375. NSC Executive Committee Debriefing, October 231

[Facsimile Page 1]

Debriefing given by

  • G—Mr. Johnson

Debriefing attended by:

  • S/AL—Mr. Thompson
  • INR—Mr. Hilsman
  • Mr. Scott
  • ARA—Mr. Martin
  • EUR—Mr. Hillenbrand
  • P—Mr. Rowan
  • S/P—Mr. Rostow
  • G/PM—Mr. Kitchen
  • Defense—Mr. Rowen
  • S/S—Mr. Brubeck
  • S/S–S—Miss Moor
  • G—Mr. Hackler (latter 15 minutes)

G—noted first intercept of Soviet vessel 1800 miles from Cuba (later info from INR opened up discrepancy in the info—never clarified) to be made by cruiser.

G—said Secretary of Defense amendment under authority of paragraph at top of page 3 of Proclamation must get to Moscow.

ARAMartin questioned—

1) were zones to the outlined?

2) what about black and white list?

3) what about Panama Canal?

4) what about “out” for Soviets

S/AL—Thompson—noted schools of thought—proof necessary

G—noted that Secretary of Defense fully aware of political facets of military operations—also excellent rapport with Secretary of State

INRHilsman—no ships have turned back but many unbroken messages intercepted

ARAMartin—wanted to know what other Soviet ships would arrive between now and first intercept and what cargoes (this info when received caused confusion as nearest Soviet ship to Cuba was to be first intercept which had previously been pinpointed as 1800 miles from Cuba) shouldn’t this be clarified?

[Facsimile Page 2] [Typeset Page 1162]

INRHilsman—stated that his briefings both here and at UN had gone well—Rikkye reaction excellent.

Big question was matter of nuclear warheads being brought in to Cuba on Soviet planes. Were we going to stop planes? If not, why not?

G—said McNamara was to look into rules of engagement to minimize the effect of a possible boarding of a Soviet vessel.

G—said it was decided that the requisitioning of U.S. flag vessels would not be applied to coastal shipping.

G—said Civil Defense capabilities would be discussed tomorrow.

Ambassadorial Group (under Ambassador Thompson) will consider implementation of Berlin Contingency plans. Hillenbrand questioned what this meant. Possible convoy probe?

Rostow Group formed—

“long-term” planning

Defense-White House-Treasury

(check minutes to clarify terms of reference for group)

Johnson-Gilpatric-Bundy agreed to Kitchen-General Riley form group for contingency planning “political component of operational planning.” We have no plans beyond Johnson plan which brings us to this point. What if Iran is attacked? or Turkey? or U.S. ships are stopped? Coup de main in Berlin?

G—agreed to discuss on an urgent basis the need to hold Cuban refugees in check.

  1. Blockade of Cuba. Top Secret. 2 pp. DOS, S/SNSC Files: Lot 75 D 165, NSC Debriefings 1962.