21. Memorandum by Director of Central Intelligence McCone1

In discussions with General Eisenhower on a number of occasions during the past several months, he has raised the question of the adequacy of organization of the Executive Branch of the government as now constituted. Specifically General Eisenhower feels that

NSC meetings should be held regularly, at weekly intervals, and should be attended by designated members.
Benefit of such meetings is so that the President can hear the views of his principal advisors on all matters of interest expressed in the presence of one another, so that he, the President, will have the benefit of differing points of view on any particular problem expressed in the presence of one another and in his own presence.
Of particular importance in General Eisenhower’s opinion is to have regular intelligence briefings at NSC meetings so that the President can benefit by conflicting evaluations or opinions of his principal advisors with respect to intelligence matters. Eisenhower feels very strongly that the circulation of intelligence reports fails to accomplish this specific objective.
The NSC, to function properly and adequately serve the President, must be supported by properly organized planning staffs. [Page 42] Eisenhower supports the concept that Operations Coordinating Board and the Planning Board have permanent, established organizations to prepare for NSC meetings and to insure decisions are properly carried out and he recognizes organizations of this type must be tailored to the desires of the President. In this connection Eisenhower feels that committees established for specific purposes are frequently not supported by staff and their work is not carefully coordinated with related problems which may be outside of the jurisdiction of the committee.

John A. McCone2
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files, Job 80–B01285A, DCI Memoranda for the Record, 9/24/62–12/31/62. Secret. This memorandum is referred to in a November 16 memorandum from Bundy to President Kennedy entitled “The National Security Council and Supporting Staff Organization.” In his memorandum Bundy, apparently in response to remarks by former President Eisenhower, reviewed the NSC organizational changes put into effect by the new administration. Bundy advised President Kennedy that the reorganized system had always had “rather more organization than General Eisenhower probably recognizes” and that “much of General Eisenhower’s criticism may be directed against phenomena which were more characteristic of our first few months than of your present operations.” For text, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. VIII, Document 108.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.