First, I must record my grave apprehensions about the activities in which I will be engaged during the next three or four months. For the past three or four months, it has become increasingly apparent that Congress, the newspapers and the magazine writers, and the radio and TV commentators have been sharpening their knives for the nation's space program. I think I have been able to arouse some of the people in the White House and the Bureau of the Budget to the concern of Congress and outsiders over the "space race." I hope that the actions we can take in the month of January will regain the initiative for the president and the administration as well as my organization. Much good work has been done by the staff during the past month or so in drafting a revision of the basic statute under which we operate, in negotiating an agreement with the Army on the transfer of von Braun's group to NASA from ABMA and on preparations for the presentation of our budget to Congress.
Friday, January 1: Ruth is in Cleveland with the children but will return on Monday, 4 January. Last evening was spent at Abe Silverstein's. A large group of NASA people gathered during the evening and drank the New Year in. I left about 12:30 and retired to my bed - none the worse for wear. Most of the morning was spent in working over a draft of a speech for President Eisenhower. Ed McCabe of the White House staff had been assigned to prepare a draft of this speech, which we hope to persuade the president to give at an early date. It is intended to clarify the misconceptions held by many people about the effectiveness of our missiles. The critics' argument goes somewhat as follows: the Russians make difficult shots with their space rockets. This must mean that they can hit a target here on Earth - in the Washington area - with pinpoint accuracy. We are not able to match their space shots with our rockets, and thus we are thought to be unable to hit a target in Russia with a nuclear warhead. This translation of our inability to match the Russians in space shots into an inability to hit a target on earth with extreme accuracy is a very annoying situation. The facts are that we have great accuracy and increasingly good reliability in our intercontinental ballistic missiles and intermediate range ballistic missiles. The speech, in addition, is intended to state that we are not going to attempt to compete with the Russians on a shot-for-shot basis in attempts to achieve space spectaculars. In fact, we cannot match them at the present time; it will be several years before we will have rockets of sufficiently high thrust to do this sort of thing. In the meantime, it is necessary to recognize that we are competing with the  Russians on many fronts, and that space is one of the most glamorous and important of these. It is the area in which the Russians clearly have a lead at the present time. Our strategy must be to develop a program on our own terms that will allow us to progress sensibly toward ultimate leadership in this competition. To do this we will use the rocket systems available to us while we continue to develop systems with higher thrust such as Saturn and ultimately, Nova.1
I think we have the words set down for a fifteen minute speech that will convince the country of the rightness of the president's thinking in this matter. Importantly, too, a statement from the president will gain the initiative in the forthcoming struggle with Congress. After a somewhat skimpy lunch, I took a walk for an hour and then returned to the apartment to watch football and then go out to dinner with a friend named Millard Richmond.
Saturday, January 2: Another look at the speech for the president and some rewriting. I took it down to the White House where I was able to get it retyped and given to Ed McCabe, for further editing.
The rest of the day was spent in thinking over the kinds of questions that Congress is apt to ask of us. It will be very important to have all the senior members of the staff speak with a single voice. I began to set down a host of questions divided up into the principal areas of activity, and I am going to ask the staff to add to them. We will then have a session at which we will answer the questions - some quite factually, others in terms of policy. The day ended with about nine pages of questions set down.
Sunday, January 3: Our new director of launch vehicle systems had written out a number of questions regarding NASA policy or my own convictions on subjects he felt might be discussed outside the office. Once again, I found myself writing out longhand about 10 or 12 pages of answers. I am going to have them typed and distributed to the senior members of the staff. This effort, together with the questions written down yesterday, should give us a good base for our policy framework for the coming year. In the middle of the afternoon, I started out for a walk and must have walked for two hours. I did enjoy listening to Senator Kennedy on one of the news programs. He answered questions about his candidacy for the presidency with candor and much good sense.
Monday, January 4: During the night I was awakened with a familiar pain in the right foot. At first I thought it must have been a strain from the strenuous exercise of the day before, but I guess it is the old malady, the gout. At four in the morning, I got up and took one of the new pills, Decadron, which had been recommended to me by George Rincliffe several weeks ago. During the course of the day I took three more of them and the pain seemed to disappear. I hope that I won't have to use the pills very often, but I am glad to know that they can be  effective. Colchicine has so many bad side effects with me that I dread taking the drug. Off to the office at the usual hour, a staff meeting awaiting me. We debated the issue of opening one of the next Little Joe shots at Wallops Island to the press.2 Apparently we had half-promised the press we would open one of our shots at the Island for them. Normally, we maintain a strict control over the press at the Island believing that our people ought to be able to do their research and development tasks without the press breathing down their necks. I finally gave in; the next shot will contain a biomedical specimen, which should please the press very much.
Following the staff meeting, Dryden and Horner sat with me for some time as we worked over the draft of the president's speech and discussed several other matters having to do with the timing we should follow regarding the supplemental budget, the new statute, the ABMA transfer and the delivery of the president's speech. We also discussed the distribution and use of the 10-year plan now nearing completion. Calling in Stewart, Gleason and Johnson, we finally decided to develop an unclassified version of the document and provide an appendix containing the schedules and the estimates of total program cost.
At 12 o'clock, Commander Williams of the White House staff came over and sat with Horner and myself reviewing the sections of the president's State of the Union message of concern to us in NASA.3 It appears to be a fairly good statement. We were able to make several useful suggestions that I believe improved the document materially. Lunch at the desk in order to get more work completed. Then a short discussion with Frank Phillips about the proposed changes in the Space Act. He is secretary of the Space Council and will be out of a job if the law is changed, since the Space Council will be eliminated under the new statute. I asked him to consider whether or not he was interested in working directly with me. I also asked him to review the report from our bio-science advisory committee so that we can take action on it later in the week.
Gleason and Nunn came in to talk about the preparations for congressional hearings on various matters. I gave them the series of questions I had prepared over the weekend and asked them to fill them out and to put them into such shape with respect to the policy and operating matters involved so that members of the staff could be briefed on them. At 3 o'clock, I moved over to the White House to meet with Secretary Tom Gates of the Department of Defense and Gerry Morgan, chief counsel to the president. Tom has now agreed that the proposed changes in the law  make a good deal of sense from a management standpoint. He says the law should have been written this way in the first place, but he doubts very much whether it is politically expedient to do anything about it now. His attitude is one of letting Congress initiate the laws we know it is planning and letting the president veto them if we can't change the minds of Congress in debate on the Hill. I represent the opposite view. I believe the president must take the initiative in this situation. Tom was very decent about the whole matter. He said that the Defense Department would go along with whatever decision was reached; I urged that he speak to the president personally. He did not want to do this, and I therefore urged Gerry to represent to the president Tom's attitude. It is really important that we be together on this.
At 4 o'clock, I sat down with Ed McCabe and worked over the draft of the speech again, giving him the result of the efforts Dryden, Horner and I had made in the morning. Back to the office about 5:15. A call to the apartment elicited no response. About 15 minutes later, a call came from Ruth saying that she had arrived. I moved into high gear and we managed to get the station wagon unpacked and everything in good order by about 6:30. At this juncture, George Burgess [an engineer and fellow Yale graduate] called to say that he was in town. Ruth agreed and immediately we asked him to come out for a drink and potluck supper with us. He seems just the same as always, and it turned out to be quite an enjoyable evening.
January 5: This is Tuesday and the president will make his State of the Union message to Congress on Thursday. The White House is completely occupied with preparing the speech. It seems that every member of the staff has a chance at it, and even some of us on the outside get our 10 cents worth. I am told that this will go on right up to the few minutes before the speech.
