19. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to the President’s Press Secretary (Salinger)0

Because the President called off the NSC meeting last week and does not expect to have one this week, there may well be a question to you—or to him on Wednesday—about his procedures in this area.1

I think the best answer is the straight one: he is spending more time on national security affairs than on any other class of problems and he is meeting frequently with those most directly concerned with each specific question. He finds this method on the whole more effective than frequent scheduled meetings of the whole group, but he does expect to have formal NSC meetings from time to time when it seems appropriate.

A survey of the President’s calendar for the first month indicates that he met twice formally with the NSC and fifteen times with interdepartmental groups concerned with particular problems. In addition, of course, he had frequent individual conferences with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and other senior officials in the national security area.

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, McGeorge Bundy 2/61-4/61. No classification marking. Copies were sent to the President and Larry O’Donnell.
  2. No questions on the subject of this guidance were asked at the President’s news conference on March 1. See Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961, pp. 135-143.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.