202. Memorandum From Leslie A. Janka of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1


  • Legislation to Designate the Secretary of Treasury a Member of the National Security Council

The Senate Armed Services Committee has reported legislation to designate the Secretary of Treasury a statutory member of the National Security Council.2 In all probability, this legislation was prompted by the Murphy Commission recommendation that NSC membership be expanded in this way.3 The Senate may vote on it Friday, October 10.4

Since OMB has never been requested to formulate a coordinated Administration position on such legislation, it is currently referring inquiries regarding our position—already being received by the White House liaison people—to this office. Accordingly, some guidance from [Page 678] you is essential. You may wish to know that other agency comments on the Murphy Commission recommendation, which the NSC has requested and received thus far, tend to support the proposal (comments attached).5

As you may recall, our most recent experience with the NSC membership issue was the proposal to add the Director of ACDA, to which we were opposed.6 At that time our position was essentially that the concerns of the National Security Council were far broader—primarily focusing on strategic matters—and extended substantially beyond the statutory focus and responsibility of ACDA. At the same time we assured the Congress that when an agenda item of a National Security Council meeting involved the responsibilities of ACDA, the Director had been and would continue to be invited to join in such deliberations. I would think a similar position could be taken in regard to this legislation regarding the Secretary of Treasury in view of the fact the National Security Council does not, on a regular basis, address economic issues. Furthermore, the Secretary of the Treasury is Chairman of the Economic Policy Board on which the Secretary of State sits to ensure integration of international economic policy with foreign policy.


That we oppose this legislation along the same lines as we did in respect to the proposal to include the Director of ACDA.7


That we take no position on this bill


That we support the legislation

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 85, Davis, Jeanne W.—Personal File, NSC Organization and Administration (6). No classification marking. Sent for action. Attached to an unsigned October 17 memorandum from Davis to James Hyde of OMB, reiterating opposition to NSC membership for the Treasury Department, along similar lines expressed below. See also Document 193.
  2. Reference is to S. 2350, introduced by Senator Stuart Symington (D–Missouri) on September 17.
  3. In its final report of June 27, the Murphy Commission recommended adding the Treasury Department to the NSC as the “distinction between foreign and domestic policy is increasingly tenuous, especially with respect to foreign economic policy.” The report continues, “with the broadening of the NSC to include foreign economic considerations, the degree to which domestic considerations must be blended into foreign policy making also expands, and the need arises for an institutional link or bridge between the mechanisms through which domestic and foreign policy are made.” (Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy, p. 34) See also Document 179. For the Commission’s recommendations for the Intelligence Community, public diplomacy, and the Department of State, see Documents 45, 106, and 147, respectively.
  4. The Senate passed the bill on October 9.
  5. Attached but not printed. In addition to Treasury, the Department of Defense also endorsed the recommendation.
  6. Reference is to H.R. 7567, introduced by Representative Clement Zablocki (D–Wisconsin) on June 4 and passed on July 9. The Departments of State and Defense and the ACDA opposed the bill in testimony before the House International Relations Committee. Their objections were discussed in an August 29 memorandum from Janka to Kissinger upon which Scowcroft wrote: “Kissinger discussed w/ Pres. Veto signed.” (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Agency Files, Box 1, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, 8/28/75–11/21/75) No veto was subsequently issued, however, as all references to NSC membership for ACDA were removed before H.R. 7567 was combined with Senate bill S. 1517, the Foreign Relations Authorization bill for FY 1976, on November 4. The omnibus legislation was then passed on November 29 as Public Law 94–141. (Congress and the Nation, Vol. IV, 1973–1976, pp. 872–873)
  7. Scowcroft initialed this option and wrote that he did so “at Presidential direction.”