268. Memorandum of Discussion Prepared by McCone, April 301

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Saturday afternoon at 5:00 o’clock I met with the President, Prime Minister Macmillan, and Secretary McNamara. Mr. Lundahl gave a thorough briefing on the most recent TKH photography, mission 9032. The briefing was very impressive. The President asked whether our recent photography caused a change in our estimates. McNamara answered no, that our ’62 and ’63 estimates remain. I however took a different position. I stated there were now 76 ICBM launching pads located and there were probably some which we had not located. Some were completed, the majority apparently under construction. I pointed out our mid-62 estimate was 35 to 50 ICBMs on pads and ready to go. I now felt we have to accept the higher figure as the minimum. The ’63 figure of 75 to 125, and here we would have to accept the higher figure as the minimum and perhaps raise it. I pointed out this matter was under consideration by CIA.

Lundahl in answer to a question stated that his initial read-out and preliminary report of a CORONA mission required three to four days, but that a complete study required three months.

Action: This raises question in my mind as to whether we have in NPIC capacity to handle the load resulting from the planned missions this summer. This should be discussed with Carter, Cline and Sheldon.

After Macmillan left the meeting, I reviewed with the President certain CHICKADEE reports and referred to the December reports from CHICKADEE that the Soviets would place greater emphasis on ICBMs and I thought this was what we were witnessing.

The President expressed satisfaction with the briefing, made some complimentary remarks about CIA reorganization and present operation, raised the question of the scope of responsibility of Kirkpatrick. The meeting lasted about an hour and 15 minutes.

John A. McCone
  1. Readout of April 28 meeting among Kennedy, Macmillan, McCone, and McNamara on TKH photography. Secret; Eyes Only. 1 p. CIA Files, Job 80B01285A, Mtgs w/President 12/1/61–6/30/62.