262. Editorial Note

On February 18, 1967, President’s Special Assistant Rostow forwarded to the President copies of minutes of 303 Committee meetings that referred to “CIA connections with support for youth and student groups.” Noting in his covering memorandum that the last reference was December 3, 1964, Rostow observed that “the basic work of the 303 Committee is to examine new programs; although, in the period I have been here, I have asked for reexamination of certain programs when current issues arose.” For text of the memorandum and attachments, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume X, Document 171.

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In a February 24 memorandum to the 303 Committee, Peter Jessup proposed that the committee “reexamine the criteria under which the 303 Committee approves of future, current, and long-standing projects.” Jessup continued: “Rather than examine each and every project of the type presently under public scrutiny, the committee should, at the earliest opportunity, give its attention to those activities which are recommended for continuation. The committee in the future should at no time approve an umbrella of projects or extensive programs in principle but should pass on each subordinate proposal which has an allocation of funds.” Jessup noted that the committee had been briefed several times on youth and student activities prior to 1965 but that “since that time-some 26 months ago-the subject has not again been raised except indirectly” on July 8, 1966. In concluding his memorandum, Jessup stated: “The Executive Secretary will undertake in the immediate future to reexamine all existing approvals to see if there are any projects ‘coasting’ on earlier approvals. We should try to examine each continuing project no less frequently than once a year.” (National Security Council, Special Group/303 Committee Files, Minutes)

At the 303 Committee meeting on May 5, Rostow “asked that the committee undertake its top-to-bottom review of projects on a steady basis between now and December and with first consideration due to those efforts which have a direct Katzenbach Committee connotation. This would include those which might eventually be transferred, terminated, or whose status results in any current ambiguity.” (Minutes of 303 Committee Meeting; ibid.)