At NASA, we are preoccupied with the preparation of the defense of our budget and, more importantly, the defense of our past activities before the committees of Congress who have set hearings for the latter part of January. This is a time of soul-searching and attempting to rationalize some of the actions we have taken in the past and to decide on policy regarding certain of the things we should be doing in the future. It is necessary to determine who is to say what before which committee. All in all, it is a strange and wonderful climate. It is democracy in action and seems completely inefficient. But this kind of operation in a goldfish bowl is probably necessary because: it is easy to be complacent; the atmosphere that is developing at this time of year requires one to support his thinking and to rethink attitudes toward Congress and plans for the coming year; and while the political overtones make all of this somewhat unpalatable, in a nation where the individual is king, there must be a constant check on that individual. We are all human and have our normal complement of human frailties.
The day started out early in the morning with a discussion of the speech Ed McCabe and I are trying to put together for the president and then a session with Maurice Stans, director of the Bureau of the Budget. Meeting with several of his staff, we discussed schedules for sending material to Congress on behalf of NASA. It became apparent there were political problems involved, and we determined that  I should see Bryce Harlow on these matters later in the day. I did have a call from Gerry Morgan asking for the papers on the proposed new statute and for copies of the proposed speech. These will get to him later in the day.
Shortly after lunch (at the desk) Bill Holaday, chairman of the Civilian-Military Liaison Committee (CLMC), came in to talk about the timing of his resignation.4 The law we are proposing will eliminate the CMLC, and Bill wants to resign before the law is submitted to Congress. I cannot disagree with him. Incidentally, Holaday is one of those persons retired from industry and attempting seriously to assist here in Washington. He has difficulty operating in the jobs he has had recently, but he has tried diligently to make decisions and make them stick. Unfortunately, he is in the position of advising without any responsibility for carrying out the advice he is giving.
A little later in the afternoon, a long session with a variety of our top people to discuss budget defense and the scheduling of the papers that are to go to the Hill. It is interesting to note the extent to which one must be on one's toes to see to it that all of the top people know what is going on at all times. At 4:30, I had a visit with Bryce Harlow at the White House. Bob Merriam and Ed McCabe participated. We discussed the timing on all the events in the next week and had quite a little debate on the timing for the proposed speech. I am not sure just where we will get off on this, but there will certainly be more discussion later in the week. Back home at about 6:30 and a good dinner with some time left after dinner for starting a speech for 27 January.
Wednesday, January 6: A brief meeting first thing in the morning with Hjornevik about some recruiting he wants to do. We still have the problems of working with other people and like to tell the boss of the man we are trying to hire what we are attempting to do. A little later in the morning we heard a briefing by the General Dynamics people, including Fred DeHoffmann and Ed Creutz, on Project Orion.5 This is really quite a project. It is the propulsion of a heavy space ship into orbit through successive explosions of atomic devices. It is an expensive way of doing the job, but it may be the only way to put a very heavy object into orbit.
A quick lunch with Phil Farley at the Statler. Phil is with the State Department and has concern for atomic and space matters. We discussed the desirability of cooperative programs with the Russians and how these might be  brought about. It appears there is no reason why we should not write directly to our opposite numbers in Russia so long as we keep the State Department advised. I talked with him somewhat about the speech for the president and found him interested and hopeful that this speech could be made. More work during the afternoon on budget and the speech for the president and then, at 5:30, cocktails with Bob McKinney and his wife. Bob is doing another study for the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy and will be spending time abroad. He is looking into the international aspects of atomic energy and the AEC's international program.
Back home about 6:30 and into a dinner jacket to attend the annual congressional dinner of the Women's National Press Club. It was a really noisy cocktail hour, and finally we were able to sit down about 8:15. Having finished the main course, we came to the magic hour of 10 o'clock, which was important to me. I had recorded last week a television interview with Howard K. Smith of Columbia Broadcasting System. The subject of the hour-long discussion in which many other people participated was, "Can democracy cope with the problems of management in the missile and space programs?" We wanted to see the show and managed to get home about 20 minutes late but saw the last 40 minutes. My own little piece came off reasonably well, but I suspect the nation is no more able to understand the management problems than it was before the film was made.
January 7: The regular Thursday morning meeting with the staff at 8:30 prompted discussion of the CBS program of the night before. Almost everyone agreed that our part in it had gone fairly well but that the management of the missile and space program must seem a mess to the general public. Gleason felt that we should have stayed out of it. Certainly, I would prefer to stay out of this sort of thing, but I doubt very much whether a person in a responsible position in the management of the nation's space program can avoid being drawn into discussions of this kind on TV.
At 10:30 with Dr. Kistiakowsky to rehearse a discussion with the president scheduled for 4:30 this afternoon. Back to the office in a hurry to get together with Dryden, Harry Goett, Horner, Silverstein, Wyatt and George Low on program to follow the present Mercury. This was a very short discussion because I wanted to get up on the Hill to hear the State of the Union message. We came to no conclusion except that we would have to get together after lunch. Over to the White House in a hurry and into one of the White House cars that took me to the Hill. Hustling through the corridors, we were able to find standing room behind the railings on the House floor. [Discusses the ceremonies that followed.]
The president started off reading his speech at about 12:35 pm. He spoke vigorously and with great clarity for about 20 minutes. It seemed then that he became rather obviously tired and seemed to fumble a little bit with the pages of his speech as he turned them. This situation continued for five or six minutes when, all of a sudden, he seemed to get his second wind and finished the 45 minute talk with great vigor and clarity. There was a significant amount of applause when he announced that the budget for 1961 shows a surplus of something more than $4  billion. Only two or three people in the official family knew that he was going to give this figure. It was not in the printed text, and most of the people on the White House staff had no knowledge of the figure prior to the president's announcement. All in all, the ceremony, the occasion and the participants made a deep impression on me. The members of the diplomatic corps, including Mr. Menshikov of Russia, must have acquired a new respect for the democracy that is the United States.6
A hurried lunch at the White House mess and back to the meeting we chopped off just before lunch. We finally decided that there should be a follow-on project, and that it would have, as its objective, manned flight to the moon and back. In those few simple words, I am describing a project that may well cost between $5 and $10 billion and probably will occupy the attention of very good men for a period of ten to fifteen years.7 What an age in which to live!
Earlier arrangements for an appointment with Senator Dodd of Connecticut were called off because of the caucus of the Democratic party. I'll see him tomorrow for lunch. The meeting with the president at 4:30 was called off because of a long session of the National Security Council, but I am to be at the White House at 8:30 in the morning. I was able to keep a date with Bob Anderson, secretary of the treasury, who always gives me a great lift. I was rehearsing with him some of the discussion I was to have with the president and urging upon him the support of my desire to have the president make a speech clarifying our efforts in the space program. I intended to ask Bob to be the commencement speaker at Case but couldn't bring myself to do it after taking three-quarters of an hour of his time to seek advice. I'll get to him at some other time on the Case commencement.
Friday, January 8: I had an 8:30 appointment with the president this morning to check over the matters undergoing debate and preparation in our shop and at the hands of the White House staff these last several weeks. I had scheduled a visit to the dentist for 9 o'clock but had been able to delay this by 15 minutes, thinking that I would be through with my discussion at the White House in 30 minutes. Unfortunately, it soon became evident that there had been a complete lack of any briefing by the White House staff, so the president was completely "cold" on all matters I wanted to talk about. Fortunately, I had made an outline of what I had intended to discuss, and it started with a briefing on our discussion in Augusta, Georgia. With me on this occasion were Dryden, General Goodpaster, General  Persons, Harlow and Kistiakowsky. I was attempting to put the situation on the Hill into perspective and to suggest the course of action to be followed. The president, who had discussed with me the proposed changes in the statute, seemed to have forgotten our earlier conversation. Almost immediately, we branched off into a discussion of doing away with the Space Council. At this late date, with the law completely redrafted and ready for submission to Congress, I was flabbergasted. We did debate these issues for 15 or 20 minutes, and it appears clear that a re-examination of certain elements of the proposed changes is now necessary. I doubt that anything will come of this re-examination, however.
