50. Editorial Note

On November 10, 1955, and again on January 12, 1956, the National Security Council considered, as the first agenda item, “Defense Mobilization Planning Assumptions Applicable to Stockpiling.” For text of the memoranda of discussion of these meetings, see volume X, pages 551 and 556.

As a result of the November 10 discussion, the Council adopted NSC Action No. 1471, approved by the President on November 18. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council) This action requested the Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization to report on the effects of an assumed period of 3 years, as compared with 5 years, for the minimum stockpile and the long-term stockpile, based on certain specified assumptions, and to prepare its budget estimates relating to stockpiling programs for fiscal years 1956 and 1957.

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At the 272d meeting on January 12, the Council adopted NSC Action No. 1498, approved by the President on January 16. NSC Action No. 1498–a noted the various recommendations on the subject. NSC Action No. 1498–b reads as follows:

“Adopted the following revision of paragraph 4 of NSC 5414/1, subject to a review of purchase schedules for each material by the Defense Mobilization Board, with a report from that Board to the National Security Council in the case of materials that have a major impact on national security:

“‘4. General war may last for an extended period up to four years. Although the first few months of conflict may be crucial in determining its outcome, planning for its duration should be based upon all assumptions herein stated, with particular emphasis on Paragraph 18. For planning the stockpile objectives for strategic and critical materials, a period of five years may be used. However, only the stockpile objectives based upon the planning period of three years currently used in Military Mobilization Planning should be completed on a priority basis the remainder of the five year objectives to be achieved on a longer and lower prioity basis (This language modifies Paragraph 55–b of NSC 5501 and should be taken into account in the current revision of that paper).’

Note: The action in b above as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to all holders of NSC 5414/1 and referred to the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization, for appropriate implementation.” (Ibid.)

For the original language of paragraph 55–b of NSC 5501, see Document 6. A copy of NSC 5501 incorporating the language modifying paragraph 55–b is in Department of State S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5501 Series.NSC 5414/1, “Defense Mobilization Planning Assumptions,” dated April 30, 1954, is ibid., S/PNSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, NSC 5414 Series.