136. Memorandum of Conversation0
- The President
- Mr. George Ball
- Mr. U. Alexis Johnson
- Ambassador Galbraith
- Ambassador McConaughy
- Mr. James P. Grant
- Mr. Robert McNamara
- Mr. McG. Bundy
- Mr. William P. Bundy
- Mr. R.W. Komer
DECISIONS TAKEN AT PRESIDENT’S MEETING ONCOUNTERING MIG SALE TO INDIA, 14 JUNE 1962
The President was opposed to subsidizing the sale of two Lightning Mark II squadrons to India for rupees, at a likely cost of around $60 million.
Instead he approved telling Prime Minister Macmillan that we would be willing to share 50/50 the hard currency cost of one Lightning squadron. We would also finance 75 per cent of the further development cost of the Orpheus engine, if the Indians accepted the UK offer. To complete the package, he approved a simultaneous US offer to sell India nine C-130 transports for rupees. All of the above are contingent upon the Indians not buying the MIG-21.
The President directed that Ambassador Galbraith make a strong presentation to Nehru on the likely blow to US aid prospects if the Indians bought MIGs. He agreed to send a personal letter to Nehru for Galbraith to present after his first talk with Nehru.
The President desired that we tell Ayub frankly why we were trying to forestall an Indian purchase of MIGs. He expressed willingness to write Ayub a personal letter to try to disarm him. He reserved judgment on the suggestion that we attempt to placate Ayub by offering him the public security reassurances he has been seeking.
- Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, India, General, 6/11/62-6/16/62. Secret. Drafted on June 15 by Komer. According to the President’s Appointment Book, the meeting was held at the White House. (Ibid.)↩