79. Memorandum of Meeting With President Eisenhower1

Also present

  • General Goodpaster

[Here follows discussion of the manned space flight program.]

2. I then said that General Goodpaster and I wished to discuss in general terms the Intelligence Study Group report and procedures to be followed from this point on.2 I reported that the Committee of Principals had met in the morning and that it was apparent that whereas there was agreement with respect to a great many of the recommendations, there were some which would be in controversy, particularly recommendations with respect to reorganization within Defense, in the USIB and the role of the DCI. There then followed a discussion between the President, General Goodpaster, and myself about the report but centering particularly on the main policy question of whether the President wished to take action with respect to any of the recommendations before he leaves office and particularly as to whether he would wish immediately to give authority to the Secretary of Defense to begin to take steps within the Defense Department. The President indicated that as a matter of policy he would wish to move in those areas where it was wise. Therefore he approved the following guidelines.

The NSC in its meeting on January 5 should consider any recommendations of the Secretary of Defense with respect to amendment of the NSCID’s as might affect Defense responsibilities.
The Committee of Principals should identify those recommendations with respect to which there is no disagreement with an indication as to those which should be put into effect immediately and those which would be better to pass along to the new Administration.
An identification of those recommendations with respect to which there is disagreement with the understanding that a smaller group would meet with the President to advise him as to the areas in which he should move notwithstanding dissenting viewpoints.
Identification of those issues which were important but which should not be acted upon in this Administration. (The President had in mind any recommendation with respect to which the JCS were completely opposed feeling that their support was needed to accomplish the purposes of the recommendations.)
[Page 142]

I explained to the President that this process was in train, the principals having agreed substantially upon this procedure at their meeting and that we expected to be in a position to deal with this matter in the NSC meeting of January 12.

At this point I departed the President’s office and General Goodpaster remained to take up other matters with the President.

Gordon Gray
Special Assistant to the President
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Records of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, Meetings of the President. No classification marking. Prepared by Gordon Gray on January 4.
  2. See Document 78.