The Cuban Missile Crisis
Memorandum for the Record


Washington, November 3, 1962.


Meeting of the Executive Committee of NSC--Saturday, November 3, 1962--4:30 p.m.

Attended by all members

Also in attendance:

Ambassador Stevenson, McCloy, Yost and several of their staff from the United Nations

The President opened the meeting, stating the purpose was to clearly outline U.S. policy to be sure "all were on the same wave length".

McCone then read a November 3rd memorandum summarizing intelligence information--copy attached.(1) The President requested this memorandum, which he expressed as being very comprehensive, be sanitized for use in further negotiations and discussions with the Soviets.(2)

Secretary Rusk emphasized the dangers of deception.

The President then read a draft of his instructions to all concerned with present negotiations in Cuba, a November 3rd copy of which is attached.(3)

There followed a long discussion of various means of verification, the importance of ground inspection, the dangers of deception and the difficult question of verifying that this operation would not be repeated at some future time. Included in these discussions were the disposition of the IL 28s, the manning and ultimate disposition of the SAM sites, the MIG 21 problem and most particularly the responsibilities to the OAS countries to make suitable arrangements for their protection against continuation of subversion, insurgency, sabotage, etc. stemming out of Cuba.

Preparation for the McCloy/Kuznetsov meeting on November 4th(4)--CIA arranged sanitized versions of a number of points covered in the attached memorandum of 3 November. This information was developed over night and on Sunday morning early Mr. Sheldon and others visited Mr. McCloy in Stanford, Connecticut and briefed him thoroughly on all subjects.

At about 11 o'clock McCone talked with McCloy who expressed appreciation for the briefing and seemed satisfied that he was armed with all necessary information to carry on his talks with Kuznetsov.

In the evening, Rusk called McCone, stating that Kuznetsov had indicated a willingness to have us look at the crates of the large missiles and that there were 42 missiles in Cuba. He asked that CIA study all pertinent data in the interests of verifying this figure. It will be recalled that CIA estimate had run to a probable 48 missiles in Cuba. McCone called Sheldon who agreed to study this matter.

In the discussion with McCloy, McCone was advised that Kuznetsov would agree that we could inspect and photograph a number of crates on board ships as they departed from Havana; the crates would be dock loaded so that they would be readily visual from a ship pulling alongside, or from the air; however we would not be permitted to board the ships. Apparently Kuznetsov did not feel he could arrange on-site inspection within Cuba.

Apparently Kuznetsov confirmed that there were a total of 40 launchers (10 sites) and that 24 launchers were operational at the time the whole matter was surfaced.

McCloy stated that Kuznetsov was non-responsive with respect to the operation of the SAM sites, to the withdrawal of the SAM sites; withdrawal of the IL 28s and the MIGs were not mentioned. Full telegraphic report is due 11:05.(5)

John A. McCone(6)

1 CIA Memorandum, "The Crisis, USSR/Cuba, Information as of 0600 3 November." The memorandum reported that the whereabouts of missiles and equipment that had been removed was still unknown, and that uncrating and assembling of IL-28 bombers at San Julien was continuing. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Executive Committee, Vol. II, Meetings, 17-24) Back

2 The sanitized version of the CIA memorandum of November 3 was sent to Kuznet-sov under cover of a letter from Stevenson, November 3. It reads:

"The analyses of the photographic reconnaissance conducted by us yesterday over Cuban missile sites shows definitive evidence of dismantling of the sites and removal of missiles and related equipment from the area. Destination of the equipment is as yet not apparent.

"On the other hand, there is clear evidence of progressive work on decrating and assembling of the IL-28's." (Telegram 1625 from USUN, November 3; USUN Files: NYFRC 84-84-001, Outgoing Telegrams, 1953-1963) Back

3 See Document 141. Back

4 See Document 142. Back

5 Attached to this memorandum for the record was a November 2 memorandum from the Deputy Director for Intelligence Cline to McCone entitled, "Time Factors in Construction of Soviet Missiles Bases in Cuba." It estimated how long it would take to make a MRBM site operational and how soon U.S. reconnaissance could discover them. See the Supplement. Back

6 Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature. Back

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI/McCone Files, Job 80-B01285A, 1 July 1962-31 December 1962. Top Secret. Drafted by McCone on November 5.

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