692. Memorandum of telephone conversation between Kaysen and Ball, June 241

[Facsimile Page 2]

CK: Did you talk to Bob yet?

GB: Yes I have just talked to him. He said don’t mention those engines to Bonn; that they don’t provide sufficient margin of safety to be worth mentioning. There is a big argument as to what the additional altitude may be—it may be only 1500 feet. He thinks they’re rather irrelevant.

CK: So what’s his own judgment?

GB: His judgment is that there really isn’t a lot of danger from this activity of these jets yet; he thinks they’re just practicing.

CK: Yes, but you know the issue here—there’s a CIA piece of paper which I don’t know whether you’ve seen yet.

GB: I’ve got it in front of me.

CK: Then the real question is whether we should engage in some testing by changing our abort rules.

GB: Well, what Bob and I agreed was to say to the President tonight that we intend to continue high levels but under abort rules which would minimize the risk.

CK: Yes, so that if we change our abort rules it’s going to be in the opposite direction.

GB: It’s going to be that we’re going to abort more rather than less.

CK: Right. And Bob, in other words, feels there’s no purchase in any technology and the purchases in their behavior.

GB: He says it isn’t worth mentioning.

CK: I’m glad, because SAC will say anything. How are you going to do it?

[Facsimile Page 3]

GB: Alex and I are going to redraft. Do you want to see it?

[Typeset Page 1785]

CK: How are you going to send it?

GB: I think you probably ought to send it over your facilities.

CK: That’s what I thought. Send it in here and we’ll repeat it off. I’ll be here until about 8:30.

  1. U–2 reconnaissance flights over Cuba. No classification marking. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, Ball Papers, Telephone Conversations, Cuba.