631. Memorandum for the record, March 131

[Facsimile Page 1]

Memorandum of discussion with the President today at 4:15 p.m.

McCone reviewed in considerable detail his final meeting with the Stennis Committee summarizing the presentation made, the committee reaction and the decision for the committee to make an interim report, [Typeset Page 1639] the effect of which would be to vindicate CIA and extinguish criticism of the so-called intelligence photographic gap and other criticism which has been directed towards CIA. The opinion was unanimous. The views expressed were positive and without reservation.

The President asked whether my statements would create other types of problems and other criticisms. What he seemed to be inferring was, while the intelligence community, CIA or McCone were vindicated, perhaps the vindication would bring criticism on him or other segments of his Administration. I responded by stating that I did not believe this to be the case; that I had been very careful in my statements, and that no one could possibly draw a false conclusion from anything I said.

Note: It seemed to me that the President’s questions concerning possible “other implications” indicated a growing concern on his part of the publicity given (erroneously) to differences that existed between the Administration and me, with McNamara, and with the President himself concerning Cuba.

We then discussed in detail policies towards Cuba (which I later discussed with the Executive Committee), policies toward Latin America, my visit with Mr. Padniak, Defense Minister of India, at which time I suggested the President might see Mr. Padniak.

I advised the President I would be away for a week.

  1. Discussion between McCone and the President on latter’s final meeting with the Stennis Committee on criticisms directed toward the CIA during the Cuban missile crisis. CIA, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80–01285A, Box 6, DCI Meetings with the President, 1 January–31 March 1963.