467. NSC Executive Committee record of action, October 311

Meeting No. 14
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1. Director McCone stated that aerial photographs taken on October 29 were inconclusive.

2. Secretary Rusk reported that although discussions with Soviet officials indicated that the Russians were prepared to go along with general inspection procedures we think necessary, Castro, in his conversations yesterday with Acting Secretary U Thant, was adamant in his opposition to inspection.

3. Secretary Rusk recommended, and the President agreed, to postpone the President’s press conference with the background explanation that Cuban opposition to acceptable inspection procedures created a situation which he did not wish to discuss publicly at this time.

4. The President approved draft instructions to our UN Mission in New York which spell out Cuban inspection procedures acceptable to us. The third phase of inspection covering procedures acceptable to us after the removal of the offensive weapons from Cuba will be discussed with the President at a later meeting.

5. The President directed that reconnaissance missions be flown tomorrow unless significant progress is made in the U Thant-Castro [Typeset Page 1301] discussions. He agreed to informing the Soviets that Cuban opposition to procedures satisfactory to the Russians was causing us serious difficulties which might call for a U.S.-USSR agreement on aerial reconnaissance, rather than UN arrangements, if Castro continues his opposition.

6. There was a general discussion of the future status of the quarantine. The International Red Cross may be unwilling to proceed with adequate inspection measures so long as Castro is opposed to such measures. Consideration was given to broadening the blockade, including POL, in order to bring pressure on the Cubans to accept inspection measures. This proposal would involve the hailing and passing through of Russian ships, but the halting of non-Bloc ships carrying goods included in the broader blockade.

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7. The President asked that the OAS be told of Castro’s opposition to inspection procedures so that, in the event he continues his opposition, the Latin American countries would be geared up to support future actions we may be required to take.

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Inspection procedures; President’s press conference; draft instructions to UN Mission; reconnaissance missions; quarantine. Top Secret. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, NSF, Excom Meetings, Vol. II, Meetings 11–16.