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118. Memorandum for the Record0


  • The Director’s Meeting with the President, 18 June
The Director and the Deputy Director (Plans) met with the President at 4:05 P.M., 18 June, to report on the trip to Southeast Asia.

The President opened the conversation by asking if we knew where Joseph Alsop had got his information about the build-up of ChiCom divisions in the Fukien area. We said that we did not know [2 lines of source text not declassified]. The President asked whether it would not be desirable to conduct an investigation as to how Alsop had acquired this knowledge. The Director commented that he did not think an investigation would be fruitful but that he would like to take the matter under advisement for consideration with USIB.

[Here follows discussion of an intelligence operation, not identified in the memorandum.]

The Director described his conversations in Taiwan with Chiang Kai-shek, the President having stated that he had read with interest the Director’s report from the field on this subject. When the Director had finished, the President wondered out loud what Chiang would do if he were told flatly that the United States would not support him in any military [Page 247]operation against the Mainland. It was agreed that Chiang might then “go it alone.” DD/P described Chiang’s belief that the Soviets would not intervene as long as the ChiNats conducted their military operations south of the Yangtse River. The President mused about this and expressed the opinion that Soviet air support could readily be brought to bear on the side of the ChiComs. No conclusions were reached on what should be done to support Chiang, although the Director expressed the view, already presented to the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, that the United States Government should start to stockpile air and amphibious equipment while maintaining control over it.1

[Here follows discussion of Vietnam, Laos, and Cuba.]


Deputy Director (Plans)
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files, Job 80-B01285A, DCI Meetings With the President. Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by Richard Helms. The meeting concluded at 4:54 p.m. (Kennedy Library, President’s Appointment Book)
  2. McCone met separately with Rusk and McNamara earlier on June 18. According to records of the conversations drafted by Helms, McNamara “did not seem to feel that amphibious equipment should be stockpiled until it became clear that ChiNat intelligence-gathering missions demonstrated that an attack on the Mainland had some chance of success.” Rusk did not comment on Chiang’s proposals. (Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files, Job 80-B01285A,DCI Meetings With the President)