215. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Smith) to the President 1


  • Your meeting with John McCone today at 1:152

Mr. Bundy asked that the following information be brought to your attention prior to your meeting with CIA Director McCone this afternoon: [Page 475]

Mr. McCone has repeated to Mr. Bundy his desire to be relieved as Director of CIA in due course. His reasons include the necessity of attending to family business, as well as his and his wife’s West Coast responsibilities.
Mr. McCone has given no clear indication as to the time of his leaving his post, and a question as to his intentions would be appropriate.
Mr. McCone has said it would be highly useful if his successor were named far enough in advance so that McCone could introduce his successor to his intelligence colleagues during the course of a familiarization trip of some two months to the Far East and Europe.
McCone has thought about who should succeed him. His preferred candidate is apparently Roswell Gilpatric, who is also strongly supported by Secretary Rusk and Secretary McNamara.3
Mr. Bundy recalls the special knowledge which Clark Clifford has in this area, and suggests you may wish to telephone him prior to your discussion with Mr. McCone.

Bromley Smith
  1. Source: Johnson Library, White House Central Files, Confidential File, FG 11–2. Confidential.
  2. The President met with McCone on November 17 from 2:30 to 2:44 p.m. (Ibid., President’s Daily Diary)
  3. Rusk’s intimation during a discussion with McCone on March 18, 1965, that Maxwell Taylor was under consideration elicited a comment by McCone that Taylor “would be very bad indeed.” For text of McCone’s memorandum for the record, see Document 30.