575. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Merchant) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Rubottom)1

I imagine you have already acted on the following thought which occurs to me. This is that we should have in completed form within the next month or so a comprehensive contingency plan covering the assistance which we would be prepared to give a new and satisfactory Cuban government should it come into power. I raised this question in a meeting this morning with Allen Dulles and Gordon Gray.2 Both of them thought that such planning should be completed on an urgent [Page 1055] basis. There are obviously a great many fields of activity and support to cover, ranging from technical assistance to administrative support and economic aid. Other government agencies would be involved, including ICA, CIA, Defense, Commerce, and Treasury.

If in fact we have not proceeded with such planning on a comprehensive basis, it would be my thought to ask S/P in collaboration with ARA to take a first cut at the problem and produce a check list of actions to be taken and agencies which would be responsible therefor. Once such a paper was prepared, I would think an interdepartmental committee should be set up under State Department chairmanship to assign responsibilities and to complete detailed planning. All of this naturally would be conducted in greatest secrecy.

I would appreciate it if you would let me know what if any work has been done on this matter and what you would think of proceeding or continuing along the lines I have suggested above.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/8–1160. Secret. Drafted by Merchant. A copy was sent to S/P.
  2. No record of this meeting has been found.
  3. Attached to the source text is a note, dated August 15, whose author the editors were unable to determine, which reads: “Had chance only to speak guardedly on phone this evening with RRR before his departure. He said he would ‘leave his point of view’ with Mallory and would speak with Secretary and Mann further on matter while on San Jose trip.”