57. Memorandum for the Record/1/

Washington, October 16, 1964.

/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80-B01285A, DCI Mtgs with the Pres, Oct-Dec 1964. Top Secret.

Meeting of an Executive Group of the National Security Council, 16 October 1964

1. A special meeting of a small group of members of the National Security Council was convened at the White House at 1030 on 16 October 1964 to discuss the change of government in Moscow. In attendance were the President, Secretary Rusk, Secretary McNamara, Under Secretary Ball, Under Secretary Thompson, McGeorge Bundy, the DCI, and the undersigned. [Here follows the remainder of paragraph 1 and paragraphs 2-5 on other subjects.]

6. During this meeting preliminary reports about the explosion of a nuclear device in Communist China arrived, and there was a good bit of discussion over the kind of statement that should be released from the White House. Bundy had a draft of a "stand-by statement" which had been prepared in an interdepartmental committee earlier,/2/ and this was revised during and shortly after the meeting for release,/3/ along with the preliminary views provided by JAEIC as to the size and location of the explosion. There was a general discussion of the meaning of the Chinese Communist acquisition of a nuclear capability and a recollection of Secretary Rusk's statement of 29 September/4/ based upon new data provided by the Intelligence Community concerning the test site that had pretty well prepared the world for expecting this event and not becoming unduly alarmed by it.

/2/Read sent a copy of the draft statement to Bundy with a covering memorandum of September 30. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 12-1 CHICOM) A copy of a draft program of action to minimize the impact of the anticipated Chinese nuclear test, prepared by the interdepartmental committee, is filed with a September 25 covering memorandum from Rostow to Bundy. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Nuclear Testing, China)

/3/The statement that Johnson read to the press at 1:20 p.m. that day is printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, Book II, p. 1357.

/4/For text of Rusk's September 29 statement, see Department of State Bulletin, October 19, 1964, pp. 542-543.

Ray S. Cline
Deputy Director (Intelligence)

SOURCE: Foreign Relations of the United States 1964-68, Vol. XXX, China