19. Briefing Note for the 356th NSC Meeting1

[Facsimile Page 1]

The next item is to hear a report from the Department of Defense on certain military measures included in the so-called “Gaither Report,” as to which there was not sufficient time available for discussion before the Council at its meeting on January 6.

Originally scheduled for the Council meeting on January 30, these measures were deferred at the request of the Department of Defense (Dr. Killian agreed).

The matters to be reported on are:

First—whether to produce additional first-generation ICBMs beyond the 130 currently programmed to be operational prior to the end of FY 1963; whether to build the additional launching sites required for an operational capability of such additional ICBMs; and whether to harden such additional launching sites.

Second—Whether to order new production of more than 3 POLARIS submarine missiles systems and whether possibly further to accelerate POLARIS production.

Third—Whether to utilize modified existing anti-aircraft missiles (THE TALOS) as interim defense against ICBM attack at SAC bases, pending the development of an initial operational capability of the more effective NIKE-ZEUS anti-missile missiles.

Fourth—Whether to harden SAC bases by providing blast shelters for a large part of SAC planes, weapons, personnel, and supplies.

MR. HOLADAY will speak on the first 3 items, and MR. QUARLES on the 4th item.

[Facsimile Page 2]
During a discussion relative to the Continental Defense policy at the last Council meeting concerning internal security measures to protect against the clandestine introduction of nuclear weapons, it was brought out that:
Soviet Bloc diplomatic personnel may enter the United States through only five port areas;
at the time of entry, such personnel and their diplomatic pouches, baggage, and shipments are examined externally on a covert basis by detection devices which are capable of identifying radioactive material but not of distinguishing fissionable from non-fissionable.
When the devices disclose the presence of radioactive material in the baggage or effects of Soviet Bloc diplomats, no internal examination [Typeset Page 81] of the same may be made, but the official or package is traced to ascertain the destination.
As a result of this discussion, the State Department undertook to examine and report on whether, if there were substantial evidence that any shipment entering the United States under diplomatic immunity contained radioactive material, the Department would be prepared to advise the diplomatic representatives of the country concerned that the shipment would be opened by United States officials in the presence of representatives of such country, to determine the nature of the radioactive material.
The Secretary of State will now report on its study of the feasibility of adopting such a practice.
  1. Source: Defense Department report on the Gaither Report; continental defense policy. Top Secret. 2 pp. Eisenhower Library, Whitman File.