99. Memorandum of a Conference With the President, Augusta, Georgia, December 7, 19561


  • Secretary Wilson
  • Mr. McNeil
  • Colonel Randall
  • Governor Adams
  • General Persons
  • Mr. Brundage
  • Colonel Goodpaster

There was extended discussion of the military budget for FY-58. The President had read a memorandum of analysis prepared by Mr. Brundage,2 which he considered excellent. Discussion brought out that a major segment of the budget is moving into the area of procurement, production, naval construction, and construction of facilities. On the ICBM, the President said that the main significance attaches to the first few of these missiles, and that consequently we should press forward strongly with development, but should hold down procurement. The President said he saw no reason for major programs for the development of atomic powered aircraft—that development of the reactor could and should go forward, on an orderly basis, under AEC auspices. He saw no particular reason for building one of the large carriers every year; he agreed to building one atomic powered carrier in order to determine its operational advantages, but thought that our program should be at the rate of one big carrier every other year.

After considering the Defense proposals on a line by line basis, the President asked Mr. Wilson to have the budget prepared on the basis of $38 billion for expenditures, $40.0 for “program” and $38.5 billion for NOA. Mr. Wilson said he would start work on this at once. (This involved a reduction of about $500 million below his figures.)

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries. Secret. Drafted by Goodpaster on December 15.
  2. Not found in the Eisenhower Library or Department of State files.