We went on to discuss the supplemental budget request and the transfer of ABMA, and on these there was no difficulty. I then brought up the matter of the speech already discussed with the president on several occasions, most recently at Augusta. I had sent him a confirmatory letter following my visit to Augusta restating my conviction that a statement by him was absolutely necessary. Another 10 or 15 minutes was taken up on this matter, and the president did read the draft speech. It was very much a rough draft, but it attempted to clarify the missile-space situation and to state the objectives of the United States' space exploration program. Finally, the president seemed to agree that he would make such a television speech and that it should be done with proper advance billing.
It became evident that discussions between the president and the legislative leaders (especially Lyndon Johnson) as well as with the members of the Space Council would be necessary before the new statute could be proposed to Congress. On this note, we ended the meeting. At least I thought we had ended the meeting, but as we turned to go, the president said the really important thing is to get that big booster out as soon as possible. He asked me when I thought this could be done, and I told him it would not be operational before 1965 and would not be reliable even then. He expressed great concern and said something about his willingness to put additional money into this if much time could be saved. I immediately suggested that as much as a year might be saved if we spent an additional $50 to 100 million in the coming year. I did not press the point, but I intend to do so later. Following this meeting - by now I had lost my chance to go to the dentist - we talked a little bit with the White House staff about the next steps. It was agreed that we would review the message to Congress on the proposed statute after considered changes that would make it more palatable. I was also to see Senator Styles Bridges, Republican minority leader of the Senate, with Bryce Harlow to discuss strategy with respect to submission of the bill. I was somewhat discouraged as I left the White House.
I had made an engagement with Senator Dodd of Connecticut for lunch. I was not in a very good mood but found that the lunch was an exceedingly pleasant one, for Dodd was only too happy to see me and expressed himself completely convinced of the sincerity with which I was attacking my job. He offered to help in any way he could. This is very important to me because he is a Democrat and, as such, might be expected to be exceedingly critical of anything we are doing.  Following that discussion, Jim Gleason, Harlow and I visited with Senator Bridges for an hour. I pointed out the proposed changes in the law and found that he was in complete agreement with them. Bridges is an old hand in the Senate and knows his way about. He has been less than completely cooperative with the White House, but he has never voted against the presidential position without first telling the president that he was going to do so. I found it a very pleasant occasion and enjoyed debating strategy. Senator Bridges suggested that Lyndon Johnson and he visit with the president to talk about the elimination of the Space Council from the Space Act. He also suggested the desirability of visiting with Representatives John McCormack and Joe Martin.
This discussion had somewhat restored my spirits, and I was anxious to get back to the office where we were having a discussion about the Atomic Energy Commission and its part in our program. The AEC is developing a nuclear reactor for use in rocket propulsion. It depends upon us to show interest and to support this program by providing certain facilities and non-nuclear developments. This is a long-term proposition, and it is highly improbable that we will have a nuclear rocket before 1966. Even then, it will be necessary that we have remote launching sites because of the probability of danger from a nuclear accident.8 The immediate reason for this conference was to prepare ourselves (Dick Horner and myself) for possible discussions with Chairman McCone of the Atomic Energy Commission, who is going to Huntsville, Alabama, to visit the von Braun operation tomorrow.
In the middle of these discussions, we received a proposed press release from the public information officer of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It was to cover a scientific paper being given in Nice, France, by one of the laboratory personnel, including a proposal for a cooperative program with the Russians that had no official standing. There were statements of reservation throughout the release, but it was aimed principally at getting the headlines on its being a proposal for a cooperative program with the Soviet Union. A quick call to the West Coast determined that we had not had a chance to see the document, although we had approved an abstract in which there was no mention of international cooperation. When we did get a copy, it appeared that there were only three sentences in the entire paper having anything to do with international cooperation! We had to ask that the paper be altered, and thus ended what might have been a minor crisis if we had not caught it in time.
This was the day the Russians announced that they were setting up a range in the Pacific to test more powerful space boosters. Two or three of their telemetry ships are already on station as we know, and the exercises are expected to take place  sometime between January 15 and February 15. This should make the cheese a little more binding as we attempt to maintain our own program on a sensible basis. About this time I should be attending a reception for the foreign news correspondents for the NBC, but I had to say I would be unable to attend. There is a limit!
Saturday, January 9: Today, we took off at 7:30 in the NASA Convair for a visit to our new group under von Braun. John McCone was with us for a visit to ABMA. John is a member of the Space Council and much concerned about our lag in the competition with the Russians. I have had some difficulty in attempting to convince him recently that there really is no way of bridging the very deep and broad gap between our capabilities in rocket thrust and the Russians'. That gap will be closed within two to four years, but I doubt that there is anything that can be done to speed it up more than perhaps six months to a year even if we spend $100 million more a year extra.
Von Braun met us at the plane with General John Barclay, the Commanding General of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. They had laid on a briefing with their staff in attendance. The briefing covered the Saturn Project very well. Von Braun carried the whole discussion and, as usual, spent about half his time describing exotic trips into outer space. The Saturn booster project covering some 22 boosters looks to cost us about $1.2 billion.9 It is one of the most amazing combinations of engineering, plumbing and plain hope that anyone could imagine.
After lunch we toured the facilities. I am always amazed at the quality of workmanship necessary to make these beasts fly and certainly, this German-American team has a great deal of knowledge in this field. It really is a superb group. Now that it is a part of our NASA family, it is hard to go down there without being beset by any of a dozen supervisors who ask for additional funds and men, etc. We took off for home about 5 o'clock our time and made it back in two and a half hours. We had dinner on the plane, and I was able to get back to the house at 8 o'clock.
Sunday, January 10: This morning we were able to take it a bit leisurely, because I did not have to go to the office until about 10:30. I met with Dr. Kistiakowsky to brief him on the meeting of the Space Council to be held on Tuesday morning with the council members and with the president in the afternoon. This will be an interesting meeting; the president will have to tell the members that he is proposing to eliminate the council. Back home to work over the various papers I have to understand for Tuesday and to use in preparing notes for a discussion with the president tomorrow morning. I need to go over with him the Space Council agenda and to talk with him about the possibility of increasing funds for Saturn. At 6 o'clock, we watched Stuart Symington on the "Meet the Press" show. Here is a man who is a positive menace on the national scene, in my opinion. He uses  innuendo in ways that are as serious as were some of the statements dropped loosely by McCarthy several years ago. I know that I am prejudiced because of my activities last spring when Symington was chairman of the committee to study the organization of the space and missile business. I gained no respect for him then, and I have even less today. It would be a great calamity for this country were he to be a serious contender for the presidential position.
Monday, January 11: A short staff meeting brought forth no very real problems. I reminded the staff that the Monday meetings were supposed to deal with problems for resolution by the administrator, and that the Thursday morning staff meetings were intended to provide an opportunity for bringing to the staff items about which the staff ought to be thinking. A little sternly, I asked them to be better prepared for each of these meetings. Over to the White House at 10:30 for the meeting with the president. Prior to this I had discussed at some length with Horner, Dryden and Johnson the proposed changes in the statute. It has been possible to give effect to the president's suggestions of last Friday and add two clauses to the law that I think will improve it. Again, I was glad that I had spent a good many hours on Sunday preparing for the meeting with the president. I had been warned by General Persons that he was not in a very good mood. This did not appear to be the case throughout our conversation, which lasted about 70 minutes.
