5. Letter From President Kennedy to Vice President Johnson1

Dear Mr. Vice President:

Recognizing the need for a Vice President who is fully informed and adequately prepared with respect to domestic, foreign and military policies relating to the national security of the United States, and recognizing also the need for a closer working relationship between the President and Vice President in this vital area, I would like you to preside over meetings of the National Security Council in my absence and to maintain close liaison with the Council and all other departments and agencies affected with a national security interest.

In addition, I am hereby requesting you to review policies relating to the national security, consulting with me in order that I might have the full benefit of your endeavors and your judgment.

You will need, in fulfillment of this assignment, pertinent information concerning the policies and operations of the departments and agencies concerned with national security policies, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Bureau of the Budget, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

I will expect the departments and agencies concerned to cooperate fully with you in providing information in order for you to carry out the responsibilities outlined above.


  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, National Security Council Organization and Administration, 2/1/61–5/4/61. No classification marking.
  2. Printed from an unsigned copy.