8. Record of Actions Taken at the 475th Meeting of the National Security Council1

[Here follows a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting.]

2396. Attendance at National Security Council Meetings

The President noted that he had invited certain officials other than the Statutory Members and Advisers for this initial NSC meeting of his Administration. He said that the list of those requested to attend any given meeting would be decided in the light of the business he wanted to discuss each time, but he emphasized his eagerness to keep such officers as Mr. Murrow 2 fully informed of major issues.

2397. Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security

Noted and discussed an oral report by the Director of Central Intelligence3 which included discussion of the new President of Brazil; prospects for the Salazar regime in Portugal; the serious agricultural situation in Communist China; and recent developments regarding Indonesia and the Congo.
The Secretary of the Treasury4 stated that the Departments of State and Treasury were agreed that it would be desirable to make an early offer to the new President of Brazil of a $100 million Export-Import Bank loan. Mr. Dillon was hopeful that the Bank would agree to take this step.
The Council discussed a possible change in U.S. policy relating to the bunkering of Free World ships under Communist Chinese charter, provided such ships were carrying only food and paid cash. The President requested that the Secretary of State study this question further, particularly whether any such change in policy could be at the request of the Canadian Government.5
The Secretary of State outlined a new proposed policy on the Congo which was being submitted to the President today after coordination with the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence [Page 21] Agency. The President subsequently reviewed and approved the State Department’s proposal.

2398. Military Budgets and National Security Policy

The Director, Bureau of the Budget,6 reported that the past system of preparing military budgets has the following weaknesses:
A lack of correspondence between military plans and the military budget which resulted in military plans larger than could be implemented by the budgets.
A lack of common assumptions and doctrines among the three military departments, resulting in differing strategic doctrines and appraisals of the threat, which were not adequately understood or taken into account in the budget process.
Military budgets were organized by departments and by in-puts (such as personnel, procurement, etc.), but not by out-puts (such as strategic deterrence, limited war capabilities, etc.), making if difficult to determine what objectives were being fulfilled.
The perspective of the military budgets have been generally short-range, rather than being decided on the basis of five-year or longer range objectives.
The Secretary of Defense reported that, with reference to the FY 1961 and 1962 military budgets, the following actions were being taken:
Acceleration of the procurement of five Polaris submarines so that they would be completed nine to ten months earlier than previously planned.7
An increase in the airlift capacity of 50 transport aircraft, including 30 jets.
A complete re-appraisal of the FY 1962 military budget, to be completed about March 1, 1961, based on studies by four groups, each headed by a senior official of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, on strategic weapons, requirements for limited war, selected weapons research and development programs, and base and installation requirements.
The Secretary of Defense reported further that, in collaboration with the Director, Bureau of the Budget, he would develop, between March 1 and July 1, 1961, guidelines for the President’s consideration as to the FY 1963 military budget.
The Secretary of State said that he planned to send to the Secretary of Defense certain revisions in a previous memorandum of June 19608 which stated foreign policy requirements bearing upon U.S. strategy. These revisions would relate to NATO strategic doctrine, airlift, counter-guerrilla forces (including greater U.S. capability in this field), as well as the desirability of improved civil defense.
The President requested that the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with other interested agencies, should examine means for placing more emphasis on the development of counter-guerrilla forces.
The President agreed with the suggestion by the Secretary of the Treasury that means be found to separate in the military and foreign assistance budgets the funds which would be spent in foreign countries, as a means of improving the control of such expenditures.9
The President requested the Secretary of Defense to consult with the Atomic Energy Commission about a review of the purchases of uranium from foreign countries, as suggested by the Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology.10

2399. Studies of Executive Branch Organization

Noted, in answer to the President’s request, that the Director, OCDM, and the Director, Bureau of the Budget, would report by the end of February on their study of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization.11
Noted, in answer to the President’s request, that the Secretary of State was submitting certain recommendations clarifying the relation between the educational exchange program and the foreign information program; and that the Director, U.S. Information Agency, would be submitting recommendations regarding that agency’s program.
Noted the President’s view that the foreign assistance program must be reorganized before presentation to the Congress; and that the Director, Bureau of the Budget, was planning to submit such a reorganization along with the new foreign aid program.12
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2400. National Security Policies Requiring Urgent Attention

Deferred discussion of this subject, with the understanding that the Secretary of State would, after appropriate consultation, recommend to the President certain immediate changes in current U.S. policy on Africa, to permit more flexible action in economic support of certain new governments.

2401. Organization and Procedures of the National Security Council

The Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs reported that in response to the President’s desires a different organization and procedures would henceforth be used in the work of the National Security Council, involving fewer and smaller staff groups composed of more senior personnel. Policy recommendations would be brought to the NSC without being obscured by inter-agency processing but with adequate previous consultation and the presentation of counter-proposals. The preparation of such recommendations would require the full cooperation of all agencies in providing access to essential information.

  1. Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council. Top Secret. The actions were approved by the President on February 2. The source text has minor revisions as of February 6.
  2. Edward R. Murrow, Director of the U.S. Information Agency.
  3. Allen W. Dulles.
  4. C. Douglas Dillon.
  5. A typed marginal note indicates an action memorandum based on Action No. 2397-c was sent to the Department of State. This was National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) No. 3, February 3. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAMs) Regarding the NSAM series, see Document 9.
  6. David E. Bell.
  7. On January 28, McNamara recommended, and the President approved, this action. Financing was effected by earlier allocation of previously appropriated funds. (Memorandum from McNamara to Kennedy, January 28, and memorandum from McNamara to Secretary of the Navy John Connally, also January 28; both attached to JCS 1620/334 from the Joint Secretariat to the JCS, February 8; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, JMF 9050/4720 (28 Jan 61))
  8. See footnote 3, Document 10.
  9. A typed marginal note indicates an action memorandum based on Action No. 2398-f was sent to the Bureau of the Budget. This was NSAM No. 1, February 3. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAMs)
  10. Typed marginal notes indicate action memoranda based on Actions No. 2398-e and-g were sent to the Department of Defense. These were NSAM Nos. 2, February 3, and 4, February 4. (Ibid.)
  11. A typed marginal note indicates an action memorandum based on Action No. 2399-a was sent to the Bureau of the Budget. This was NSAM No. 5, February 3. (Ibid.)
  12. A typed marginal note indicates an action memorandum based on Action No. 2399-c was sent to the Bureau of the Budget. This was NSAM No. 6, February 3. (Ibid.)