I began by briefing the president again on the changes in the law and then listed the things that were accomplished by the revised law and pointed out that it did not provide for any acceleration in the program or any promise of acceleration in the program. Further, it did not provide for advisory committees or coordinating committees. We agreed that in my letter of transmittal to Congress, and in the president's message to Congress, we must cover these items thoughtfully and fully.
I then went on to discuss with him the other items on the agenda of the Space Council, which meets tomorrow, and he gave thoughtful attention to the items in dispute on space policy. He made useful suggestions, and I was given the assignment of having available for the meeting tomorrow suggested changes for resolving the dispute between the Budget Bureau, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the rest of the participants. We then got to the matter of the highest national priority for the Saturn project. It was obvious this was going to be a shoo-in. I was able to talk with him further about the possibility of accelerating this program by providing an additional $100 million. This would have to be requested through the supplemental appropriation route. This money would provide us with an operational Saturn system 12 months before it would be available under the present funding plan. The president reiterated his oft-repeated statement that a very powerful booster system was of the utmost importance in the space business. I got him to agree to discussions between Persons, Stans and myself. Hopefully, I can get Stans to go along with this proposal. Actually, it will make the changes in the law, the transfer of Saturn and ABMA to NASA, and the president's statements relating to the accelerations of the big booster program much more believable, and it really will speed up the availability of Saturn.
 This news was gleefully received by Dryden and Horner. A meeting was set up with Staats for 5 o'clock, since Stans was not available. A quick lunch with Wallace Brode at the Cosmos Club was not very inspiring.10 I wanted to talk with him about his concern over the state of science and the support of science in the federal government. He really hasn't any very good ideas. I am in the same boat. A meeting at 4 o'clock with Dr. Kety to discuss the report of the bio-science advisory committee. This was a pleasant discussion, and we came to substantial agreement on the form of the report.11 The meeting with Staats at 5 o'clock went well. I am optimistic about the result and will push very hard tomorrow to secure authority to put in the additional supplemental.
Off to the Cosmos Club at 6:15 for a quick martini with Alan Waterman of the National Science Foundation. We reviewed the agenda for the Space Council  meeting of tomorrow, and I was able to get home at 7 o'clock for a pleasant dinner and about two hours of reading before going to bed.
Tuesday, January 12: This is the day when the Space Council meets - probably for the last time. Arriving at the office at the usual time, I called in Horner and Dryden to tell them about my discussion last evening with Elmer Staats. I was mildly optimistic in asking that papers be drawn for a second supplemental covering the $100 million we hoped to get for extension of the work on Saturn. I then hastily put together the words I was going to use in describing the long-range plan to the Space Council. Fortunately, the morning meeting is informal, offering a chance to sharpen up a presentation of this kind. The meeting started out with Kistiakowsky in the chair and the initial presentation by Dr. Ling on the comparative United States-Soviet standing in the space business. Ling, an associate of Hendrik Bode of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, had worked with Bode and several others in preparing this evaluation. He made a very able presentation which occasioned a good deal of comment, question and debate. In particular, John McCone took off on a 10- or 15-minute cold-sober indictment of the present administration policy. He called for a single space program to be managed by either the civilian agency or by the military services, a totally new space vehicle booster system as a backup to Saturn, more money for Saturn, and a straightforward determination to push ahead in pursuit of the single objective of beating the Soviets in this field. More sober counsel prevailed and indeed, John had to take back some of his rather broad statements. Apparently, it is his way to attack with the idea that he will be quite willing to withdraw if he is found to be seriously in error. In any event, he did us a good service in getting these things off his chest and letting them be debated in the open prior to the meeting with the president. The second item on the agenda was discussion of the National Security Council paper on space policy. No progress was made on the matter of resolving the differences between the Budget Bureau and the rest of the participating agencies, so the entire paper with its differences will have to go to the president for final adjudication. I made a presentation of our 10-year plan. It took about 15 minutes and provoked one or two useful comments.
At this point I had a call from the White House (General Persons) asking me to be in the president's office at quarter of 12 for further discussion with Stans on the additional money we want for Saturn. I called Stans immediately and found that he wasn't, at the moment, debating the issue of whether or not we should have the additional money; it was really just a question of the proper tactics to use in getting it.
Hugh Dryden and I repaired to the White House and talked briefly with Bob Anderson, Persons and Stans before going in to see the president. I waxed a little bit eloquent in attempting to put in a straightforward fashion the problem we saw in delaying over-long the submission of the supplemental. Anderson was concerned that the president not send up the budget one day and amend it the next. This sort of indecisiveness is political fodder of the most explosive type. On the other hand, I think that the president stands to lose a good deal more by not taking  this step immediately than he would in admitting that a second look had inclined him to request more money for Saturn. In any event, we didn't solve it in the president's outer office.
The president started off by saying he was pretty well fed up with people coming in and asking for more money. He says here you come and bother about $100 million while I'm trying to solve the problems of the world with $50 billion. He said he was quite certain that we were going to have to spend an extra $100 million on Saturn during the course of the spring, and he thought it ought to be settled at once. Stans put in his concern over amending the budget almost before it had been presented to Congress. Bob Anderson spoke in the same vein although, in the most gentlemanly way, he appealed to the president's quieter nature in attempting to convince him that delay would not be serious. Both tried the gambit of using the $23 million supplemental we have already asked for Project Mercury - using it for Saturn with the intention to replace it with a second supplemental that would be requested at a later date. Stans talked about some months later. I immediately spoke up and said I couldn't understand the delay. We would take a look at the possibility of diverting some of our present funds or asking for an additional $7 million that could be covered by the authorization legislation we already have. The meeting wound up with the president saying he felt that a quick study should be made to be certain of the amounts we would request.
A quick lunch with Hugh and back to the office to get the staff working on this problem. Then a return to the White House to go over the mechanics for the afternoon meeting with General Goodpaster. It is always necessary to see that the arrangements made on the day before the meeting haven't changed overnight.
This was an unusual meeting of the Space Council since the National Security Council members had been asked to attend because of the attention to be given to the NSC paper on space policy. Some really important people were in the room, which was quite crowded. Among them were President Eisenhower; Vice President Nixon; Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge; Secretary of the Treasury Robert Anderson; Under Secretary of State Livingston Merchant; Director of the CIA Allen Dulles; Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Gordon Gray; Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission John McCone; Director of the Bureau of the Budget Maury Stans; Deputy Secretary of Defense James Douglas; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Twining; Dr. Bronk, Dr. Waterman, and a good many others.
The first presentation was again given by Dr. Ling, and it was a beauty. He spoke for 45 minutes, using beautiful English and giving a detailed but dispassionate picture of the relative standing of the two countries (the U.S. and the Soviet Union). The president was interested throughout and asked several questions following the presentation. The upshot of this discussion was agreement that the Soviet Union, on balance, is now ahead of the United States in space technology (not necessarily in space science), and that this lead was probably to continue for several years - a period of two years at the minimum. We then moved on to the National Security Council paper, and after some discussion, due to the homework I had done with the president yesterday, we were able to come to a conclusion on the language. This was the first time that I have seen Stans bested in a discussion of this kind.
