11. Memorandum From President Kennedy to Secretary of the Treasury Dillon0
I like the proposals in your memorandum of June 14th1 on the ways of carrying forward a small inter-Cabinet committee on the balance of payments. I agree with you that the Director of the Bureau of the Budget should be added, and I also believe that we should have representation from the State Department—presumably George Ball—and from the Council of Economic Advisers. I doubt if we would need any further White House representation at this stage.
I agree with your view that the group should begin to think hard about broad policy on the balance of payments, but I also want it to be a working committee that will keep a sharp eye on the management of our own disbursements within the Executive Branch. For this purpose I am asking Dave Bell to be prepared to bring to the new committee proposals for what might be called a “gold budget” for use in controlling all federal expenditures that affect the balance of payments. A number of instances in recent weeks have made it clear that our Executive control in this area is not what it ought to be, and I think the basic budgetary process provides an excellent analogy to the sort of thing we now need in the balance of payments field.
Would you chair the committee and arrange for its frequent meeting.2