451. NSC Executive Committee record of action, October 291
1. Director McCone summarized the current intelligence, calling attention to evidence that Cuban forces had been ordered not to fire unless fired upon.
2. The President read and approved the announcement of the establishment of a Coordinating Committee to take care of matters involved in the conclusion of the Cuban crisis.
3. There was a general discussion about the continuance of the quarantine and aerial reconnaissance. The President decided:
a. U.S. ships are to stay on station, pending satisfactory UN arrangements. Ships entering the quarantine zone will be hailed and, if they identify themselves, will be allowed to proceed to port, where UN inspectors will verify the ships’ statement of their cargo. In response to press questions during the next twenty-four hours, we will attempt to leave the status of the quarantine ambiguous; but we will not say that it has been called off.
b. The call-up of the air reserves is not to be rescinded.
c. Low-level, but not U–2, air reconnaissance will be prepared for today, subject to a final decision by 2:00 PM. The plan is that notification of the reconnaissance will be given the Cubans, Russians and U Thant in advance. U Thant will be told that the U.S. will not fly further missions after today if UN arrangements for verification of the cessation of the work on the missile sites and their dismantlement can be arranged promptly.
4. The President directed that the new Coordinating Committee should:
a. Urgently work on arrangements for the long-range inspection and verification of armaments in Cuba.
b. Make certain that the problem of hemispheric subversion is dealt with in the UN discussions because, even though it is not specifically mentioned, it can be tied in to the reference to peace in the Caribbean.
- Current intelligence on Cuba; establishment of Coordinating Committee; quarantine and aerial reconnaissance; air reserves call-up; UN arrangements for verification; agenda for new Coordinating Committee. Top Secret. 1 p. Kennedy Library, NSF, Executive Committee, Meetings, Vol. II, Meetings, 11–16.↩