67. Memorandum of Discussion at the 413th Meeting of the National Security Council0

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and Agenda Items 1. “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security,” and 2. “Berlin.”]

3. Basic National Security Policy (NSC 5810/1; NIE 11–4–58; NIE 100–59; Memo for NSC from Executive Secretary, subject: “Overseas Internal Security Program”, dated April 10, 1959; NSC Action No. 2079; Memo for NSC from Executive Secretary, subject: “Status of Military Mobilization Base Program”, dated April 21, 1959; NSC 5906; Memos for NSC from Executive Secretary, subject: “Basic National Security Policy”, dated June 19 and July 6 and 7, 1959; NSC Actions Nos. 2103 and 2105)

Mr. Gray indicated that the Council would now proceed to resume consideration of NSC 5906 and called attention to the fact that a four-page Change Sheet had been given to each member of the Council this morning. He also noted that a number of other changes had been agreed upon in the Planning Board as well as in conferences between Secretary Dillon and Secretary Anderson of the Treasury Department. (Copies of Mr. Gray’s briefing note and of the Change Sheet are filed in the Minutes of the Meeting and attached to this Memorandum.)1

Mr. Gray passed over Paragraphs 19 and 202 with a brief comment. When he came to Paragraph 23 he noted that there was a split between [Page 260] the Majority Proposal on the one hand and a proposal by the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the other. He also pointed out that the Majority Proposal for Paragraph 23 had been revised in the Change Sheet which had been distributed to the members. The revised Majority Proposal read as follows:

  • “a. The United States should seek:
    • “(1) To prevent or retard the development by additional nations of national nuclear weapons capabilities.
    • “(2) To prevent or retard the acquisition of national control over nuclear weapons components by nations which do not now possess them.
  • “b. If, however, it becomes clear that efforts to achieve agreed international controls affecting nuclear weapons development will not succeed, or if there is substantial evidence that the Soviet Union is permitting or contributing to the development of nuclear weapons capabilities by Bloc countries, the United States should enhance the nuclear weapons capability of selected allies by the exchange with them or provision to them of appropriate information, materials, or nuclear weapons, under arrangements for control of weapons to be determined.
  • “c. In anticipation of the possible acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability by such allies, the United States should now urgently consider within the Executive Branch plans for the development of multi-national (e.g., NATO) arrangements for determining requirements for, holding custody of, and controlling the use of nuclear weapons.
  • “d. Legislation should be sought when and as necessary for b and c above.”

The Defense–JCS Proposal which was much shorter read as follows:

“23. [Fourth sentence of par. 18 of NSC 5810/1, amended.]3 It should be U.S. policy to exchange with, or provide to, additional selected allies scientific and technical information in order to assist the research and development of nuclear weapons capability among our most reliable allies and to enhance our own knowledge. Seek legislation as necessary to authorize such exchange or provision of information.”

Mr. Gray also pointed out that Paragraph 24 was very closely involved with Paragraph 23 and indeed in the Majority Proposal was incorporated in Paragraph 23 as sub-paragraph c.4 After explaining the nature of the difference between the two versions of Paragraph 23 Mr. Gray asked Secretary Dillon to speak to the Majority Proposal.

Secretary Dillon said that it was the basic view of the State Department that the policy that we have hitherto followed, that is, of trying to [Page 261] prevent any additional nations from achieving a nuclear capability, was a good policy and should not be abandoned until it has proved to be ineffective. It was quite possible that that time would come. Secretary Dillon also suggested an amendment in the Majority version of Paragraph 23–a(1). He felt that the word “prevent” should be deleted as being so strong that it suggested that we might try to prevent the acquisition of a nuclear capability by other nations through the use of actual force. To Secretary Dillon the word “discourage” seemed a more appropriate word than the word “prevent.”

Secretary Dillon went on to say that if the U.S. should in time come to feel that we would have to go further in passing on to other nations nuclear information or even nuclear weapons, we should try to do so within some multi-national framework rather than through bilateral agreements. He added that of course the State Department recognized the danger that the Soviets might pass such information or weapons to their allies and satellites but he was inclined to doubt that the Soviets would do so in the near future.