 We moved on to the discussion of our long-range plan. The president was interested and asked several questions. We were able to answer them all satisfactorily, although McCone again brought up some of the points he had discussed during the morning. It was obvious that the president was not going to buy additional and costly programs but that he did believe the program we had described represented a satisfactory level of effort for the present. He did not comment unfavorably on the fact that our extrapolation on costs took us to some $ 1.6 billion annually by 1968.12
Dr. York then presented the same sort of a picture for the Department of Defense. He did it with his customary good humor and disarming offhand manner. He is a master at the discussion of complicated matters in a very understandable way. By this time we had been in the room for over two hours, and it was obvious that the president wanted to end the meeting. I did call for the last item on the agenda, a request for the highest national priority for Project Saturn. The president disposed of this in very short order, at least partially due to the discussion I had had with him yesterday. Following that item the president spoke up and said that he felt the Space Council had probably served its purpose. He indicated he had ideas about changes in the law that I was familiar with and that I was to talk with each of the members of the Space Council about these changes. I had thought he was going to tell them what the changes were, and that the law was going to be sent to Congress but apparently, I'll have to do this interim chore before we can get on with the real move.
Back to the office and off to the house for dinner preparations. Ruth was preparing dinner for eight of us - four from NASA and four from the Department of Defense. Herb York, Joe Charyk, Dick Morse, Jim Wakelin, assistant secretaries of the Air Force, Navy and Army respectively. Dick Horner, Homer Joe Stewart, Hugh Dryden and I made up the balance of the party. We were presenting to this group our 10-year plan, and it seemed that it would be more pleasant to do this at home over a drink and a good dinner. The evening went very well, and the dinner was good and well received. We finished up about 10:30.
Wednesday, January 13: Wednesday and Thursday are really significant days in my stay here in Washington. We started out Wednesday morning with a staff meeting on policy matters, an expansion of the series of questions I had written down some two weeks ago, and we were trying to deal with the problems that have arisen as a result of those questions, calling for a good bit of discussion and some beating out of new policy positions. Involved in the discussion, in addition to Hugh and Dick, were Johnson, Gleason, Nunn, Sohier, Rosen, and Golovin. I must say that at the end of three hours I was really done in. We made some progress, but it is clear that another day and a half will be required to finish with this task.
A hasty review of the letter prepared for my signature addressed to the vice president and to the speaker of the House transmitting the proposed legislation was followed by a pleasant lunch. At 2:15, Dr. Bronk came in and we discussed the proposed changes in the law. He questioned me quite a bit, but seemed reasonably happy with the decisions that had been taken. As a matter of fact, he said that he had  been planning to talk with the president about the desirability of abolishing the Space Council.
The day had been broken into a little earlier by a call from Bryce Harlow asking me to be at the White House at 5 o'clock to meet with the president, Lyndon Johnson and Senator Bridges. I managed to get over there about 4:45 and we went over to the Executive Mansion. We were shown into the Oval Room, and the president joined us at 5 o'clock precisely. A minute or two later, Senator Johnson and Senator Bridges arrived. Drinks were served and the somewhat strained atmosphere was relieved a little bit. The president launched into a discussion of the space business and the reasons for his desiring to change the Space Act. Lyndon listened attentively without saying a word. It was obvious that the president was finding the going a little bit rough. I was called upon to make a presentation, and I am sure that I made it about three times over. Johnson just kept leaning on his hand and looking at me somewhat quizzically. Finally, Johnson said, "Well, Mr. President, you will remember that you were the one who really wanted this Space Council, and if you want to do away with it now, I'm certain it will be all right with me."13 Styles Bridges asked two or three questions about the protection afforded the Defense Department in its use of space and about the intention of NASA to continue to use outside contracting for the major portions of its expenditures. Satisfactory answers were given, and I think Styles registered his points with Johnson.
The president turned the conversation aside to talk about Sid Richardson, late multimillionaire of Texas. Richardson had been a great friend of both the president and Senator Johnson. It was obvious that the president wanted to bring the conversation to an end but Lyndon called for another drink and kept the president talking for another 20 minutes. At about 10 minutes of six, we departed feeling that we had done a reasonably good job with the leaders of the Senate on the changes we were proposing in the Space Act. When I reached home about 6:15, I was so thoroughly tired that I'm afraid I was little or no company for Ruth. I went off to bed at 8:30, watched the television for a bit and gave up for the night.
Thursday, January 14: Up at 6:45 and off to the White House for breakfast with John McCormack, Joe Martin and Overton Brooks, the president and Bryce Harlow. The breakfast was pleasant with the president leading the conversation. Incidentally, he suggested to me that if I had to discuss the proposed changes in the law with these guests, I might sell it only once, not two or three times. The dining room is a very pretty room. Breakfast consisted of pink grapefruit, oatmeal and cream, scrambled eggs and sausage and bacon, toast, and several kinds of jam and coffee. The president ate only the grapefruit and the cereal. He remarked that  he had to watch his intake of any foods containing cholesterol.14 We launched into a discussion of the changes in the law. I felt very much more at ease than the evening before, perhaps because I had a night's rest. In any event, both McCormack and Brooks questioned me on several points. Later in the day, Brooks issued a statement saying that he did not know of anybody who would oppose the changes in the law. I doubt that this will be true to the same extent of Congressman McCormack. During the conversation, Martin sat absolutely still, said nothing and did not crack a smile. It is obvious that he is not well - a lonely man whose future is behind him.
Back to the office for some discussions with the staff and then, Hugh Dryden and I drafted a letter from the president addressed to me authorizing me to use initial overtime on the Saturn Project and requesting the completion of a study of any funds necessary to support an accelerated program in the super booster field. I took this over to the Bureau of the Budget and was able to get agreement on it and to work out a program of action to send up an amendment to our 1960 budget within the next two or three weeks. This is a real triumph.
Lunch at the Hay-Adams [hotel] with Admiral Hayward. I gave him a complete briefing on the changes in the law and secured his agreement to support our proposals before Congress. At 1:30, I was back at the White House and managed to catch General Persons. We made some minor changes in the letter the president was going to be asked to sign, and the president made subsequent changes in three or four words; we were finally able to get it signed at 2:30 - just before the Cabinet meeting. I was able to give a copy of the letter to Anne Wheaton, assistant press secretary to the president. Thus, it got on the wires at 4 o'clock and we were in business again. I count this one of the best days I have had since coming to Washington.
At 2:30, I sat with the cabinet and listened to briefings on the budget, on the missile program and on plans for "Operation Alert."15 Budget Director Stans displayed a chart showing that we have a national debt of $280 billion and that we have fixed obligations in the future of some $790 billion, most of these arising from costs of past wars. Back to the office where I signed the documents for the submission of our budget. All of our staff are very happy about the accomplishments of this day.
Off to the apartment and to dinner with the Richmonds after which we will go to the Russian Symphony. The concert took place at Constitution Hall which is hardly suitable for a fine symphony orchestra. The audience was very generous in its applause as indeed, it should have been. [Prize-winning Russian pianist Emil] Gilels was superb. The orchestra gave two encores and Gilels, one. We couldn't help remarking that just this morning Khrushchev was making loud noises in Moscow about the capabilities of his rockets and nuclear weapons while here tonight in Washington, a large and enthusiastic audience was applauding the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and its guest performer, Emil Gilels.
Friday, January 15: This was not one of my better days. Going to the Statler Hotel for a haircut at 8 o'clock and then to the dentist was not the best way  to start out the day. At long last, I am having a replacement tooth put in my upper left jaw. In order to accomplish this improvement on nature, it is necessary for the inlays in the teeth on either side of the blank be removed. New inlays will then be put in that will form the bridge to which will be attached the replacement tooth. It was a rough morning, believe me. I really did not have much to do today. Discussions with several members of the staff, lunch with Hugh Dryden, and a three o'clock appointment with Jim Gleason and John Johnson to discuss my testimony before the House Science and Astronautics Committee on Monday. I think it must have been the letdown from the excitement of the week plus the distress over the drilling in my mouth this morning, but, I count this as lost.
