414. Memorandum for the record, October 261

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  • Daily White House Staff Meeting, 26 October 1962

1. Mr. Bundy presided over a very brief meeting. DEFCONS no change.

2. The following matters arose:

a. Mr. Bundy, who was very much preoccupied with events and anxious to get away, spoke very seriously on the matter of security in general and talking to the press in particular. He said he knows that there was a lot of information possessed by a lot of people who could leak stuff to the press, but that because of the nature of some of the press stories in the last day or so, he is convinced that some people in uniform have been talking to the press. I dare say this will come up at the Executive Committee meeting this morning, and what it must mean is that there are certain naval details concerning actual and potential interception, etc., which he feels must have come from uniformed people. I am unable to evaluate this judgment of Mr. Bundy’s.

b. There was a very brief discussion of the boarding of the Marucla, to include some expression of regret that it had to be a Lebanese ship, even though it was under Soviet charter.

c. Pierre Salinger entered the meeting at this point, and the subject became the telegram from Lord Russell to Higher Authority. It appears that Salinger lost or misplaced the telegram, and Bundy said he thought that was a very excellent “ploy”. Anyhow, Lord Russell has now been gracious enough to repeat his telegram and old Pierre wanted to know what to do and say. The inclination all around the table, from Bundy [Typeset Page 1223] on down, was not to answer Lord Russell at all, or at least confine any answer to a sort of courteous acknowledgment of receipt. Anyhow, for the immediate future, meaning today, Salinger is going to be able to say [Facsimile Page 2] to the press that, since the telegram has only now been received, it is “being evaluated and studied”, etc.

3. Everyone can sleep soundly tonight; Legere has the Bundy staff duty.

  1. Daily White House staff meeting including discussion on press leaks, boarding of the Marucla, telegram from Lord Russell to the President. Secret. 2 pp. NDU, Taylor Papers, Chairman’s Staff Group, Oct–Nov 1962.