359. National Security Action Memorandum No. 1870


  • Honorable Edward McDermott
  • Director, Office of Emergency Planning


  • The Barter Program
I have received the report and recommendations of the Executive Stockpile Committee on the Barter Program.1 I approve the recommendations, numbers 1 through 9, with the exception of 6 b. and d.
Recommendation 6 b. seems to me to raise a question as to whether it provides a definite enough standard, both substantive and procedural, to guide the agencies involved. Accordingly, I request the committee to consider this recommendation further with a view to examining how important maintaining the materials processing mobilization base is, and how this method of assisting areas of unemployment compares with other methods available to the government.2
Recommendation 6 d. should be clarified by adding a provision that any department proposing to substitute a barter arrangement for a cash purchase consult the Secretary of the Treasury to get his opinion as to whether the result would be a true improvement in our balance of payments.3
  1. Source: National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM 187. Official Use Only. Copies were sent to the Secretaries of State, Defense, Interior, Commerce, Labor, and Treasury; the Director of Central Intelligence; the Director of the Bureau of the Budget; and the Administrator of the General Services Administration.
  2. Attachment to Document 358.
  3. A proposed revised text of recommendation 6b is contained in a letter from McDermott to Rusk, November 2, with a request for Rusk’s comments. (Department of State, Central Files, 411.0041/11-262) No further revision of this text has been found in Department of State files.
  4. Printed from an unsigned copy. Another copy filed with the source text, however, bears the handwritten initials of President Kennedy. On September 25, the White House announced President Kennedy’s approval of the recommendations on the barter program submitted to him by the Executive Stockpile Committee with the exception of minor points to be studied further. (Department of State Bulletin, October 15, 1962, pp. 564-565)