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3. National Security Action Memorandum No. 1940


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of the Treasury
  • The Secretary of Commerce
  • The Secretary of Labor
  • The Administrator, Maritime Commission
  • The Director, Agency for International Development
  • The Director, Bureau of the Budget
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The President, Commodity Credit Corporation


  • Policy Toward Non-Bloc Ships in Cuban Trade (State memo of 10/2/62)1
[Page 5]

The President has approved the memorandum we2 discussed at the meeting this morning,3 including Alternative IV, under point 5. A group will be formed to do what is necessary to put these recommendations into effect.4 Mr. Abram Chayes, Legal Adviser of the State Department, will lead it. Will you arrange for your department to put an appropriate person in touch with Mr. Chayes?

Carl Kaysen 5
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM 194. Confidential; Sensitive.
  2. Document 2.
  3. In some instances, departmental representatives were present representing their principals. [Footnote in the source text.]
  4. According to the President's Appointment Book, President Kennedy met with George Ball and Carl Kaysen for an off-the-record meeting at 11:12 a.m. The meeting lasted for 15 minutes and no other participants are listed. (Kennedy Library) A memorandum for the record prepared by Captain William D. Houser, USN, based upon a debriefing provided by Gilpatric following the meeting indicates, however, that Gilpatric and several other concerned officals also participated in the meeting. According to Gilpatric, the group recognized that “none of these or any other actions not adopted have any real substantive effect on cutting down Soviet Bloc trade with Cuba.” (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files:FRC 65 A 3501, Cuba, 1962, 000.1-092)George Ball discussed the President's decision on the afternoon of October 2 with Stevenson. Ball noted that the measures relating to trade with Cuba were “more for American public opinion” than for any practical effect they were expected to have on the availability of shipping to the Soviet Bloc for trade with Cuba. Nonetheless, he added, “the President felt strongly that we had to do something along this line” and that it would raise the cost to the Soviet Union of shipping arms and other supplies to Cuba. (Kennedy Library, Ball Papers, Subject Series, Cuba, 1/24/61-12/30/62) See the Supplement.
  5. Telegram 457 to Paris, October 2, instructed Finletter to inform the other permanent representatives to the North Atlantic Council, at their scheduled meeting on October 3, that the United States proposed to take the steps outlined in NSAM 194 within a week. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.3722/10-262)
  6. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.