113. Notes on the Meeting of the Operations Coordinating Board, October 16, 19571

Report on Proposed Government Program for Student Exchange with Soviet Union and Other Countries of Eastern Europe2

Mr. Lacy (S/EWC), Mr. Kendrick (EE), Mr. Merrill (P/EWC) and Mr. Wyman (P/IES) were present for the discussion.

In his briefing for the Board Mr. Lacy stated that talks with the USSR were now scheduled to begin in Washington on October 28. He summarized U.S.-USSR exchanges for the past few years and noted several of the disadvantages arising from legislative and Department of Justice requirements. It was pointed out that NSC 56073 charges the Department with its implementation in conjunction with the Department of Justice, and that both Departments were directed to develop and apply internal security safeguards. Mr. Lacy stated the present system, which requires that the Department secure sponsors for Soviet bloc visitors, has been burdensome and disliked by American schools and individuals who have undertaken to act in this capacity.

The exchange proposals were presented to the Board. In one, the U.S. and USSR would exchange 100 students for a period of six weeks in the summer of 1958 or later at a cost of about $100,000. The second proposal was for a U.S.-Soviet European bloc exchange of 114 persons, students and teachers for one year, leaders and specialists for six months. The latter program would cost about $550,000. It was generally agreed that the objectives of both programs accord with NSC policy. Mr. Larson stated his conviction that a six-week program is much too short to be effective and suggested that anything less than a year is inadequate.

Under Secretary Herter pointed out that NSC policy requires the U.S. to take the initiative in such exchanges as a positive instrument of U.S. foreign policy. Since the U.S. negotiators in the coming talks must know the boundaries of their authority, particularly with regard to internal security requirements, he said that the present State and Justice positions would be discussed at the Cabinet meeting next week.

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During the discussion of the financing of such programs, it was agreed that no attempt should be made to seek funds or supplemental appropriation for FY ’58. Without excluding the possibility of some funds being found within the FY ’58 exchange program, it was thought best that East-West programs should be presented as part of FY ’59. Mr. Macy of the Budget Bureau said that he expects that in the coming election year there will be quicker Congressional action on budget requests.

Mr. John Reilly (Justice) said that he was under instructions from the Attorney General to say that the FBI could not take on the job of surveillance. He also said that it was the view in Justice that there were provisions in the Immigration and Naturalization Act which might preclude group or category waivers.

It was agreed that any East-West program should begin modestly; that the exchanges should embrace not only the USSR but the European Soviet bloc; and that flexibility in approach should be maintained.

Later, the Under Secretary said that some formal action would be required by agreement between the Secretary and the Attorney General or, failing this, a determination by the President, as regards the surveillance and waiver aspects of the exchanges. The Under Secretary asked that Mr. Lacy study this matter to determine precisely the position which should be adopted by the Secretary at the coming Cabinet meeting; also, that Mr. Lacy should set up a briefing of the Secretary on this subject.4 The advice of L should be sought as regards the interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, especially with reference to the proposed approval of group or category waivers.

  1. Source: Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, East-West Exchanges. Secret. The source text was taken from Richards7 memorandum of October 16 to Lacy, in which he made the following prefatory remark: “For your information there is quoted below an excerpt from my preliminary and informal notes on the OCB meeting of October 16, 1957.”
  2. Supra.
  3. Document 104.
  4. Cutler prepared a memorandum for the record regarding this discussion at the OCB meeting and sent it to Secretary Dulles as an attachment to a letter dated October 16. In the memorandum Cutler stated that the President apparently had forgotten that the security regulations governing exchanges had been discussed by the National Security Council the previous year, and that Cutler believed that it was preferable to continue discussion of the issue, if the Secretary of State and the Attorney General could not reach agreement, at the NSC rather than the Cabinet level. In a covering letter. Cutler wrote that the Attorney General had indicated there had been no discussion with the Secretary of State since the previous year about the regulations. Cutler suggested that Dulles and Brownell meet to work out revisions in the regulations and only if they were unsuccessful would Cutler schedule the issue for discussion at the NSC meeting of October 24. (Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, East-West Exchanges) No record of further discussion of this issue by Brownell and Dulles has been found, but they presumably were able to agree on revisions in the legislation since the subject was not scheduled for discussion at the October 24 meeting of the NSC or any subsequent meetings during 1957.