338. Memorandum of Discussion at the 426th Meeting of the National Security Council0

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and agenda items 1–2.]

3. U.S Policy Toward Cyprus (Supplement to NSC 5718; NSC Action No. 1763; Memos for NSC from Executive Secretary, same subject, dated March 9 and November 6, 1959; NIE 32.5–59; NSC 5915)1

Mr. Gray said that in view of the shortage of time he would address himself primarily to the divergence of views in NSC 5915. After reading Paragraph 5 of his Briefing Note (a copy of which is filed in the Minutes of the Meeting and another copy of which is attached to this Memorandum),2 Mr. Gray called the Council’s attention to Paragraph 43 of NSC 5915 which dealt with possible U.S. military assistance to Cyprus. The [Page 805] majority version of this paragraph provided that the U.S. would not accede to a Cypriot request for direct U.S. military assistance; the minority version, while recognizing the undesirability of U.S. involvement in such direct U.S. military assistance, provided that the U.S. should be prepared to consider such assistance if measures provided for in Paragraphs 41 and 42—that is, encouraging the Cypriots to look to Greece, Turkey, and the U.K.—failed and if such assistance is believed absolutely essential for the achievement of U.S. objectives. Mr. Gray reported that the majority view was supported by Defense, Treasury, Budget and the JCS, while the minority views was supported by the State Department and OCDM. The majority anticipate requests for military assist-ance from other newly-emerging independent countries and believe that the U.S. at some point will have to draw the line or to accede to other requests of a similar nature. It appears to the majority that Cyprus is the place where the line should be drawn. The minority on the other hand thinks it is too early to say that the U.S. will provide no military assist-ance to Cyprus and believes that we should not tie our hands in the event preservation of U.S. interests on the island, including communications and intelligence facilities, might hinge on this type of aid.

The President said he was confused. Had Cyprus asked for U.S. military assistance? Mr. Gray reported that Archbishop Makarios had requested military assistance of $2–1/2 million. However, this initial cost was only the beginning of the total cost of providing military assist-ance to Cyprus. The President said he would like to postpone further consideration of the paragraphs on military assistance in the Cyprus paper until he had had an opportunity to consult the Secretary of State.

The National Security Council:3

Noted the draft statement of policy on the subject contained in NSC 5915 and the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff thereon (transmitted by the reference memorandum of November 6, 1959).
Tentatively adopted the statement of policy in NSC 5915 with the exception of paragraphs 41, 42, and 43, on which action was deferred pending consideration by the President in consultation with the Secretary of State.

[Here follow the remaining agenda items.]

Marion W. Boggs
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Prepared by Boggs on January 26, 1960.
  2. The Supplement to NSC 5718 is printed in Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. XXIV, pp. 493494. Regarding NSC Action No. 1763, see ibid., p. 489, footnote 3. The March 9 memorandum instructed the NSC Planning Board to prepare a draft statement of U.S. policy regarding Cyprus. (Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, Cyprus) The November 6 memorandum transmitted to the NSC the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the draft of NSC 5915. (Ibid., S/S-NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, Cyprus) NIE 32.5–59 is printed as Document 330. NSC 5915 is in Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351. The revised text (NSC 6003) is printed as Document 347.
  3. Not printed. The minutes of all meetings of the National Security Council held during the Eisenhower administration are in National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Official Meeting Minutes File.
  4. Paragraphs a and b constitute NSC Action No. 2154, approved on December 3. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)