69. Memorandum of Discussion at the 395th Meeting of the National Security Council0

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and agenda item 1.]

2. Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security

The Director of Central Intelligence dealt first with Khrushchev’s six hour speech at the 21st Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union which had opened in Moscow last Tuesday.1 He pointed out that representatives of some seventy Communist Parties in different countries of the world would be attending the Congress. Even the American Communist Party was represented. Undoubtedly, the Congress would plan various programs for the subversion of the Free World as they usually did at such meetings. The Congress was now about to go into Executive Session.

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Khrushchev’s speech, continued Mr. Allen Dulles, revealed no notable change in the earlier forecast of the economic goals of the new 7-Year Plan. Thus the speech was essentially a propaganda ploy for the new 7-Year Plan. Wide claims were made by Khrushchev for the Plan. He predicted among other things that the U.S.S.R. would surpass the U.S. in per capita production by 1970, a claim which Mr. Dulles believed impossible to realize.

After a brief discussion of the figures presented by Khrushchev, Mr. Dulles went on to point out the claim by Khrushchev that the realization of the objectives of the 7-Year Plan would provide the Communist Bloc with a decisive edge over the Free World by 1970. Also notable was Khrushchev’s statement on ICBM’s. After considerable study, Mr. Dulles said that the most careful translation indicated that Khrushchev had stated that “serialized production of ICBM’s has been organized”. If this were an accurate translation, Mr. Dulles indicated that it fitted well with our U.S. intelligence estimates which have assumed that ICBM’s would be coming off the production line in small numbers this Calendar Year.2 Khrushchev’s statement did not indicate that Soviet production of ICBM’s was ahead of our estimates.

[Here follow discussion of unrelated subjects and the remaining agenda items.]

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Prepared by Gleason on January 29.
  2. See Document 68.
  3. An intelligence estimate [document number and title not declassified], August 19, 1958, concluded: “The USSR will probably have a first operational capability with ten prototype ICBMs at some time during calendar year 1959.” (Department of State, INR-NIE Files) Another intelligence estimate [document number and title not declassified], December 23, 1958, concluded: “we continue to estimate that the USSR will probably achieve a first operational capability with 10 prototype ICBMs at some time during the year 1959.” (Ibid.)