Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

White House Statement Concerning Steps Taken To Strengthen and Improve the Operations of the National Security Council.

March 23, 1953

THE PRESIDENT has been giving attention to strengthening and improving the operations of the National Security Council. On several occasions he has stressed the importance which he places upon the effective functioning of the Council. He feels that in these critical times the Council can afford the greatest possible assistance to the President in deciding policy issues affecting the national security.

The President has decided that he expects to have in regular attendance at Council meetings, in addition to himself and the Vice President, the following: the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director for Mutual Security, and (when appointed) the Director of Defense Mobilization.

Beside the above Council members, those regularly attending Council meetings as advisers will be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Special Assistant to the President for Cold War Planning (C. D. Jackson). For executive and staff functions at Council meetings, there will be in attendance Robert Cutler, Administrative Assistant to the President, and the Council's Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary.

The President has named Mr. Cutler as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Mr. Cutler will be the principal executive officer of the National Security Council and serve as Chairman of its newly established Planning Board.

To bring to Council deliberations a fresh point of view, not burdened with departmental responsibilities, the President plans from time to time to call upon qualified civilians to act as informal consultants to the Council. At present, seven prominent citizens are spending a good part of the month of March in Washington as Civilian Consultants. The President believes that this procedure will prove useful to him and to the other Council members.

In order to provide continuous assistance to the Council in its planning operations, the President has established an NSC Planning Board to take the place of the former NSC Senior Staff. This Board will be composed of qualified members and advisers from the departments and agencies represented at the Council table. Each person selected for the Planning Board is appointed by the President, on nomination of the chief of the department or agency concerned, and for this purpose will become a Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. To date the President has appointed the following:

Chairman: Robert Cutler, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

Treasury Member: Andrew N. Overby, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. Defense Member:

Frank C. Nash, Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Mutual Security Member: Frank N. Roberts, Military Adviser, Director for Mutual Security.

ODM Member: William Y. Elliott, Office of Director of Defense Mobilization.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Adviser: Major General John K. Gerhart, Office, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Central Intelligence Agency Adviser: Robert Amory, Jr., Assistant Deputy Director for Intelligence.

Psychological Strategy Board Adviser: George A. Morgan, Acting Director, Psychological Strategy Board.

A member from the Department of State will be named during the next few days.

The President has authorized additional technical staff assistance for the Council. He also has reappointed James S. Lay, Jr., and S. Everett Gleason as Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary, respectively. They will continue to head the permanent staff of the Council.

Note: On March 11 the White House announced the names of the seven consultants referred to in the foregoing statement, as follows: Dillon Anderson, Houston, Tex.; James B. Black, San Francisco, Calif.; John Cowles, Minneapolis, Minn.; Eugene Holman, New York, N.Y.; Deane W. Malott, Ithaca, N.Y.; David B. Robertson, Cleveland, Ohio; Charles A. Thomas, St. Louis, Mo. The release stated that they would serve as individual consultants rather than as a committee "because, as the President said, 'What is desired is the individual view of each person on a particular problem or problems, rather than the collective view of the group.'"

Dwight D. Eisenhower, White House Statement Concerning Steps Taken To Strengthen and Improve the Operations of the National Security Council. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231558

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