42. Editorial Note

In March 1966 Donald Hornig, the President’s Special Assistant for Science and Technology, asked Vice President Humphrey if he could attend Space Council meetings, a request his predecessor, Jerome Wiesner, had also made. Hornig wrote in his March 29 letter to Humphrey: “I was sorry not to have been invited to the most recent meeting, since it concerned questions in which I have been deeply interested for the President.” He noted that he particularly wanted to discuss international and trade policies with the Vice President, so that his “efforts and thinking could be closely tied into it.” (Minnesota Historical Society, Papers of Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice Presidential Files, Outer Space General Files, 1964–Apr 1967)

The initial draft response, prepared by Vice President Humphrey’s staff, was unreceptive to Hornig’s request, because membership in the Council had been limited by Congress. (Draft memorandum from Humphrey to Hornig, April 6; ibid.) Humphrey rejected the draft, and the final response, dated April 6, read: “As you know, membership of the Council is prescribed by statute. I do believe, however, that we can and should have considerable flexibility in inviting responsible officials on the basis of subject matter to be covered and the specific interest of the members in the views of those invited.” (Ibid.)

On April 22 Welsh informed Humphrey that he had issued the invitation to Hornig as directed, but had taken precautions in case the Science Adviser tried to send a staff member instead, noting the fact that Hornig’s likely choice “is quite unpopular with Webb and Seaborg.” (Memorandum from Welsh to Humphrey, April 22; ibid.) It is unclear to whom Welsh was referring.