4. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson1


  • Approval for Mixed-Manning Demonstration

I recommend that you approve prompt implementation of the MLF mixed-manning demonstration along the lines set forth in Secretary McNamara’s memorandum of August 26.2 Defense concurs in this recommendation.

You will recall that the Secretary of Defense submitted his report in response to President Kennedy’s instructions. It recommended that such a demonstration be carried out in a U.S. Navy ship.

The Paris MLF Working Group has discussed this subject, approved the project, and invited governments to participate. We have now heard from the Germans, Greeks, Turks, Italians, and British, who wish to join us, using a U.S. guided missile destroyer in the demonstration. The Italian decision is particularly encouraging, since it must reflect a decision by the Socialists, as well as the other three Coalition parties.

The Dutch representative has indicated that his country, which joined the Paris Working Group talks only this week, is still studying the matter. The Belgians have said that they do not intend to participate.

Dean Rusk
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF (MLF) 9–5. Confidential. Drafted by Howard E. Furnas, Executive Director of the Multilateral Force Negotiating Team.
  2. Attached but not printed. A typewritten note on the source text states that the White House approved the recommendation on January 20.