455. NSC Executive Committee record of action, October 291

Meeting No. 12
[Facsimile Page 1]

1. Secretary Rusk reported on developments during the day in the UN, including a summary of the Soviet position on inspection as stated by Kuznetsov to U Thant.

a. International Red Cross officials could inspect all cargoes going to Cuba to insure that no Soviet arms are landed—inspection to be at sea from non-U.S. ships or in Cuban ports.

b. No on-site inspection until Soviet missiles are removed, which possibly could be accomplished in a week.

2. The President agreed to asking the International Red Cross to take over responsibility for the inspection of all ships from Bloc ports proceeding to Cuba.

[Typeset Page 1280]

3. The President agreed to accept Acting Secretary General U Thant’s request that the U.S. quarantine be lifted for two days during his visit to Cuba, scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday.

4. The President directed that no air reconnaissance missions be flown during the next two days. He said we should tell U Thant that after his visit to Cuba we intend to fly reconnaissance missions until the UN makes satisfactory arrangements for aerial surveillance of Cuba.

5. The President directed that urgent study be given to the elements of an inspection system which would be satisfactory to us.

6. Secretary Rusk stated that political developments today appeared to support the belief that Khrushchev’s proposal to withdraw his missiles is sincere, but pictures from today’s reconnaissance mission will reveal whether work has stopped on the missile sites.

McGeorge Bundy
  1. UN developments; IRC inspections; on-site inspections; lifting of U.S. quarantine; inspection system; political developments. Top Secret. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, NSF, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Excom Meetings, Vol II, Meetings 11–16.