200. Memorandum From the National Security Council Staff Secretary (Davis) to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1


  • NSC Staff Reductions

I have again reviewed the figures for the NSC professional staff, both NSC-payrolled and on detail, and have developed the following information:

—As of December 1, 1972, there were 58 professional staff members, 27 on the NSC payroll and 31 on detail.

—In January 1973, we were asked to reduce our staff. In response, we outlined a program to reduce the staff by 11—a 20% reduction—primarily by not filling expected vacancies.

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—By March 6, 1973, five officers had left the staff and had not been replaced, for a total of 53.

—By June 30, 1973, the staff had been reduced by an additional four officers, to a total of 49—a 16% cut from the December 1972 figure.

—The difference between the planned cut of 11 officers and the actual cut of 9 officers was occasioned by the unexpected retention on the staff of a White House Fellow (Don Stukel) and a Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations (Bill Quandt). Both of these officers had been expected to leave the staff but were asked to extend their duty for an additional year.

—Since June 30, 1973, the downward trend has continued: June 30, 1974—45; August 9, 1974—41.

—As of November 11, 1974, the professional staff totalled 41, although Commander Gerrish Flynn (TDY for Denis Clift)2 and Les Janka’s replacement3 will bring the total to 43—18 on the NSC payroll and 25 on detail.

I have prepared a memorandum, with accompanying table, for your signature to Jerry Jones suggesting that in the light of our substantial staff reductions in the last two years, and the increase in NSC activity with the advent of the new President, we be exempted from further mandatory reductions.


That you sign the memorandum at Tab A.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–301, Miscellaneous Institutional Files of the Nixon Administration—NSC System, Staff and Committees [2 of 3]. Administratively Confidential.
  2. Clift was the NSC Senior Staff member for Europe and Oceans.
  3. Beginning in November 1974, Janka was the NSC Senior Staff member for Congressional Relations. Previously, he had been a Press Liaison Officer.
  4. Attached but not printed. Scowcroft did not sign the memorandum, but rather communicated its contents orally to Jerry Jones on December 30. An attachment to a memorandum from Davis to Philip Buchen of January 31, 1975, indicates that the number of professionals and clerical/administrative staff detailed to the NSC Staff from other agencies remained at June 1974 levels (44 total personnel). (Ford Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 85, Davis, Jeanne W.—Personal File, NSC Organization and Administration (5))