21. National Security Action Memorandum No. 2250


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of the Treasury
  • The Administrator, Agency for International Development
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
The deficit in our balance of payments and the problems associated with it continue to be major problems which influence [Page 48]national security policy along a broad front. The prospects that they will cease to do so in the immediate future are not bright. I think we must, therefore, make sure that financial elements in our relations with other countries are given a proper weight in any transactions we have with them. Conversely, we must be sure that any financial transactions and arrangements we make with other countries tie in with our broader foreign policy needs.
I therefore request that the Secretary of State, in exercising his coordinating responsibilities for all our dealings with other countries, give special attention to this point. He should see that the Secretary of the Treasury is informed in a timely way of significant forthcoming negotiations or renegotiations on any topic involving those foreign countries with which our financial relations are particularly important. I request the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of AID and, in those cases in which he is concerned, the Director of Central Intelligence, to review the arrangements for keeping the Secretary of State informed on those negotiations on which they have the primary action responsibility so that he can perform this task effectively. The Secretary of the Treasury, in turn, will provide the Secretary of State, and others concerned, his estimate of our financial interests and financial possibilities in any such negotiations.
In the same way, I request the Secretary of the Treasury to notify the Secretary of State and, where appropriate, the Secretary of Defense and the Director of AID in advance of any financial negotiations involving other countries which might have an impact on our general relations with them.
I direct particular attention at this time to any negotiations involving the following countries because of the importance of their gold and dollar holdings or of their commercial transactions with us: Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
John F. Kennedy1
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM 225. Confidential. Copies were sent to Bundy, Charles E. Johnson, and Kaysen.
  2. Printed from a copy that indicates Kennedy signed the original.