102. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Lay) to the Members of the Council1


  • East-West Exchanges


  • A. NSC 5427
  • B. NSC 5508/1
  • C. NSC 5602/1
  • D. NSC Action No. 1522–g
  • E. Statement of policy transmitted by Memo for NSC from Executive Secretary, same subject, dated June 6, 19562
The NSC Planning Board (with the assistance of representatives of the Department of Justice, the Interdepartmental Intelligence Conference and the Interdepartmental Committee on Internal Security), after study of the statement of policy submitted by the Secretary of State as the Department of State position on the subject [Page 224] (Reference E), concurs in the policy set forth therein and recommends:
That for clarification the statement of policy be amended as follows:
  • Para. 8. In the second sentence, insert “individual” between “greater” and “freedom”.
  • Para. 10. Delete the words “It is suggested that” at the beginning of the third sentence.
  • Paras. 11, 12 and 13. Insert the words “and satellite” after the word “Soviet” wherever the latter appears in these paragraphs.
  • Para. 16. Revise to read as follows:

    “16. The U.S. should take the initiative in East-West exchanges as a positive instrument of U.S. foreign policy, employing as a general guide the 17-point proposal (attached3) as submitted at the Geneva Foreign Ministers meeting. Each proposal should be judged on its merits as contributing to the agreed objectives.”

That the Council adopt the above-mentioned statement of policy, as amended, and submit it to the President with the recommendation that he approve it and (1) refer it to the Secretary of State for implementation in consultation with the Department of Justice and other departments, agencies and boards [as] appropriate; (2) direct that the Secretary of State and the Attorney General continue to cooperate in developing and applying appropriate internal security safeguards with respect to the admission of Soviet and satellite nationals to the United States.
The President has recommended to the Congress that the Immigration and Nationality Act be amended to permit the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to waive the requirement of fingerprinting of non-immigrants applying for visas to enter the United States temporarily. The Planning Board notes, as indicated in the attached letter from the Attorney General to the Secretary of State,4 that the failure of the Congress to approve such legislation at this session would materially impede the implementation in the months ahead of the above-mentioned statement of policy as it applies to exchanges of persons.
In addition to the above recommendations unanimously agreed upon by the Planning Board, the following proposed amendments of the above-mentioned statement of policy are submitted by individual Planning Board representatives:
The ODM Member with the concurrence of the Justice Observer recommends insertion of the following before the final [Page 225] sentence of para. 9: “Administration of each proposed exchange program must therefore take into account the advantages sought against the acknowledged political dangers (abroad and at home) so as to secure a total net advantage to the United States from such contacts.”
The ODM Member recommends insertion of the following as a new para. 11: “It is at least as important as the proper explanation of the meaning of this policy to third countries, to give a clear understanding of the way the American public could and should help to carry it out. There must be appropriate guidance as to the difference between the projected program of an American initiative in selected exchanges and in broader cultural contacts, on the one hand, and over-zealous friendliness to visitors who may in many cases be hostile agents.”
The Defense Member with the concurrence of the ODM Member and the JCS Adviser recommends the following as a substitute for para. 10:

“10. One aspect of this matter which requires particular consideration is the impact of what we do upon third countries as well as upon military, political and economic cooperation among the countries of the free world. In many cases, the United States can tolerate a type of exchange which to other countries would be poisonous. Also, it is recognized that our embarking upon this policy may have a serious impact upon our capacity to maintain present military alliances and trade controls and involves taking a calculated risk of enhancing the spread of neutralism. To mitigate these effects as much as possible, we must exert constant and strenuous effort to convince third countries that our program is not to be construed as evidence that we believe that Soviet purposes have now become benign by:

Explaining, on a confidential basis, the scope and purpose of our program and the precautions we would take. This should be done, for example, as regards the American Republics at a meeting of the Ambassadors, such as we have had with increasing frequency in recent months. It also should be particularly emphasized with the countries aligned with us in military alliances. There should be similar expositions made to friendly countries of Africa and Asia, and
Constant public reiteration by top-level government spokesmen of the extent and nature of the substantive divisions that remain between the respective aims and objectives of ourselves and the Soviet Union and of the need for retaining maximum collective safeguards.

It must be made clear that what we do is a part of our policy designed to weaken International Communism, and that it is not either an acquiescence in Soviet policy or a recognition that Soviet motives have so changed that they are no longer to be feared.”

The above-mentioned statement of policy, in the form in which it is finally adopted and approved, is intended to supersede NSC 5508/1. At a later date the Planning Board, pursuant to NSC Action No. 1522–g, will review NSC 5427, “Restricting Diplomatic and Official Representatives of Soviet Bloc Countries in the United States in Connection with Strategic Intelligence”.
James S. Lay, Jr.5
  1. Source: Department of State, S/P–NSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, East West Exchanges. Confidential. Copies were also sent to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the Special Assistant to the President for Disarmament, the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Interdepartmental Intelligence Conference, and the Chairman of the Interdepartmental Committee on Internal Security.
  2. Regarding NSC 5427, “Restricting Diplomatic and Official Representatives of Soviet Bloc Countries in the United States in Connection With Strategic Intelligence,” July 19, 1954, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. VIII, footnote 9, p. 1246. NSC 5508/1 is printed as Document 94. NSC 5602/1, “Basic National Security Policy”, dated March 15, 1956, is not printed. NSC Action 1522–g requested the OCB and the Department of Justice to prepare a study of the factors involved in implementing paragraph 36 of NSC 5602/1. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95) Executive Secretary Lay’s memorandum to the Council of June 6 is not printed, but see footnote 1, Supra.
  3. See footnote 4, Document 99.
  4. Dated June 13, not printed.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.