66. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff and the Under Secretary of State (Ball)1

Ball asked Komer if he had been able to find out what the President said to Eshkol yesterday when they were alone. Komer said that Feldman had been with them except for the first 15 minutes. Feldman was [Page 160] to do a memcon which had not come up yet. Komer suggested that perhaps Ball and Rusk could impress on the President the difficulty these private discussions cause.

The President assured Komer that he had followed the brief2 (a quick and short version of the paper that the Dept. sent over). The President did raise the tank question and said we could not give them but we would help all we could. He went into our concern about the missiles briefly. He said he hoped they would bite the bullet on the IAEA. He said don’t force us to say publicly that we are behind you. He did not close any deals. He mentioned Dimona. Komer said he did not think Ball should talk about tanks or security although he might have to listen to Eshkol’s sales pitch. The important thing is the Dimona reassurances to the Arabs, the IAEA question and the details that we are prepared to do what we can on desalting which was mentioned only in general terms.3

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Ball Papers, Israel. No classification marking. Prepared in Ball’s office.
  2. Reference is apparently to Document 63.
  3. In a telephone conversation that afternoon, Bundy asked the President if he had done “that intelligence talk” with Eshkol (see footnote 3, Document 63). Johnson replied that he had. (Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and McGeorge Bundy, June 2, 1964, 3:56 p.m., Tape 64.29, Side B, PNO 1)