Secretary McElroy stated that he was obliged to disassociate himself from support of the Defense–JCS version of Paragraph 23. He explained that the proposal that the U.S. exchange with our reliable allies or provide such information to them would raise a lot of problems. Perhaps this was intended to be confined to the French but it could be interpreted to apply to the Germans, the Italians or others. He added that he liked Secretary Dillon’s suggestion of dropping the word “prevent”. If that term were dropped, the resulting phraseology would go a long way to meet the concerns of the Department of Defense. Secretary McElroy also expressed approval of the Majority version of Paragraph 23–b. With regard to the difference between the content of sub-paragraph 23–c and Paragraph 24, Secretary McElroy did not think it very significant. Accordingly, it would be his suggestion, he said, to refer these paragraphs back to the Planning Board for further consideration in view of the likelihood that an agreed version could easily be reached.

The President said that he certainly hoped that agreement on Paragraph 23 could be reached because he was personally very confused about the issue raised in the paragraph. Perhaps we were sticking our heads in the sand when we talked about continuing to keep our nuclear secrets from falling into the hands of other parties. Certainly the hope of keeping these secrets continually recedes. At some future time a great many nations will have learned how to manufacture nuclear weapons. Accordingly, said the President, it was his own feeling that we are sitting on the beach waiting for the rising tide to stop.

Mr. Gray suggested that the Council might like to hear from Admiral Burke on Paragraph 23. Admiral Burke explained that the JCS felt that in due course the French would eventually by their own efforts, and at [Page 262] very great expense, succeed in manufacturing nuclear weapons. If this turns out to be the case and the French do succeed independently in achieving this objective, they are bound to be angry at the U.S. for not assisting them in the process. On the other hand, if we now proceed to assist them in achieving a nuclear capability, Franco-American relations would improve.

Turning to sub-paragraph c of the revised Majority Proposal, Admiral Burke indicated that the JCS had a quarrel with the wording. It was the belief of the Chiefs that the development of multi-national arrangements, called for in the paragraph, should begin with NATO. The present wording of the paragraph suggested that NATO was merely one example of the kind of multi-national arrangements we should consider and plan for. Secretary Dillon indicated that he would have no objection to changing the language of sub-paragraph c to meet the point raised by Admiral Burke.

With respect to the development of nuclear weapons, Mr. McCone pointed out that our recent exchange of information with the U.K. has revealed that the British had much more information on this [4 lines of source text not declassified].

Mr. McCone went on to say that he was somewhat troubled by the two conditions in sub-paragraph 23–b which would govern a U.S. decision to enhance the nuclear weapons capability of selected allies. According to the sub-paragraph, as now written, the U.S. would enhance the nuclear weapons capability of selected allies if it became apparent that efforts to achieve agreed international controls would not succeed or if it became known that the Soviet Union was contributing to the development of nuclear weapons capabilities by Bloc countries. These conditions seemed wrong to Mr. McCone. He thought that the criterion which should determine U.S. action should be the criterion of whether the security of the U.S. was enhanced.

Mr. Gray said that it seemed to him that there were no basic differences of view on Paragraph 23 and he believed that the Planning Board could come back with agreed language. He added that this paragraph was one notable instance where our use of outside consultants in preparing our revised Basic National Security Policy had contributed greatly.

With respect to Paragraphs 25, 265 and 28 Mr. Gray commented briefly but there was no discussion. When Mr. Gray reached Paragraph 28 dealing with dynamic research and development for military application, he read the last two sentences, which were new, as follows:

“During any nuclear weapons test moratorium, research and development should go forward as rapidly and as far as possible on nuclear [Page 263] weapons even though nuclear testing is not permitted. Effort should be directed also to permit early test resumption should the moratorium be terminated.”6

Mr. McCone immediately questioned whether the last of these two sentences really added anything to the paragraph although the first of the two new sentences seemed to him to cover the matter and was quite satisfactory.