As an addendum to yesterday's discussion, I want to record here an anecdote about the president. As we were at breakfast, somewhat sheepishly, he said he had learned from his mother never to speak when angry. He was somewhat ashamed of having spoken out the day before when a woman reporter asked him in an accusing manner why he was being partisan in his support of the defense program. He really lashed out at her. I saw it on television and could tell that he was quite angry. His worry about that sort of an incident is all to his credit. Many times in the past, I have said that I think his real problem is that he cannot avoid doing in a gentlemanly fashion the things that he thinks ought to be done. I think he must worry about every decision he makes. I don't mean this in a derogatory sense; I think he is just a sensitive human being - much too much so to be President of the United States. Somehow or other, the men who hold this office must play God, and this is not in Mr. Eisenhower's make-up.
Saturday, January 16: [Relates that Ruth was off to Cleveland for an operation to correct varicose veins.] Most of this day was taken up with writing a speech I have to give on 27 January at Jackson, Michigan. The occasion is the Dinner for Ike celebration which will take place in some 75 cities over the country. Apparently, some one person will give the speech at each of the dinners to be followed by a closed circuit television appearance by the president. There has been some untoward comment in the newspapers concerning the heads of two independent agencies - NASA and the Federal Aviation Agency - taking part in this activity.16 The statement is that these are and of right should be independent and free of all politics. So far as I'm concerned, that is the case, but I still work for Mr. Eisenhower and am glad to speak on this occasion. I will make clear to the people concerned that my speech is one dealing with our program, not with politics.
A call from Dick Horner, who had flown in from Salt Lake City overnight, suggested the desirability of a brief meeting with him and others before the press conference we are holding this afternoon at 4:30. This is to explain the budget to be  submitted by the president to Congress on Monday, noon. This discussion was worthwhile, and I returned home without waiting for the conference to take place. [After dinner with his daughter, Polly,] I finished up some more of the speech. It is almost completed.
Sunday, January 17: Polly and I made breakfast about 9:30 and enjoyed it very much indeed. I then finished my speech and am reasonably well satisfied with it. It is over-long, but it is much easier to cut than to add to a speech when it is finished. Polly cooked chicken breasts in white wine for lunch. Corn and a salad with Roquefort dressing completed the menu. One of mother's baked apples sufficed for desert, and it was really a pleasant experience.
I forgot to mention an incident that took place yesterday. At 5:35, we launched from Wallops Island a test rocket, which carried aloft a 100 ft. mylar balloon. Everything seemed to work perfectly, and the report was that it had gone some 250 miles above the surface of the earth and had come down some 400 miles from the launching point. Polly and I watched it from the roof and were able to see it quite clearly.17 The balance of the day was given over to preparations for the...
 ...coming week. A call from Ruth indicates that she is now in the hospital awaiting the tender ministrations of the doctor tomorrow morning.
Monday, January 18: This was another of those days. I had a call from Ruth about 10:30. She sounded a bit groggy and yet she had all of the laughter and good humor in her voice that is so characteristic of her. I called her back at 7:30 p.m. and found that she was doing well. She said that her circulation had seemed to be quite satisfactory, and she would not know until tomorrow how long she would be in the hospital. Apparently Sally had been out to see her during the afternoon.
My day at the office started out with a staff meeting in which we reviewed the schedule for the month ahead. I said we seemed to be worrying a great deal about money, but it was time we started to worry about results. I recognized the difficulties with the R&D program, that is Research and Development, but it was time we made a more determined attempt to meet the schedules we had set.
At 4 o'clock, we went over to the Defense Department to sit in on a meeting with Secretary Gates and perhaps 30 of his staff, both military and civilian. The purpose was to determine whether or not we had arguments that would compromise the position of either agency in testimony before Congress. We had a long discussion of the changes to be made in the law and had an opportunity to answer some of the questions I'm sure had been bothering a good many of the people at the Pentagon the past several weeks. It must be remembered that the negotiations leading to the proposal that the law be changed were carried on somewhat behind closed doors. Discussion of the Cisler Report led to the conclusion that we should deal with this as a matter still under study.18
Back to the office - one or two more appointments of no considerable importance and home for dinner with Polly. Her sense of humor - her ability to take criticism and to recover from the immediate pangs of remorse - these are something to watch and be thankful for. A sweet child in every respect.
Tuesday, January 19: Down to the dentist at 9 o'clock. This was not such a bad session as the one last Friday. Impressions were taken for an inlay in  preparation for the removal of the second inlay. Back to the office for budget rehearsals for the balance of the morning. These left a great deal to be desired, and I was quite worried about the program as laid out. It is clear, once again, that engineers are not the most able and effective salesmen. Lunch with Del Morris, a candidate for the job of deputy director for business administration at Huntsville. He turned out to be an attractive fellow, and we were able to close a deal with him before the day was over. His present occupation is that of deputy operations manager for the Atomic Energy Commission in San Francisco.
At 5 o'clock, Dr. Hagen came in with the document that had been sanitized by a group of representatives of the various agencies involved in evaluating the present status of the space business in Russia and the United States. At 5:15, Dryden, Horner, Gleason and I made preparation for the congressional hearings. We agreed that a complete change in the schedule would be desirable. By this time, I had seen Polly to the train and sent her back to Swarthmore for her exams.
Wednesday, January 20: A full day of questions and answers in an attempt to solidify our position on a variety of subjects. I was in better spirits than I was at the last session, and we managed to get through with credit to all concerned. Lunch at Duke Zeibert's with Admiral Bennett. He has proven to be a very good friend here in Washington. Much discussion of the Navy's position with respect to the space business. Back to the office for a brief meeting with Professor Massey of London and several of his colleagues.19 They are over here to discuss the proposed cooperation between the United Kingdom and the USA. We are going to fly a payload for them in one of our first Scout vehicles.20 Everything seemed to be going well. Back to the question and answer session to be interrupted at 4:30 by a gentleman from the Central Intelligence Agency. Several of us were briefed on the Russian shot into the Pacific.21 The amount of information available is really something to comprehend. Six-thirty and a dinner at the Cosmos Club with Professor Massey and his group. I brought it to a close at about 8:30 because they were tired, and so was I. And so to bed to do a little bit of writing on the statement for the congressional committee next week.
Thursday, January 21: A staff meeting at 8:30 and then a variety of activities of no particular consequence. A lunch at 12:30 with John Oakes, editorial writer for the New York Times. This was a delightful affair with plenty of give-and-take in conversation and some real straight talk. Back to the office to receive a  Mr. William Seaver at the request of Congressman McCormack.22 Seaver was interceding for a friend of his who needed a job. Damn these congressmen!
At 3 o'clock, Jules Whitcover, Washington correspondent for the Huntsville Times, came in for an interview. He is a youngster and was very easily dealt with. Actually, one wants to help a person in this situation, and I think he was able to get a good story. Up to the House Office Building at 4 o'clock to record a radio interview with Congressman Silvio Conte of Massachusetts. Back to the office for further conferences with Dryden and Horner. We settled two or three things, and I was able to get away at 6:30 for dinner with Warren Morris at the Colony. A pleasant evening and now I am back home attempting to finish up the statement for Congress.
