111. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Read) to the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow)1


  • Status Report on Panels of Outside Advisers

The panels of advisers to the Department’s regional bureaus, and to the Bureau of International Organization Affairs and Policy Planning Council, are now constituted, and all but one have been publicly announced. Announcement of the panel of the Bureau of African Affairs has been deferred pending the security clearance of one member (Dr. Martin Kilson of Harvard), whose case is being expedited but may still present problems.

Although new, these panels promise to serve as an extremely useful source of new ideas and comment on current and long-range problems.2 Our present plans for their utilization can be summarized as follows:

East Asian and Pacific Affairs. This bureau has formed two panels. Its ten-member China panel will meet for the first time on February 1–2 to discuss the major problems bearing on U.S. policy towards Communist China. The East Asian and Pacific panel, under the Chairmanship of former Ambassador Reischauer, will hold its first meeting on February 3–4. Sixteen of the nineteen members (including two who are also on the China panel) are expected to attend this initial discussion of our Asian policy; in the future smaller groups drawn from the panel as a whole may meet to discuss particular questions.

European Affairs. In view of the broad range of European problems, the bureau does not at this time plan to convene formal meetings of its 22-member advisory panel. Instead, it is scheduling meetings with smaller groups of three to five specialists at which particular problems can be discussed. The first such meeting, to consider the US/UK/FRG Trilateral negotiations, NATO problems and Atlantic military affairs, was held on December 2, 1966.

Two further meetings are planned for this Spring to examine the question of British entry into the Common Market and the problem of East-West relations.

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Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. This bureau is also planning to convene initial meetings of groups of advisers drawn from its panel, rather than a formal meeting of the panel as a whole. The first group will meet for two days in mid-February to discuss some of the central problems of U.S. policy in the Eastern Arab world. Shortly thereafter, a second meeting will be held to consider the problems of the South Asian subcontinent.

International Organization Affairs. Formation of this advisory panel was announced in mid-October, and the group held its first meeting at our UN Mission in New York on November 3 to discuss Southwest Africa, the mini-state problem and planning for the 1968 UNCTAD Conference. Another meeting is planned within the next few weeks to consider the Rhodesia and Southwest Africa problems.

Policy Planning Council. The Council has formed two panels of advisers, composed of experts on the problems of developed nations and on food and population matters. Neither group has yet convened, but initial meetings are scheduled within the next two months. The developed nations panel will consider a paper (being prepared for the Spring meeting of the Atlantic Policy Advisory Group) on relations in the 1970’s between Western Europe and (1) the United States and (2) the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; the food/population panel is being asked to assist in a study of the world food problem.

African Affairs. The panel will hold an initial meeting as soon as Dr. Kilson’s security clearance problem has been resolved. Thereafter, its work will be harmonized with that of the African Advisory Council formed in 1961. While formal meetings of the new advisory panel and Council could later be scheduled, none are contemplated at this time. Instead, the bureau plans to convene small meetings of experts drawn from both groups to work on specific African problems. Ultimately it is hoped that the two groups can be merged.

In addition to the foregoing, the pre-existing Council for Latin America continues to function effectively. Its Board of Trustees will hold a meeting in New York on March 6, and the Council’s various geographic subcommittees are planning to meet in Washington this Spring with appropriate Country Directors and staff personnel of the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. Informal, ad hoc meetings between Assistant Secretary Gordon and selected members of the panel of academic consultants to this bureau have also been held in recent months. At the last such meeting the subjects discussed were education, proposals for the establishment of multi-national institutes, and ways to improve scientific and technological training in Latin America were discussed.

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We have been pleased with the interest shown in the new panels, and will continue to report on their more significant activities and contributions to the work of the Department.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, State Department, Consultants Panels. Confidential. Rostow penned a note to Bromley Smith on the memorandum that reads: “Remind me to check again at, say, the end of April.”
  2. See Document 125 regarding evaluations of the panels by NSC staff members.