Mr. Gray thought that the last sentence might well be omitted. Secretary McElroy pointed out that if we were literally to follow the directive given by the last sentence in Paragraph 28–a, very large sums of money would be involved. Preparing and organizing for extensive tests, he explained, was a long-term and extremely expensive operation. Mr. Gray said he judged that Mr. McElroy agreed with Mr. McCone in wishing to delete the last sentence of Paragraph 28–a which view Secretary McElroy confirmed.

The President warned that responsible officials ought to keep this problem in mind daily. If there is any possibility of any kind of hopeful political change, it did not seem sensible to the President to have our readiness to start test resumption so far advanced that we could resume tests the very next day after the moratorium was terminated. He added that he thought his Science Advisory Group might well take a look at what is involved in this problem. Perhaps we might be able to put our test resumption capabilities on a lower stand-by basis.

Secretary McElroy said that he would welcome such a move and the President added that he hated to keep putting millions into our test resumption capabilities each month when it was possible that we might never resume testing. Secretary Dillon added that even if the moratorium were to be terminated next October, there was no certainty that some kind of negotiations would not continue after this. The issue certainly had foreign policy implications. The President observed that we certainly have to recognize the fact that we are here speculating about actions that somebody else will take and that the best we could do was to make an educated guess.

Thereupon Mr. Gray ran briefly through Paragraphs 36, where he suggested a minor amendment, Paragraph 37, and Paragraph 38. He pointed out that the original split in Paragraph 387 had now ceased to exist inasmuch as the State Department had later expressed a willingness [Page 264] to accept the Majority Proposal. Secretary Dillon explained why the State Department had agreed to accept the Majority language since the State Department no longer feared that the Majority language would prevent the U.S. from assisting more recently independent areas if assistance of their metropoles was not forthcoming.

Mr. Gray also pointed out that the Defense Department proposed adding the bracketed language at the end of Paragraph 38 reading as follows:

“[recognizing, however, that the United States should not allow the attitudes and emotions of the mother country unduly to influence actions essential to attaining or preserving U.S. objectives in emerging or newly independent countries.]*8

“*Defense proposal”

Mr. Gray explained that originally this bracketed language had had the support of both the Defense and JCS representatives but that in their formal views the Joint Chiefs had withdrawn support for the proposal so that it was now presumably being proposed by Defense alone. He called on Secretary McElroy to defend the Defense position on this phraseology.

Secretary McElroy pointed out that the advantage in this language, as seen by Defense, was that it would place the U.S. in a position of being more forthright and direct in moving into certain situations, as was not done in the case of Guinea where we had delayed appointing a U.S. Ambassador lest we offend the French.

The President said that he believed that acts taken by the U.S. in this context would have to be taken on a case-by-case basis. It did not seem to him practicable to set down this guidance in a policy paper. The President also expressed concern over the possible repercussions in NATO if we were to follow too literally the guidance suggested in the bracketed language. Mr. McElroy said that inasmuch as earlier phraseology in NSC 5906 seemed to cover the problem adequately, he would not insist on the retention of the bracketed language. Mr. Allen Dulles expressed the hope that dropping this language would not mean that the U.S. would take second place to the metropoles in these countries because many of these new countries will look to us for help and guidance rather than to their metropoles.

In Paragraph 39, dealing with U.S. action with respect to nations vulnerable to Communist subversion, Mr. Gray read subparagraph 39–a(4) as follows:

“(4) In the event of an imminent or actual Communist seizure of control from within, take all feasible measures to thwart it, [including military [Page 265] action if required and appropriate to cope with the situation.]* [not excluding the possibility of talking military action as a last resort to prevent Communist domination of a vital area.]**9

“*State-Defense–JCS proposal

“Treasury proposal”

After explaining as best he could the nature of the split in this subparagraph, Mr. Gray called on Under Secretary of the Treasury Scribner to explain the matter more fully.

Secretary Scribner said that it was certainly not the intention of the Treasury proposal to change our policy. Rather it was a desire to provide more explicit policy guidance to our military planners inasmuch as this was essentially a planning problem. Moreover, in the Planning Board discussions of this problem he had detected no indications that the U.S. would ever move in with military forces except as a last resort and then in only vital areas. Accordingly, it seemed to Secretary Scribner that the Treasury language provided better guidance than the language proposed by State-Defense, and JCS.