Friday, January 22: Another visit to the dentist. We are making progress but the mining operation takes time. Back to the office and a briefing by the United Research Corporation people on a new configuration for solid rockets. It was an interesting one with one stage nested on top of another. I doubt that we will be able to put the money into it; they want $100 million and three years to bring it to operational condition.23 Luncheon with the Swedish Ambassador at the Swedish Embassy. It was a really pleasant visit.
Further discussions with Dryden, Horner and Gleason about the order of battle for the congressional hearings to begin next week. It appears that I am to be clobbered with the "executive privilege" problem. In the selection of contractors, we use a very involved, thoroughly organized and honest system of evaluation. A technical team and a business administration team report to the selection board, which finally makes a report to me. We give to the congressional committee all the bids, all the specifications, a statement of the reasons for my final decision, but we refuse to give to the committee any papers on the advice given to me by my subordinates on these evaluation teams. If I were to do this, it would mean that very soon the objectivity of the advice given to me would disappear. This is a strongly held belief throughout the executive branch.
Over to the White House with Johnny Johnson to talk with Gerry Morgan and Roemer McPhee about the executive privilege matter. It is apparent that they want this executive privilege on matters such as the one I have described to continue. I was able to make a date with the president on Tuesday to talk further with him about this since I am going to quote him in this matter. The White House staff are not allowed to testify before the Congress. At least, they never do, and as a result of this "walling off" of these people from the political facts of life, I think they often take viewpoints on operating and policy matters that are a little less than realistic. Those of us who have to appear before the public and congressional committees must stand up and be counted on matters with which we are concerned. This is not always easy,  but it is a part of the job. The White House, when asked for opinions, often holds to a line of argument that might be somewhat modified were they to face the public as we do. This is just one of the facts of life in Washington.
Saturday, January 23: Up at 7:30 and off to the office after doing my washing for the week. Von Braun, Rees and a couple of other people are to be in to discuss the additional money they hope to get. It was a good session. However, it was obvious that von Braun and Co. expect to get the entire $100 million, whereas some of us feel that the large, single chamber engine ought to be given additional support, as well. Finally, I asked von Braun to go back and tell me what had to be done to hold the additional money to $75 million for fiscal year (FY) 1961. We are to get the answer next week, Wednesday.
A pleasant lunch with [advertising executive] Ward Canaday at the Metropolitan Club. Then, home for a brief rest before going to the Alfalfa dinner with John Parker, formerly of Remington Rand. The Alfalfa Club is just one of those things. Apparently its principal function is to have a very elaborate dinner once a year - black tie, wines and champagne, etc. Much of the evening is given over to the induction of new members, the installation of a new president and the nomination of a candidate for the presidency of the United States. The brass of the town were in evidence throughout the evening.
Sunday, January 24: A leisurely day. I managed to stay in bed until 9:30, although the last hour was given over to reading the papers in bed. Then I made myself a generous breakfast and did a stint of housekeeping in anticipation of Ruth's return next Tuesday. I cleared up some of the material that I have to provide to various congressional committees, dinner meetings, etc., next week.
Monday, January 25: The staff meeting at 8:30 concerned our public information problems. Walt Bonney presented one of his usual round statements that really got us no place. It is becoming increasingly clear that his abilities are limited and that his field is that of public information in the most restricted sense. The planning of well-thought-out developmental programs in public information is not his ball of wax. There followed a lengthy discussion on the classification of some of the materials we want to give to congressional committees. The compilation of charts and diagrams indicating launching dates for a considerable number of months or years has been giving us a great deal of difficulty. While there is nothing classified in the strict sense, it has been the conviction of most of us that to provide this kind of information to the Russians is not in the best interests of the nation. There is a great deal of strongly held opinion on this kind of a problem, and the answers are not straightforward or easily come by. At 10:30, Frank Stanton, president of Columbia Broadcasting System, came to see me at my request. I talked with him about the problems of properly informing the public on the nation's space program. We had talked of this briefly in New York some weeks before. He expressed great interest in finding a solution to this problem. We finally agreed on a strong story line that might serve as a syllabus does in a college course. I think we will undertake this.
 A call from the White House ( Kistiakowsky) about the story in the Baltimore Sun. This is a banner headline indicating that the Democratic Science Advisory Council has tagged the president as being bewildered. The article apparently attacks the management of the space administration and the priority being given to Project Mercury.24 A look at the roster of the committee members indicates that Dr. Frank Goddard, Jet Propulsion Laboratory liaison man here at headquarters, is a member. The familiar "viper in the house." I called him to determine whether or not he was a member of the committee, and he readily admitted as much. I thanked him and hung up, but he called me back a few minutes later to ask if he could explain himself. I said I thought he could, after lunch. I then called Pickering, his boss on the West Coast, and found that Pickering had expected that Goddard would have resigned long before this. How strange are the ways of men when politics are involved!
Lunch with Kistiakowsky and a discussion that resulted in our agreeing that the president should be advised not to answer this particular charge but to make a strong speech at a later date. Back to the office for a discussion with Goddard - one of the most unhappy ones I have had. He is a brilliant but devious young man who looks you straight in the eye with a powerful gaze. Apparently, he expects thus to convince you of his sincerity. He attempted to engage me in a philosophical discussion about the propriety of his working for an agency of the government while serving as an advisory committee member in the Democratic Science Advisory Council. I told him he would have to make up his own mind about matters such as this - that I thought professional ethics entered into this, and I reminded him of the tenets of academic freedom, which I thought applied similarly in this instance. He was becoming more confused and flustered by the minute and finally suggested that maybe the thing for him to do was to resign. I told him I thought this would be exactly the wrong thing to do because it would be construed as resignation under duress. Finally, I told him that the best thing he could do is to go back to his desk and work diligently at doing the things he was being paid to do. He thanked me and apologized for not calling me before I called him, but then finally said that he had left the initiation of the call to me thinking that this was my right. I immediately put him straight on that by telling him that whenever he felt that he was in a compromised position or he had been in error in some action, he'd better make the call immediately. What an ordeal!
At 4 o'clock, several of us got together to discuss the proposed U.N. conference on space activities. Whereas the Russians first proposed this conference, we now find it difficult to get them to sign up and say what they want to do.  Nevertheless, we cannot wait longer, and I authorized the expenditure of up to $2 million to underwrite our participation in the conference. At 5 o'clock, we had a briefing from the CIA, and at 5:15, George Feldman, formerly counsel and now consultant to the House Space Committee, came to see me at my request. I was really fishing for information and was not very successful in my quest. I did tell him that I thought it was nonsensical to go into the matter of executive privilege as was now being threatened - that Congress couldn't win and that I proposed to take a very firm stand even though I could be held in contempt. This was just a thrust in the dark. He seemed to take the matter seriously and said he would stay over tomorrow to discuss it with Congressman McCormack. On to the DuPont Plaza at 7 o'clock for dinner with Kistiakowsky and several members of the Federal Council on Science and Technology.
Tuesday, January 26: Eight thirty in the morning at the dentist's for an hour and one-half of drilling - a fine way to start the day. At 11 o'clock, I saw the president with Gerry Morgan and Romer McPhee. I wanted to discuss the executive privilege matter as it related to our contract negotiations. I was now insisting that the president know what I was going to say, because I wanted to use his name. Much to the surprise of everybody, he questioned whether we might not be stretching the doctrine a little too far in cases of this kind. He was so darn human in his discussion of this matter that I once again found myself very much lost in admiration for the high ideals he seems to maintain in this difficult office. It was a long session extending for almost an hour. It wound up with a decision that discussions with the attorney general should determine whether the policies should change. In the meantime, I'll get out of the mess tomorrow as best I can. I think this is just one more instance of the difficulties that face a president in the use of his staff. They can become overly protective all too easily - usually, of course, without intending to. It seems clear to me that the job of a cabinet officer or the administrator of an agency such as NASA includes frequent discussions with the president on policy matters.
