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I talked to Jack McCloy about his conversation with General Eisenhower and have done the attached memorandum as a result. He was in the country without a stenographer, so I said I would do it. I have sent him a copy and have asked him to make any amendment or correction so that the record will be accurate.
I have also taken the precaution of sending a copy of the draft declaration to John McCone over CIA wires to his retreat in the Caribbean.(1) I do not think he will raise objections, but I do think it is as well to have him signed on. The overtones of McCloy's report suggest that McCone may be in even closer touch with General Eisenhower than I, at least, have supposed.
Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Kennedy
Washington, November 24, 1962.
Proposed Declaration on Cuba
I talked to Mr. McCloy about the language of the proposed declaration on Cuba and he agrees to stick with the wording which you approved yesterday on the first round.(3) When we have the first Soviet reaction we can see whether any alteration is desirable.
Mr. McCloy also told me that he had had an entirely satisfactory conversation with General Eisenhower and that General Eisenhower seemed to share McCloy's view that we have a victory in hand and should now wind the matter up promptly. General Eisenhower also agreed that U.S. overflights and intelligence collection were a much better means of reassurance than some undefined UN inspection, and he expressed the view that he had been worried that we might get tied on too hard to this kind of thing. He said that the declaration McCloy was planning to negotiate might meet with some criticism in the country but that he, General Eisenhower, would not only not criticize it, but would support it. He suggested that Mr. McCloy might want to check the proposed language with John McCone, and Mr. McCloy later tried to do so but found that McCone was not available. Mr. McCloy told General Eisenhower that he had the feeling that McCone would not really be satisfied with anything short of an invasion of Cuba. General Eisenhower said that he himself had no such view, but thought McCone might have useful comments.
General Eisenhower did remark that a solution of this kind would still leave us with the Castro problem, but Mr. McCloy and he agreed that nonetheless this seemed the best course available right now. Mr. McCloy reported that General Eisenhower plainly shared his view that a quick wind-up of the immediate negotiations was highly desirable.
1 In this message, November 24, Bundy told McCone, who was on vacation in the Caribbean, that "we believe it [the U.S. draft declaration] fully safeguards U.S. position especially by its incorporation of Rio Treaty, but in light of your personal note to me, I would like you to have it in time to comment if you wish." Bundy also told McCone that McCloy had talked to Eisenhower "who fully supports plan to wind up negotiations in a way which fully protects overflights and intelligence resources, since he shares McCloy's view that UN inspection is both impractical and undesirable." (Ibid.) Back
Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, General, 11/21/62-11/30/62. No classification marking. A note on the memorandum indicates that this was part of the President's weekend reading, November 25.