246. Notes of the Legislative Leadership Meeting0

[Here follow a list of participants, a summary, and discussion of unrelated topics.]

Mutual Security—Acting Sec. Dillon stressed the need for securing during the Senate Committee markup some restoration of the cuts made by the House, particularly in view of the recommendations of the Draper Committee. He noted three bad amendments presently in the bill pertaining to cost-benefit ratios, employment rights of people leaving ICA and finally, availability of internal papers. He noted that the White House had taken the position that forced access to these papers is unconstitutional. Sen. Saltonstall thought there would be some difficulty in taking care of the papers question.

The President spoke with considerable feeling on the importance of carrying on the war against poverty and disease among nearly two billion people. Lacking progress in these areas, there might well be a great explosion leading to an absolutely desperate situation surpassing even World War II. He stated that one of the objectives of his trip to Western Europe2 would be to get our allies to participate more in this effort. The President could not understand how people could oppose the money for development programs when they were willing to vote incomparably larger sums for military defense. He would prefer to cut $5 billion from the latter to use for development in this vital field.

Sen. Saltonstall stated his concurrence with the President’s views, and then spoke of the need for military assistance funds for maintaining NATO. The President replied in terms of how the U.S. got into the Korean War because of lack of funds and the continuing need for supporting Rhee’s divisions at present. He commented wryly on the willingness of Congress to put much money into other areas where it could not profitably be used, as in medical research.

[Here follows discussion of unrelated topics.]

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Legislative Meetings. Confidential. Drafted by Minnich.
  2. The meeting took place at the White House.
  3. Eisenhower left Washington on August 26 for consultations with European leaders at Bonn, London, and Paris, returning September 7.