Secretary McElroy replied that adoption of the Treasury proposal might well seem to indicate an undue reluctance on the part of the U.S. to use military action if required. The matter hardly got into planning at all although obviously we would not resort to military action if we could achieve our objectives by any other measures.

Secretary Scribner replied by expressing fear that if we adopted the State-Defense–JCS language, our military intervention might come too soon. Secretary Dillon said he failed to perceive any very significant difference between the two conflicting versions. The President expressed agreement with Secretary Dillon. The Attorney General suggested that the whole matter might be solved by placing a period after “thwart it” and deleting all the rest of the language. The President, however, felt that it would be necessary to say something more than this. For example, if Cuba went Communist, nobody doubted that the U.S. would intervene. After further discussion and various suggestions, it was agreed to accept the President’s proposal to accept the State, Defense, JCS proposal providing the term “finally” were inserted between “if” and “required”.

Mr. Gray noted that the next split occurred in Paragraph 42 dealing with the foreign economic policy of the U.S. In sub-paragraph b of Paragraph 42 Budget and Treasury wished to add a final sentence reading:

“Any increases in economic development assistance should to the extent politically and militarily feasible, be offset by decreases in other economic or in military assistance programs.” [Page 266] After explaining the various views about the proposed language, Mr. Gray called on Director Stans. Mr. Stans said he thought that the State Department had agreed to include the language proposed by Budget and Treasury. Mr. Gray replied that this was the case but that the views of other departments had yet to be provided on the wisdom of including or deleting this language. Secretary Dillon said that it was true that the State Department had said it could continue to live with this language although it would prefer to delete it inasmuch as it was pretty meaningless and there were no instances where increases in economic development assistance had been offset by decreases elsewhere in our assistance programs. Mr. Stans admitted that this might well be true but thought that if this language which occurred in our present Basic National Security Policy statement (NSC 5810/1) were deleted in the proposed new policy statement (NSC 5906), the deletion might be thought to have greater significance than was actually the case.

The President thought that we were at present doing something like this now. He often increased our assistance in one area and decreased it in another. Furthermore, he asked whether the inclusion of the language had in the past done us any harm. Mr. Gray replied in the negative and the Council agreed to include the language proposed by Budget and Treasury.

Mr. Gray pointed out that the split which had formerly existed in Paragraph 43–d had been resolved.10 Apropos of the general subject of U.S. assistance to less-developed areas, covered in Paragraphs 43 and 44, the President said he had a question to put to the Council. Were we studying the feasibility of developing some kind of multinational agreement to see whether it might not be possible, to secure a greater degree of coordination of our own efforts and the efforts of other Free World nations and in order to try to develop among other Free World nations a greater sense of responsibility for assisting the less-developed areas of the world? It seemed to the President that the U.S. had taken too much of this burden on its own shoulders. We ought to ask other Free World nations to share this burden with us. A serious study should be made with respect to this possibility.

Secretary Dillon replied that he and his associates had thought a great deal about this problem and had talked it over with the British, with the West Germans, and later with the Italians. All were agreed on the general principle but the problem remained of working out a mechanism by which such multi-national aid to the less-developed areas could be made effective. It was essential to avoid any suggestion that the Western Nations were levying demands on the less-developed nations in the [Page 267] course of providing assistance to them. Secretary Dillon indicated that he had also been talking with officials in the Treasury Department with a view to increasing the role of the World Bank. However, he certainly agreed that more must be done to secure a greater coordination of Free World efforts to help the underdeveloped nations.

The President said he thought we ought to get thoroughly into the business with the representatives of the appropriate Western European countries. After all, he said, these countries have as much to gain or lose in the underdeveloped areas as the U.S. It is for this reason that we have been groping with plans for trying to expand NATO’s hitherto largely military mission.

