90. Memorandum for the File1


  • Questions re Communications Satellite Policy

The following records briefly phrased views on certain current issues regarding Communications Satellite Policy:

  • First of all, the countries with some technological competence are going to insist on participating in the communications technology and, if possible, in the actual production of some of the hardware that goes into an international or regional system. So we might just as well recognize that fact and lessen substantially the restraints against the export of technology.
  • Second, some areas around the world, such as Western Europe for example, are going to develop regional communications systems. I suggest that we recognize this eventuality and develop our policy in such fashion that it would encourage the compatibility of such regional systems with the international system. There is no reason to pretend that such regional systems will not develop, so why not make the most of it and encourage them to become associated with the international system. If we do not, I would expect that the international system will be the one which breaks up and fails.
  • Third, I see no reason why the United States should not have a regional system, including Canada and Mexico, for example. It makes sense to have such a system handled by the ComSat Corp. and the system be compatible and associated with the international system.
  • Fourth, not only is it in accord with the law but it also is in accord with good management to have the ComSat Corp. contract directly with the United States government, if ComSat Corp. is in fact the low bidder and can meet the requirements.

E.C. Welsh
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Charles E. Johnson Files, COMSAT—US Communications Policy, NSAM No. 338, #2 [2 of 2], Box 13. Official Use Only. Drafted by Welsh.