636. Memorandum from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy, March 271

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  • Cuba Coordinating Committee

1. Activist Cuban Exile Groups

FBI and CIA are now working on the problem of coordinating intelligence on the activities of the activist exile groups. Preliminary information (I will know more today) indicates that each agency sees the other as primarily responsible. The outcome probably will be that the FBI will assume primary responsibility for maintaining contact with these exile groups.

The adequacy of our intelligence on these exile groups will also be examined. If it is insufficient, we may want to put more resources into the effort. On the other hand, we may not, since, by and large, these groups are relatively ineffective and inactive.

The Cottrell Committee also discussed the extent to which we should try to stop the raids of the exile groups. Cott is now writing a paper which will probably recommend that we try somewhat harder to prevent further raids (they could hurt us marginally and they don’t help us). This will probably involve approaching activist exile leaders quietly to let them know we are concerned and increasing the attentiveness of U.S. Customs (up to now, they have not been trying too hard). [Typeset Page 1649] At the same time, there will be no effort to throw the book at the exiles. The general consensus of the experts is that these groups lack resolve and relatively mild action will probably do the trick.

2. American Prisoners

Bob Hurwitch tells me that one ship has definitely been laid on to take ransom goods to Cuba (a fairly small ship). It will sail on or about April 1.

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Justice was working yesterday afternoon on gimmicks to find the balance of the shipping.

3. Briefing Book for Congressmen

Art Wexler (H area of State) tells me that his office is putting together a 20–30 page briefing book on Cuba for Congressmen. Among other things, the Congressmen will be able to use it as a reference work in answering public inquiries.

I asked Art to clear the book with us before sending it out.

Gordon Chase
  1. Cuba Coordinating Committee. Secret. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, NSF, Countries Series, Cuba, General, VII CC, 3/63.