Discussion of this item concluded with Mr. Gray reading the newly agreed wording for Paragraph 43–f which had originally contained two splits.11 He also noted that the split in Paragraph 44–b had been resolved when the State Department had agreed to the inclusion of the bracketed language.12 Mr. Gray also read the last sentence of Paragraph 44 as follows:

“In its actions the U.S. should seek to avoid giving the impression that the U.S. is guaranteeing or underwriting the achievement of specific rates of economic growth or the fulfillment of overall economic targets in less-developed countries.”

Mr. Gray said he read this language in because while there was no controversy at present, the sentence had occasioned much discussion in the Planning Board. The President commented that really the phraseology seemed to him simply a caution for the eager beavers.

Mr. Gray also read Paragraph 48 as follows:

“Interference in the trade between the Free World and the Sino-Soviet Bloc should take place only where a clear advantage to the Free World would accrue from such interference.”

Mr. Gray pointed out that while this paragraph was new in our statement of Basic Policy, it had long been part of our statement of policy on Economic Defense. Essentially, therefore, it was not new U.S. policy. The President commented that he was very glad to see this statement in Basic Policy because it comprised his whole theory about trade between the Free World and the Sino-Soviet Bloc. Mr. Clarence Randall also said [Page 268] that he felt it was very important to have this guidance clearly expressed in our Basic National Security Policy. While it was contained in our Economic Defense Policy paper, the guidance it contained had not been fully implemented in the past.

With respect to Paragraph 51 dealing with negotiations with the U.S.S.R., Mr. Gray read the last sentence as follows:

“Agreements affecting strength and deployment of military forces should include provisions for effective safeguards against violations and evasions.”

While not exactly new Mr. Gray thought that this idea deserved to be stressed. The President commented with respect to the sentence that we should probably never get 100 per cent safeguards and we should not imagine that the term “effective safeguards” would ever be 100 per cent effective. Dr. Kistiakowsky agreed with the President’s remark.

Mr. Gray passed lightly over Paragraphs 52 and 54 but dwelt at greater length on a proposed new paragraph to follow Paragraph 54 dealing with U.S. personnel overseas which paragraph he read. (This paragraph change was subsequently adopted by the Council and is set forth in the Council action following this item.)

The President said he thought the new paragraph was fine. He reminded the Council that back in 1953 and 1954 we had experienced a lot of trouble with our overseas U.S. personnel because so many of them appeared to operate independently of the Chief of Mission. We had insisted at that time that the Chief of Mission should have the ultimate control so that American operations in any given foreign country would be unified. The President said he was not suggesting that the new paragraph be revised to include this thought although he wished that the OCB and the responsible agencies should not lose sight of this significant point.

Mr. Gray explained to the Council that we had now reached the point in NSC 5906 which we had agreed to cover at this meeting and that he would go on with the remaining paragraphs of NSC 5906 at next week’s Council meeting.

The National Security Council:13

Tentatively adopted Paragraphs 19 through 28 and 36 through 54 of NSC 5906, subject to the following:
Paragraphs 23–24, pages 16–18: Referred these paragraphs to the NSC Planning Board for revision in the light of a revised Majority Proposal [Page 269] circulated at the meeting and of the subsequent Council discussion.
Paragraph 28–a, page 21: Delete the last sentence.
Paragraph 36, page 28: Insert, in the 3rd line after the word “also”, the words “through appropriate channels”.
Paragraph 38, pages 29–30: Include the “Majority Proposal” and delete the “State Proposal”. Also delete the bracketed phrase at the end of the paragraph and the footnote thereto.
Paragraph 39–a–(4), page 31: Delete the bracketed phrases and the footnotes thereto, and substitute the following: “including military action if finally required and appropriate to cope with the situation.”
Paragraph 42–b, pages 33–34: In the 3rd line, substitute “such assistance” for “public capital”. Include the bracketed last sentence.
Paragraph 43–d, page 35: Revise the first sentence to read as follows, and delete the bracketed sentence which follows it:

“d. Utilize and support the efforts of Free World international financial institutions to the maximum extent possible to promote economic development and to bring about economic reforms in less developed nations.”

