10. Editorial Note

On June 7, 1962, President Kennedy proposed in a memorandum to Secretary of the Treasury Dillon the creation of an inter-Cabinet Committee composed of Dillon (chairman), the Secretaries of Defense and Commerce, and the AID Administrator to work on the balance-of-payments problem. This committee “should come forward with a program perhaps in November with assurances of bringing this problem under control within a reasonable period of time.” Dillon welcomed this suggestion in his memorandum to the President, June 14, and recommended the addition of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget to the group. He thought the committee should operate informally so that it would not interfere with the wider interagency coordination specified in the President’s February 17 memorandum to Dillon (see Document 2).

In a June 15 memorandum to David Bell, McGeorge Bundy agreed with Bell’s suggestion to include a member of the Council of Economic Advisers and added that the President had said that George Ball should serve on the committee after Ball mentioned that the Department of State should be represented.

In a June 22 memorandum to the President, McGeorge Bundy recommended the addition of Ball and a representative from the Council of Economic Advisers and suggested that the President ask David Bell to be prepared to bring to the new committee proposals for a “gold budget” for use in controlling expenditures that affect the balance of payments.

All these memoranda are in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Subjects Series, Balance of Payments and Gold, 6/62-3/63. For President Kennedy’s tasking for the creation of this committee, see Document 11.

The President’s Special Representative for Trade Negotiations was added to the committee in early 1963. (Memorandum from Kaysen to the Cabinet Committee on Balance of Payments, March 14, 1963; Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Subjects Series, Trade, General, 1/63-7/63)