63. Editorial Note

On January 21, 1965, at 1 p.m., the Gilpatric Committee met with President Johnson to present its report on nuclear proliferation. In addition to the members of the Gilpatric Committee, Vice President Humphrey, Secretaries Rusk and McNamara, General Wheeler, Seaborg, McCone, Foster, Hornig, and George Ball attended the meeting.

In preparation for this meeting, McGeorge Bundy sent a memorandum to President Johnson, January 21, in which he reviewed the work of the Committee and the conclusions of the report. He also noted: “The committee comes down hard on one side of this tough question [of proliferation], and at least one of your advisers—Dean Rusk—has real doubts about its recommendations. For that reason there will be no public discussion of the report at present, and you yourself will probably wish to reserve your position until the matter has been studied by your own people.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Presidential Task Force—Committee on Nuclear Proliferation, Box 35)

For Seaborg’s account of the meeting, together with his later editorial comments, see Stemming the Tide, pages 144-145. Following the meeting, the White House issued two press releases, which noted the meeting, listed the names of the Committee members, and provided the text of the President’s formal statement to the Committee on that occasion. (Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 70 D 265, Gilpatric Committee) The President’s statement is also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, page 74.

For text of the Gilpatric Committee’s report, see Document 64.