Paragraph 43–f, page 36: In the first sentence, delete the bracketed phrase “appropriately increased” and the footnote; and in the second line substitute the word “adequate” for the word “substantial”. Delete the bracketed second sentence and substitute the following: “U.S. lending agencies should be assured of continuity in order to contribute to this purpose.”
Paragraph 44–b, page 37: Include the bracketed words.
Page 47: Insert a new numbered paragraph following Paragraph 54, as follows:

“The acceptance by the people and governments of foreign countries of the presence on their soil of official U.S. personnel* directly affects our capability to achieve our national security objectives. To this end, programs should be developed and improved to encourage and strengthen the natural inclination of the individual American to be a good representative of his country and to promote conduct and attitudes conducive to good will and mutual understanding. Each department and agency and senior representatives overseas should seek (a) to ensure that U.S. official personnel understand the importance to the United States of their role as personal ambassadors (b) to develop programs that promote good personal relations between foreign nationals and U.S. personnel, and (c) to ensure that the total number of U.S. official personnel in each country is held to a strict minimum consistent with sound implementation of essential programs.

“*As of March 31, 1959 there were 1,072,200 military and citizen employees of the United States and their dependents in foreign countries and possessions.”

Noted the President’s request that:
The President’s Science Advisory Committee study and report on the appropriate extent and timing of efforts to permit early resumption of nuclear weapons tests should the moratorium of such tests be terminated.
The Department of Defense and the Atomic Energy Commission, in consultation with the Department of State, keep the plans and preparation for such test resumption under continuing study, taking into account the study in (1) above, reporting to the President whenever necessary.
Noted, in connection with the new numbered paragraph in, a–(10) above, the President’s reference to his previous instructions regarding relations between Chiefs of Diplomatic Missions and representatives of all United States agencies conducting operations in foreign countries, concurred in by the Council and approved by the President in NSC Action No. 1587. The President reiterated his views concerning the importance of the role of Chiefs of Mission in exercising control over all official U.S. personnel abroad and in coordinating their activities so that a unified U.S. effort is ensured; and his request that the Operations Coordinating Board transmit to the field the substance of the new paragraph in a–(10) and the President’s views related thereto.
Agreed to continue consideration of NSC 5906 at the next Council meeting.

Note: The action in b above, as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Chairman, AEC, and the President’s Science Advisory Committee, for appropriate implementation.

The action in c above, as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to the Operations Coordinating Board for appropriate implementation.

[Here follows Agenda Item 4. “Merchant Marine Policy.”]

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Drafted by Gleason.
  2. For text, see the Supplement.
  3. These paragraphs are identical to paragraphs 20 and 21 of NSC 5906/1.
  4. Brackets in the source text.
  5. The original Defense–JCS proposal has not been found.
  6. Paragraphs 25 and 26 of NSC 5906 are identical to paragraphs 25 and 26 of NSC 5906/1.
  7. These are the last two sentences of paragraph 28–a. The remainder of the paragraph is identical in NSC 5906 and 5906/1.
  8. In NSC 5906, the second sentence of the “State Proposal” reads: “To the extent feasible the United States should encourage Western European nations to influence and support their respective dependent or recently dependent areas so long as such encouragement is consistent with U.S. security interests.” The matching sentence of the “Majority Proposal” reads: “The United States should encourage and, to the extent feasible, rely on Western European nations to influence and support their respective dependent or recently dependent areas so long as such encouragement and reliance are consistent with U.S. security interests.”
  9. Brackets in the source text.
  10. Brackets in the source text.
  11. This original split has not been found.
  12. The previous version of this subparagraph reads: “Make [appropriately increased] U.S. public capital available in substantial amounts on a long-term basis for the purpose of supplementing the capital available from other sources for sound economic development in less developed areas. [The development Loan Fund should be assured of continuity and resources adequate to promote accelerated rates of development in less developed nations.]” The bracketed portions were a “State-Defense proposal.” The version Gray read was incorporated in NSC 5906/1.
  13. The bracketed language, included in NSC 5906/1, is “the basic initiative as well as”.
  14. The following paragraphs and note constitute NSC Action No. 2108, approved by the President on July 20. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)