417. NSC Executive Committee record of action, October 261

Meeting No. 6
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NSC Executive Committee Record of Action, October 26, 1962, 10:00 AM

1. Mr. McCone presented the intelligence briefing, including the current status of Soviet air readiness.

2. The President raised several questions about other planning for Cuba and directed that existing groups be tied together to undertake integrated planning in these matters.

3. Mr. Bundy reported that three subcommittee are at work—one on Berlin, one on forward plans, and a third on worldwide communications problems. He called attention to the civil defense problem and obtained agreement that no crash program would be undertaken now, although preliminary measures would be initiated. Referring to the problem of sensitive information appearing in the press, he urged that the utmost care be taken to keep secret all discussion of future measures.

4. The Secretary of Defense reported on the status of the quarantine. It was agreed that the Defense Department would release information on the boarding of the Marucla. Day reconnaissance was authorized, and a decision to carry out night reconnaissance measures over Cuba was deferred.

5. There followed a preliminary discussion of the next steps to increase the pressure on the Cubans and Russians and the relation of these steps to the talks between Ambassador Stevenson and U Thant.

6. Secretary Rusk discussed political measures, including the 24–48 hour Stevenson/U Thant negotiations, an atom-free zone in Latin America, and the proposed approach to Castro.

7. Ambassador Stevenson discussed the immediate negotiation with U Thant, as well as the longer talks which would follow if agreement could be reached. Instructions to Ambassador Stevenson are to be worked out during the day, under the Secretary of State.

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8. The President asked that a statement be prepared for issuance by a White House spokesman today announcing that missile development work is continuing in Cuba and recalling the President’s insistence that such work cease.

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9. Approval was given to the preparation of leaflets for dropping in Cuba—and the use of the best possible reconnaissance photographs was authorized.

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Planning for Cuba, status of quarantine, political measures, negotiation with U Thant. Top Secret. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, NSF, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Excom Meetings, vol. I, Meetings 1–6.