352. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kaysen) and the President’s Assistant Special Counsel (White) to President Kennedy 0


  • Report of the Executive Stockpile Committee1 under NSAM 1262

You now have in your hands the report of the Stockpile Committee dated 19 March. (Tab D) There are two kinds of major recommendations—for further studies and for immediate action.

The further studies recommended include re-examination of stockpile objectives and requirements, and also of the program of acquisitions through barter now undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture.
The major action recommendation is that the disposal process be simplified and speeded up by amendment of both defense mobilization orders and legislation. The purpose of these changes would be to reduce the period of notice to Congress from six months to sixty days, to eliminate it entirely for sales below certain levels, and to eliminate the need for express approval by Congress. These changes would be accomplished by legislation. The proposed amendment of the defense mobilization order would eliminate the requirement that OEP secure the approval of the Departments of the Interior, Commerce, Labor and Agriculture for proposed disposals, and substitute merely the requirement that it consult these and other interested agencies. State and Interior both dissent from this last proposal and each insists that it retain its power of approval or disapproval. Commerce, on the other hand, strongly urges the proposal and further urges that there be long-run disposal programs which involve a minimum annual sale of heavy surplus material with additional sale to be conditioned on circumstances. Letters to you from Under Secretary Ball,3 Secretary Hodges,4 Secretary Udall5 and Assistant Secretary Kelly 6 are attached as Tab A. Tab B contains a memorandum from the Department of Commerce7 arguing the desirability of a program which involves some minimum continuing level of disposal of every important item every year.

After discussion with the Departments of State, Interior and Commerce and OEP, we would suggest that the points made by Ball, Udall, and Hodges can be met by adding language along the following lines to page 7 of the report under the heading of “Disposals.”

“The Director of the OEP shall give notice to the above-mentioned departments of any proposed disposal and invite their views. If within thirty days either the Department of State or the Department of the Interior indicates an objection to the proposed plan which, after discussion, the Director does not support, he shall so notify the President and pre-sent the issue to him for decision. To the extent possible disposals should be made in accordance with long-run disposal plans which have been worked out in consultation with the interested departments and which take into account probable trends in supply and price both at home and abroad.”

[Page 791]

This change puts on the two departments the burden of justifying to you their disapproval of a proposed disposal plan.

We recommend that you approve the report and its action recommendations with the modification proposed above. The attached letters to the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning and the Director of the Bureau of the Budget will give effect to these recommendations. (Tab C)8

  • Carl Kaysen
  • Lee White 9
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Kaysen Series, Economic Policy, Stockpiling of Strategic Materials. Official Use Only.
  2. Document 349.
  3. Document 347.
  4. Document 350.
  5. Document 351.
  6. Reference is to Secretary of the Interior Udall’s March 21 letter; see the source note, Document 349.
  7. Reference is to Acting Secretary of the Interior Kelly’s April 2 memorandum; see footnote 2, Document 350.
  8. Reference is to the March 19 Department of Commerce position paper; see footnote 2, Document 351.
  9. Not found
  10. Printed from a copy that bears Kaysen’s handwritten and White’s typed signatures.