512. Letter From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Gray) to the Acting Secretary of State1

Dear Doug: In the course of a conversation I had with the President yesterday,2 the subject of Cuba was discussed. I expressed my [Page 903]view to the President that there should be someone in a place of high authority who felt himself constantly seized of the Cuban problem and who would take steps to assure that all of the activities of various groups were in harness and that all needed decisions were made when needed. I expressed the view that such an individual should be in the State Department.

The President agreed and said that although for a period of time, indeed for practical purposes for a period of weeks, you would be Acting Secretary, he felt that you should take a special interest in the Cuban situation. As you know, Livie has set up two groups, one under the chairmanship of Mr. Hill, and one under the chairmanship of Mr. Mallory. In addition, there is the Special Group, of which Livie is a member, and in his absence Ray Hare sits. Further, there is a special activity proceeding under the chairmanship of Bob Anderson with which you may or may not be familiar. Allen Dulles has a particular liaison with Bob in this matter. The Defense Department of course has many interests.

The President further asked me to ask Ray Hare to seize himself of the problem as necessary pending your return.

I have discussed this matter with Ray and with Allen Dulles.

I think it important that you, Ray, Allen, and I meet together at your earliest possible convenience on Monday.3 I suggest that I be included because the President asked me to say to you that he wished me to follow the whole matter as his personal representative without of course assuming any authority whatsoever beyond that which attaches to a staff capacity.

You will observe that I am sending a copy of this to Ray Hare, Allen Dulles and Andy Goodpaster.

Sincerely,

Gordon Gray4
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Project “Clean Up” Records, Chron. Confidential; Personal. Copies were sent to Hare, Allen Dulles, and Goodpaster.
  2. This was apparently either Gray’s meeting with the President, 8: 26–8: 30 a.m., just prior to the National Security Council meeting or his meeting at 10: 19–10: 28 after that meeting. (ibid., President’s Daily Appointments)
  3. May 2.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.