203. Letter From the Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (Taylor) to the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow)1

Walt:

At the recent meeting of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, several matters occurred to which I wish to call your attention.

The first is the attached memorandum to the President suggesting that he issue a statement with regard to the importance of the foreign intelligence effort.2 The Board is taking inventory of its own resources [Page 685]and methods in the hope of providing better service to the President in the intelligence field and would appreciate the reinforcement afforded of such a statement by the President. Would you please forward it to the President?

As a result of the inventory mentioned above, the Board has reorganized its panels as indicated in an enclosure hereto.3 The regional panels now coincide territorially with the interests of the IRG’s and the regional Assistant Secretaries of State.

In considering how best to keep an eye on the covert activities of the CIA, the Board felt that it would be timely at our next meeting in June to review activities of the 303 Committee in keeping tabs on the Agency. We hope that you will be willing to attend and give us your impression of the effectiveness of the 303 controls. The meeting will be held on June 6–7 and I hope that you will be able to spend a little time with us on one of these days. I shall confirm this invitation later in writing.

You are well aware of the excellent work being done by NSA in intercepting and deciphering the low level infiltration and logistics traffic of the North Vietnamese. Unfortunately, a great deal of this traffic is not intercepted because of a lack of SIGINT aircraft with this primary mission. Pat Carter has been trying in vain to obtain a total of 15 aircraft for this purpose but, thus far, he has been frustrated, largely by the issue of operational control of aircraft on this kind of collection mission—shall that control be military or NSA? The issue is set forth in the attached letter which I hope you will be willing to dispatch to Clark Clifford.4 In the past, the latter has always been sympathetic to the needs of NSA and I would expect him to react quickly to such a letter and cut the red tape which has thus far held back this much needed reinforcement in the SIGINT field.

I am sending these matters over in writing which normally I would have taken up with you in person because of your absence in Honolulu and my departure on a short trip which will last until April 25. I shall be back in my office on the following Friday.5

M.D.T.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Intelligence File, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Vol. 2 [1 of 4], Box 6. Top Secret; Comint.
  2. Dated April 15 on a list of attachments at the end of the letter; not found.
  3. Dated April 17 on a list of attachments at the end of the letter; not found.
  4. Not found.
  5. April 26.