41. Memorandum for the Files1


  • Meeting in the Space Council Office 4:00 p.m., March 29, 1966


  • Mr. Herman Pollack, Mr. T. H. E. Nesbitt, Col. James W. Milner


  • Dr. Edward C. Welsh, Mr. Russell Hale, Mr. Hirsch, Mr. Means

Dr. Welsh opened the meeting by stating that he had dispatched a letter to each member of the Space Council (copy attached),2 which indicated the necessary follow-up action resulting from the last Space Council meeting.

Mr. Pollack then stated that he had delved into the export of technology question and determined that it has a long history; that considerable work had been accomplished by an interagency working group under NSAMs 294 and 338;3 that ACDA had done considerable thinking in this area and were now pushing the position for “positive disarmament.”

Mr. Pollack queried into the background of why the Vice President raised the export of technology question at the Space Council. Dr. Welsh pointed out that in meetings with the Space Council staff the export of technology had been discussed and that this probably grew out of earlier interagency working group meetings in which the export of technology had been added as a possible item for discussion by the Space Council. He also pointed out at the Space Council meeting on March 3, 1966 the Vice President had announced that the next Space Council meeting would be on the subject of International Cooperation. This subject was the Vice President’s idea and it resulted from his travels and thinking. However, the Vice President wanted to talk about specific items and the advanced working group meeting had been held for the purpose of delineating the specific items which would be worthy of discussion by the Space Council. The Vice President stated he would like to see a greater participation by Europe in space activities particularly [Page 88] in cooperation with the US and that the great scientific potential of Europe, Germany for instance, tapped to help solve the space problems. Dr. Welsh emphasized that the export of technology is only one of many items which had entered into the overall international cooperation picture. He acknowledged it was the most talked about item at the Space Council meeting but implied that this was only because the participants who did the most talking were particularly interested in this aspect of international cooperation. Dr. Welsh pointed out that considerable importance was attached to international cooperation in space as evidenced by the fact that international cooperation was the only subject on which the Space Council had had two meetings. This emphasis was due to the fact that it was considered by the Space Council staff to be a subject of great importance. Dr. Welsh pointed out that in the letter he sent to the Space Council principals the Vice President had requested each member of the Space Council to prepare a paper on ways international cooperation in space could be improved and to pass these to U. Alexis Johnson. The principal purpose of this exercise was to bring in ideas. It was not the desire of the Vice President at this time to tell the agencies how to improve international cooperation in space but to seek ideas from the agencies. Some of the example suggestions were: positive disarmament, selling abroad, and improved public relations of our space program.

At a future Space Council meeting Mr. Johnson should probably present a consolidation of these ideas pointing out existing authority or additional authority that was needed to accomplish the program, existing funds available or funds that would be required to carry out the program.

Dr. Welsh further pointed out that the “Marks” Study is not a separate entity but a part of the overall program.

Mr. Pollack then raised the question about communication satellites and how this fits into the overall picture. He pointed out this was a very large subject in itself and would require extensive study from the point of view of educational satellites, TV satellites, distribution satellites and direct broadcasting satellites and ground stations. It was pointed out that considerable study is already underway by various agencies of the Government as well as by the ComSat Corporation in these areas.4

Dr. Welsh concluded by stating that proposals for more effectiveness in international cooperation in space should not be inhibited by any current policy directives or studies, that we should come up with a number of items that could improve international cooperation in [Page 89] space,5 that he hoped one of these items would be the export of space technology.

  1. Source: Department of State, SCI Files: Lot 68 D 383. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Milner (SCI) on April 5.
  2. Dated March 29; not printed.
  3. NSAM No. 294, “US Nuclear and Strategic Delivery Systems to France,” and NSAM No. 338, “Policy Concerning U.S. Assistance in Development of Foreign Communications Satellite Capabilities.” (Department of State, NSAM Files: Lot 72 D 316)
  4. See Documents 63 ff.
  5. On March 30 Nesbitt (SCI) transmitted such items in a memorandum to Pollack. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1964–66, SP 1–1)