222. Memorandum by Harold Saunders of the National Security Council Staff1


Actions and Policy Questions Pending from Meeting of Thursday, 8 June


Visit by King Hassan of Morocco.2 Committee agreed we should tell him politely not to come. The President agreed. Action: Mr. Battle (a) to [Page 379] send an interim reply to Ambassador Tasca tonight and (b) to draft a substantive reply for consideration tomorrow.
Report on aid going to the Middle East. The President asked for a report on all aid, including Ex-Im and IBRD, flowing to the area. Action: Report already requested, due tomorrow.
Arms moving to the Middle East.
Preventing Arab resupply. The Committee discussed how to preclude Soviet use of the cease-fire to re-equip Arab air forces to make a first strike next time and yet to handle Israeli requests for replacement equipment. Action: Mr. Battle to draft a telegram to Paris, London and Moscow to surface issues that must be resolved (a) to get a grip on resupply over the next 30 days and (b) to lay the basis for a longer run attack on Middle East arms limitation.
Handling Israeli requests. Secretary McNamara reported Ambassador Harman’s request for 48 A–4 aircraft. The Committee agreed that we should ask the Israelis for precise figures on their losses and remaining inventory. Action: Defense to ask Harman.
US sales and grants to Arab countries. The Committee discussed how to avoid the political repercussions that arms shipments to Arab countries would trigger. Action: The Committee will hear a report tomorrow.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Special Committee Files, Suspense. Secret. Saunders sent this memorandum to Bundy on June 8 with a note saying that he would give him each morning, in addition to the minutes, a checklist like this of pending items that he would want to consider for the evening’s agenda. The memorandum was based on Saunders’ notes of the meeting. Neither Saunders’ nor Helms’ notes of the meeting indicate any discussion of the attack that day on the Liberty.
  2. Telegram 5439 from Rabat, June 8, reported that King Hassan had asked the Ambassador to inform President Johnson that Nasser and other Arab leaders wanted to send Hassan to Washington to discuss the next steps in the Arab-Israel crisis and to determine whether the United States and the Soviet Union were serious about seeking a “real solution” to the Arab-Israeli problem. The King had not decided whether to accept this mission and did not want to do so unless he would be able to report back something of substantive importance. (Ibid., NSC Histories, Middle East Crisis, Vol. 3)