231. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to Secretary of State Rusk1

For some time Clark Clifford has been recommending a new, general letter of instructions from the President to the Director of Central Intelligence on the coordination of our foreign intelligence efforts. I attach a draft which has been discussed back and forth between his group and my office.2 The only question in my mind is whether the language of the third paragraph3 trespasses on your prerogative, and I would be grateful if you would give it a personal look. I am quite sure Tom Hughes would be inclined to rewrite it, but I am not sure his judgment should control in this case simply because within the intelligence community as such, I think the Director of Central Intelligence should indeed be the senior official and this has been the general rule since preparation of the National Security Act of 1947.

On the other hand, it is equally clear that the Secretary of State has final responsibility for advice to the President on matters affecting the conduct of our foreign relations, and I don’t think the President would wish to do anything that would undercut this basic responsibility of yours. My question, then, is whether there is language that would protect Dean Rusk without giving INR a bureaucratic veto on all efforts on intelligence coordination.

I would be grateful for your comments.

McGeorge Bundy 4
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Confidential.
  2. Attached but not printed. In an August 12 memorandum to Clifford forwarding Clifford’s latest draft with suggested amendments by Eugene Fubini of DOD, Bundy stated: “My own reservation about the somewhat more sweeping language of your current draft relates to the question of whether we want to affirm this mandate at this time with this particular DCI. I think there may be a case for a simple reaffirmation of the document of 1962 in a time when there are some of the uncertainties that you and I discussed at lunch last month.” Bundy wrote in hand on his copy of the memorandum, presumably reflecting Clifford’s response to it, “Yes a letter. Likes his letter better than ’62 letter.” (Ibid.) For text of Kennedy’s letter, January 16, 1962, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. XXV, Document 99.
  3. The third paragraph in the attached draft is identical to the third paragraph in the final version (Document 233).
  4. Printed from a copy that indicates Bundy signed the original.