May 25, 1963
President John F. Kennedy; Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense

The summary below was prepared by the archivists at the JFK Library.

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JOHN F. KENNEDY LIBRARY PRESIDENTIAL RECORDING LOG TAPE 89: MLF/ISRAEL; BALANCE OF PAYMENTS, EUROPE: ROBERT KENNEDY PHONE CALL; NATO AND MLF; LUNS MEETING; SPAAK MEETING Released 11/2005 5/24/63, 5/25/63, 5/27/63, 5/28/63 167 minutes Status: Declassified in Part: Sixteen excisions totaling 10 minutes 10 seconds have been removed in accordance with Section 3.4 (b) (1), (3) of Executive Order 12958. Description, Multilateral Force and Ottawa conference review/Israel: This May 24th meeting took place between President Kennedy, McGeorge Bundy and Dean Rusk. They initially discussed an overview of what discussions had taken place in Ottawa at NATO’s North Atlantic Council Ministerial meeting, and more specifically on the MLF. The President next discussed the upcoming meeting with Couvre de Murville, the French Foreign Minister, Congress and the United Arab Republic’s Abu Simbel temples and Israeli nuclear development. Description, Balance of Payments/European Defense: Discussion takes place between President Kennedy and Defense Secretary McNamara on European Defense and Canadian /European balance of payments issues, but soon after the meeting began the President takes a 14 minute phone call with Robert Kennedy (see below). They then return to the discussions. The date of this meeting is May 25th. Description, Robert Kennedy Phone call: This May 25th call from Attorney General Robert Kennedy provides the President with a synopsis of the previous day’s meeting in New York between Robert Kennedy, Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin and other black leaders, who met to discuss the present civil rights situation in Alabama. Please note that only the President’s side of the conversation can be heard. Description, Clark Clifford, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board: Please Note: This 5/27 meeting between Clark Clifford and President John F. Kennedy is closed to research use. This meeting totals approximately 6:40. It has been submitted to the appropriate agencies for review. Description, NATO/Multilateral Force: This May 28th meeting takes place between the President and several high ranking members of his staff. The main subject of the meeting is Europe: specifically the current situation of the MLF. Near the meeting’s end the test ban treaty and possible upcoming negotiations on the treaty are debated, with the President taking a pessimistic view of the prospects of success of the negotiations. Description, Joseph Luns: Netherland’s Foreign Minister, Joseph Luns, and President Kennedy meet for a long talk on May 28th to banter about issues such as the MLF, Europe and the future of European-US relations. The tone of this meeting is surprisingly informal. 128
Description, Intelligence Collection: Please Note: This 5/28/63 meeting is currently closed to research use. It has been submitted to the appropriate agencies for review. This meeting is not included in the total minutes for this tape opening. Description, Spaak Meeting: During this 5/28/63 meeting between the President and Belgium Foreign Affairs Minister Paul-Henri Spaak, they discuss US-European relations, the MLF and the President’s upcoming trip to Europe. Please be aware that Mr. Spaak speaks in French and he is the main speaker at the meeting. Please note that the President’s interpreter can only be heard in whispers too low to make out any content. Participants Listing: MLF and upcoming Ottawa conference: President John F. Kennedy; Dean Rusk, Secretary of State; McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Balance of Payments/European Defense: President John F. Kennedy; Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense. Robert Kennedy Phone call Multilateral Force: President Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy; Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense; Dean Rusk, Secretary of State; McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant for National Security Affairs; William Foster, Director, US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; William R. Tyler, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Department of State. Joseph Luns: President John F. Kennedy; Netherland’s Foreign Minister Joseph Luns Paul Henri Spaak: President John F. Kennedy; Paul-Henri Spaak, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium.
Tape 89 5/24/63, 5/25/63, 5/27/63, 5/28/63 167 minutes on 3 CD’s….$18.00