60. Memorandum From the President’s Acting Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Komer) to the President’s Press Secretary (Moyers) and the President’s Assistant Press Secretary (Fleming)1

Announcement of the NSAM 341 reinforcement of State’s policy supervision responsibilities went quite well. There was one persistent area of questioning at the White House and State briefings, however, to which we should be alert.

The question constantly arose of the President delegating his responsibility, and of the replacement of the NSC. The clear and unequivocal answer to this is that the new procedure deals with activity at a level below the President and the NSC. It is in effect a new interdepartmental coordinating mechanism at the Under Secretary and Assistant Secretary level, not at the Cabinet level (which would be the NSC). This point was not adequately brought out by General Taylor’s briefing yesterday.2

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The future role of the Bundy staff is of less consequence. It could be pointed out, however, that the White House will be represented on the senior group (SIG) by the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, and at the regional level by members of the National Security Council Staff.

This memo is to provide some sensible answers if you are harassed along these lines.

R. W. Komer 3
  1. Source: Johnson Library, White House Central Files, Subject Files, Ex FG 105. Official Use Only. Copies were sent to the Ranch and to Joe Laitin.
  2. According to Raborn’s memorandum for the record, at the Cabinet meeting on March 4 Fowler “asked about the position of NSC in relation to NSAM #341. The reply was that NSC would continue to function as formerly.” (Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry, Job 80–B01284A, ER Files—DCI Meetings with the President, 22 Apr 65–30 June 66) At his regular morning meeting on March 7, Raborn was asked by L.K. White about the implications of NSAM 341. According to White’s memorandum for the record, Raborn “said all top officials in Washington considered this a good move. It creates a decision-making body for U.S. overseas efforts and will permit more decisive work at the Washington level. Existing responsibilities of the various agencies and departments will not be impinged. It does not affect either the NSC or the 303 Committee.” (Ibid., Job 80–B01676R, Morning Meeting Minutes, February 1966 thru May 1966)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.