Papers of John F. Kennedy. Presidential Papers. President's Office Files.
Sound recording of a National Security Council Meeting on India held on May 9, 1963. Identified participants in this meeting include: President John F. Kennedy, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Maxwell Taylor, Under Secretary of State George Ball, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs W. Averell Harriman, Assistant Secretary of State Phillips Talbot, Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric, Ambassador to India Chester Bowles, Acting Administrator of the Agency for International Development (AID) Frank Coffin, Assistant Secretary of Defense William Bundy, and Member of the National Security Council Robert Komer. President Kennedy discusses with his staff the sale of mobile air defense units to India and potential diplomatic consequences. There is also extensive conversation on the possibility of providing a defense commitment to India in the case of a Chinese attack on the sub-continent and the use of nuclear weapons in the defense of countries in Asia instead of the introduction of large numbers of US soldiers. General Maxwell Taylor is first to bring up the issue of nuclear weapons versus ground troops. President Kennedy speaks briefly, and then General Taylor’s point is affirmed strongly by Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. Eight segments of the recording totaling 2 minutes and 43 seconds have been removed for reasons of national security. This sound recording has been excerpted from Tape 86, which contains additional sound recording(s) following this one. See Related Records to access Tape 86 in its entirety.