459. NSC Executive Committee record of action, October 301

Meeting No. 13
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1. Director McCone presented the current intelligence and reported that incomplete interpretation of the pictures from yesterday’s reconnaissance mission did not reveal whether work on the missile sites had halted or whether dismantlement of the missiles had begun. Mr. Salinger was authorized to inform the press that it was too early to make any judgment.

2. Secretary McNamara reported he had ordered that no U–2 planes fly until a satisfactory system was developed to safeguard against navigational errors resulting in overflying Soviet territory.

3. The President reaffirmed his directive that no air reconnaissance missions be flown over Cuba today or tomorrow.

4. Secretary McNamara informed the President that there were a dozen issues involved in the conclusion of the Cuban crisis which would be studied today and reported on at tomorrow’s meeting.

5. The President asked that members of the Executive Committee avoid all discussion with reporters, except with his specific approval, and approved in principle a plan being drawn up to ensure that the Departments of State and Defense and the White House give a consistent story of the Cuban crisis.

6. The President decided not to issue the draft Executive Order covering ships engaged in the Cuba trade and asked the State Department to background the press as to the reason, i.e. the draft shipping orders were to deal with a situation quite different from that created by the discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba.

7. Acting Director Wilson reported that Cuban exiles might buy time on U.S. radio stations to make inflammatory statements about current policy toward Cuba. He was authorized to discuss with the FCC some way of dealing with this problem without appearing to be asking for radio censorship.

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8. The President expressed his hope that insofar as possible refugee groups be prevented from taking actions in Cuba which would upset negotiations under way to conclude the Cuban crisis.

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Current intelligence; U–2 flights; press restrictions; Executive order on Cuban shipping; Cuban exiles. Top Secret. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, NSF, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Excom Meetings, Vol. II, Meetings 11–16.