with the above actions, should be included in the next annual status reports on U.S. programs for national security (as of June 30, 1956);19 with the understanding that the responsible agencies may, if they deem it appropriate, make an interim progress report to the Council at any time on significant developments with respect to those recommendations for which they are responsible.
Follow-Up Study: Concurred in principle with General Recommendation 12, but deferred decision as to a further study and its nature, until receipt of the next annual status reports on U.S. programs for national security (as of June 30, 1956) referred to in n above.
Noted the President’s desire that a study be made by a group of scientists, analyzing the implications for and effects upon the civilian populations of the world of the developments in weapons technology foreseen by the TCP Report; and the President’s request that the NSC Planning Board prepare recommendations as to now such a study might be organized.20

Note: The above actions, as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to the appropriate agencies as follows:

NSC Planning Board.
NSC Planning Board and Defense.
(1) and (2), ODM; (3), FCDA.
(1), ODM and Defense; (2), Defense.
(1), Defense and CIA; (2), NSC Planning Board.
NSC Planning Board.
i, j, k and l:
All responsible agencies.
All responsible agencies.
NSC Planning Board.
NSC Planning Board.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Prepared by Lay and Robert Johnson on August 5.
  2. Extracts from the report are printed as Document 9. Regarding NSC 5522, see Document 25. The memoranda are filed in the minutes of the meeting; see footnote 4 below. Regarding NSC Action No. 1355, see footnote 3, Document 17.
  3. See paragraphs a–p of NSC Action No. 1430, below.
  4. The minutes of all National Security Council meetings are in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Official Meeting Minutes File. The briefing note is filed in the minutes.
  5. Reference is to “A Timetable of Change in Our Military Position Relative to Russia,” Part I of the Killian Panel’s report, Document 9. Regarding the Planning Board review of the timetable, see Document 40.
  6. Reference is to NSC 5511, “A Net Evaluation Subcommittee,” approved by the President on February 14; see Document 10.
  7. The President emphasized this concern in a conversation with Dillon Anderson on August 3. A memorandum for the record written by Anderson on that date indicates the President’s strong feeling that the effect of war on both the U.S. and Soviet side should be examined. Anderson noted that he informed the Joint Chiefs of the President’s wishes. (Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Technological Capabilities Panel)
  8. This reference and others in this document are to the agency comments and proposals conveyed in NSC 5522.
  9. Paragraph a–p and the Note that follow constitute NSC Action No. 1430, approved by the President on August 11. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)
  10. The Planning Board’s proposed action was submitted on August 30; see footnotes 3 and 4, Document 33.
  11. For the report of the Department of Defense submitted on November 30 and the NSC memorandum of discussion on the report, see Documents 44 and 45, respectively.
  12. See Document 46.
  13. NSC Action No. 1342 noted the President’s request that a study be made of ways to conduct realistic drills of civilian emergency procedures. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Actions by the National Security Council)
  14. See Document 14.
  15. On September 2, the Planning Board established a working group to study the problem of local aggression and subversion. This group was composed of representatives of the Departments of State and Defense, the JCS, and the CIA and was chaired by Policy Planning Staff member Elbert G. Mathews. The report of this working group was submitted on November 7, under cover of a memorandum from Mathews to Executive Secretary James Lay. According to this memorandum, the group studied the following problem: “How may the U.S. and the rest of the free world effectively deter or counter attempts to extend Communist control progressively by (a) overt local aggression or (b) subversion or insurrection.” The report was actually submitted in two parts. The basic 38-page report defined the problem, discussed the elements and objectives of an effective deterrent, and concentrated on “the particularly acute situations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.” The second part consisted of a proposed revision of Section C of NSC 5501 incorporating the conclusions of the working group. The report was submitted by Lay to the Planning Board with a covering memorandum dated November 8, and is in Department of State, PPS Files: Lot 66 D 70, Basic National Security Policy.
  16. NSC 5408, “Continental Defense,” dated February 11, 1954, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 1, p. 609. Regarding NSC Action No. 1417, see footnote 8, Document 28.
  17. NSCID 17, “Electronic Intelligence,” dated May 16, not printed. (Department of State,S/PNSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, NSC Intelligence Directives)
  18. NSC 5520, “U.S. Scientific Satellite Program,” dated May 20, is printed in vol. XI, p. 723.
  19. These reports were issued as NSC 5611, “Status of National Security Programs as of June 30, 1956”; see Document 84.
  20. On September 26, 1955, Lay transmitted to the National Security Council the Planning Board’s proposed directive for a study of the human effects of nuclear weapons development, a copy of which is in Department of State, PPS Files: Lot 66 D 70, Atomic Energy—Armaments. The resulting study, performed by a special panel of scholars and scientists, was submitted to the President on November 21, 1956, by Val Peterson and was discussed at the 312th NSC meeting, February 7, 1957; see Document 108. A copy of the panel’s report is in Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Human Effects of Nuclear Weapons Development.