470. Memorandum from Stevenson to McCloy, Ball, and Gilpatric, October 311

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  • Next Steps in Cuban Crisis

I will be back by 2:30 or 3:00—I hope! We should discuss next steps on several assumptions:

(1) Castro refuses any surveillance during dismantling, but permits verification at end.

(2) Castro refuses even verification.

(3) Castro introduces new matters—refugees, Guantanamo, etc.

(4) U Thant wants prompt Security Council meeting to report his failure and get instructions—possibly on Friday.

(1) If we demand right to aerial reconnaissance during the interval, we should consider the position we would be in if at least neutral non-aligned attitude is that we should trust Soviets to comply, that we are getting all they promised by verification, that we are unreasonable, or enlarging the deal, etc., and, therefore, should we accept and see if we can work out undisclosed deal with Soviets not to shoot if we run occasional high level reconnaissance? What about oblique photography along the coast as Kuznetsov suggested? What if we can’t work out such an undisclosed deal with the Soviets? What does the President say when asked about protection during the two-three week period?

(2) If Castro rejects even ex-post-facto verification, could we inspect the outgoing ships at sea and proceed with air reconnaissance as above?

(3) If Castro drags in Guantanamo, refugee activities, inspection in the US, quarantine, etc., should we take the position that we have an agreement with the Soviets on total withdrawal and guarantee of Cuba’s integrity, and nothing else? That we will keep our bargain and expect the Soviets to do so too, regardless of Castro’s position?

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(4) A Security Council meeting with inevitable wrangling and recrimination should be avoided. But if we can persuade U Thant to merely report the failure of his appeal and say that he is proceeding with negotiations in an effort to find ways to implement the Soviet-US agreement, and ask for no debate and no resolution, a meeting might be tolerable. (See Amb. Yost’s memo attached).

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If U Thant takes the position that his appeal has failed because one of three parties won’t play—and that he is seeking further instructions from SC, we should consider what form of resolution to offer or support. A resolution confined to the simple deal—removal of weapons, lifting of quarantine, guarantee of Cuba—and including nothing about the details of inspection, verification, etc., and calling on U Thant to continue his peace-making role, might be possible.

(5) Until U Thant returns, which may not be until tomorrow, and until Mikoyan has been here, I have some misgivings about any negotiations or exploration with Kuznetsov.

  1. Next steps in Cuban crisis. Confidential. 2 pp. DOS, S/S Files: Lot 65 D 438, UN—Cuba.