I dashed off for a lunch with Polly at 12 o'clock and left her to do some wandering around in the downtown area while I went back to work. Another series of conferences on the classification of materials we are using for the discussion on the Hill. Later, I found that we were not going to be able to see the attorney general; he is deep in the preparations for an appearance before Congress. How familiar that sounds! A call from George Feldman to say that I should not worry about the hearings on the morrow; they will be conducted in a gentlemanly fashion. There would be no thought of contempt. How literal can you get when you want to be devious?
Back home at about 6:30 to find Ruth, Fred [Watts, later Polly's husband] and Polly there. Since Ruth is in the room with me, I will not say how much it means to have her back in the community. She might become a little too conceited.
Wednesday, January 27: This is the day on which our bouts with congressional committees begin. Discussion on last minute strategy until we were to go to the hearing room of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics. The  hearings started off with the matter of executive privilege being posed by the general counsel, Mr. Keller, of the General Accounting Office. His prepared statement certainly made it appear as though we were withholding very important information from the GAO and from the House committee. Actually, the material withheld is the advisory notes and reports from my own top staff of their evaluation of the respective merits of bidders on the big engine and Mercury capsule contracts. These were Rocketdyne and McDonnell.25 The hearing was punctuated by much discussion from both sides of the aisle with Mr. Keller being questioned sharply by both Republicans and Democrats. It seemed that he was not as well prepared as he might have been.
Since it was known to Chairman Brooks that I was to travel to Jackson, Michigan, in the afternoon, he finally excused the witness and asked me to take the stand. It was apparent that he wanted me to testify in rebuttal to Mr. Keller. I said that I was not prepared - that I had heard of this particular hearing through the newspapers and wanted time to prepare a reply. There was a bit of an exchange with the final decision being that I could make the statement I had prepared to start off our defense of our 1961 budget. This went rather well, and the newspapers commented favorably on the whole affair.
With Congressman George Meader of Jackson, Michigan, I took off from Butler in the Lubrizol Learstar at 1:30.26 It was a nasty day and we found we couldn't get into Detroit or Jackson and finally came down at Cleveland. A hurried reconnaissance in the Federal Aviation's office led to the suggestion from the pilot that we go to Battle Creek, Michigan, which is some 60 miles west of Jackson. It turned out to be a wise idea, and we landed at Battle Creek with an 800 ft. ceiling at 5:15. A car met us there and took us to Jackson just in time for the reception. The meeting was a good one, and I was given a check for $11,250 to take back to Washington to the Republican National Committee. I spent almost an hour with the press and radio in Jackson. It is pleasant to be with a group that is not attempting to find fault or drive a wedge between you and some other agency of the government. Off to bed about 1 o'clock hoping that we will be able to get off tomorrow morning from the Detroit airport.
Thursday, January 28: There is not much to tell about today. We drove to Detroit and found that it was highly improbable that we would be able to fly back to Washington at all during the day. After waiting two or three hours, George Meader called a Ford official and made arrangements for us to have a car to drive  to Washington. It turned out that we had a driver with the car. We drove in foggy weather almost the entire way, arriving in Washington at 11:30 at night. Just a day wasted!
Friday, January 29: I canceled my dentist appointment and huddled with the staff to prepare for the continuation of the hearing on executive privilege. There has been so much interest in these hearings that the committee moved to the House Caucus Room, which will hold three or four hundred people. This was a rough day. I read my statement, which was rather strong. The members on the Democratic side started questioning me, and it was 12:15 before I got off the stand. Each asked essentially the same questions and made the same accusations. The simple fact that I wanted to withhold the memoranda of advice given me by my top staff was blown up as a device for thwarting the proper interests of the GAO and the Congress. My plea was that these were privileged communications and if my advisors were to be subject to cross-examination after the fact by Congress, I would soon have little objectivity on the part of the staff. This is an argument that has gone on with Congress since George Washington's day, and I doubt it is going to be settled in this instance.
John Kusik [vice president of the C&O Railroad] and I had lunch at the Mayflower, and I returned immediately. I was on the stand from 2 o'clock through 4:15, and I was very weary before the day was over. Toward the end of the day, a Democratic congressman began to threaten me with dire consequences of this effort on my part to thwart the purposes of the committee. I simply said that I was sorry that they couldn't understand my point of view. I must say that Congressman Fulton, normally a maverick, did a fine job in supporting my position.
Returning to the office after a really tough day of testimony, I moved immediately to the Bureau of the Budget to discuss with Staats our request for support of the Saturn. We had requested $125 million, and the budget examiners were trying to hold us to $100 million. I finally suggested a compromise at $113 million, which would make our total budget request for 1961, $915 million.27 This seemed a reasonably satisfactory compromise, but we were held off for a decision until Saturday morning. Off to the apartment and a little work before taking Fred and Polly and Ruth to dinner at Blackie's House of Beef. It was a pleasant dinner and we returned immediately to the apartment where I worked until about 10:30 before starting to watch the fights on television.
Saturday, January 30: To the office at 10 o'clock to discuss the hearings set for Monday morning in defense of our $23 million FY 1960 supplemental. This gets to be quite an operation, but I think we are in fair shape for this hearing. Lunch with John Corson of McKinsey and Company to discuss my request to propose a mechanism for studying our organization and our contracting procedures. Back to the office for an hour's dictation and then home for a bit of relaxation for the rest of the day. Correction - I forgot to report a call from Staats this morning to say that  the $113 million figure would be satisfactory. We are now set up for a meeting at the White House with General Persons at 8:45 on Monday morning and expect to see the president later in the day.
Sunday, January 31: This has been a day of worrying about the next several appearances before Congress, but it has also provided an opportunity for some contemplation and review of the situation facing the nation in carrying on its urgent and important business. We have now spent three days before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics. Only one of those days has been given over to the real business at hand. The balance of the time has been taken up with an argument over "executive privilege". We have at least three more days of testimony before this committee, which is presumably appraising our progress and will then deal with our request for authorization to obligate as much as $915 million in new funds in FY 1961. We then have the same sort of an appearance to make before the Senate committee. Appearances will be required before both of these committees on the proposed new legislation and another series of hearings on the von Braun transfer from ABMA to NASA. We will then have hearings before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
With respect to "executive privilege," it seems that this has been a dispute of long standing between the executive and legislative branches of government. Actually, George Washington first raised the issue when, I believe, he refused to give to Congress information it demanded. He stood on the right of the executive to declare "privileged" certain documents or conversations that if made public might endanger the welfare and security of the nation. For a good many years past, the Defense Department and certain other agencies of government have withheld certain confidential memoranda of an advisory nature prepared by subordinates for the head of an agency that dealt with contract matters. This is exactly what I have done in this instance, after advice by our own general counsel and by the general counsel of the White House. The General Accounting Office demands these documents as being necessary to its review of our contracting practices. Actually, they have had all of the documents on which we base our decisions except this particular document. In place of it, I have given them a statement on each contract indicating the reasons for accepting one contractor and rejecting the others.
It is very hard to have a rational approach to a matter of this kind. Politics and personal interests enter the picture very importantly. For instance, it is my considered opinion that Rep. John McCormack, majority leader, has a personal interest in determining why Avco was not given the contract in the Project Mercury competition. It so happens that the Avco proposal was one of the least desirable of the entire group. Politics being what they are, it would be very difficult to give this sort of information to Mr. McCormack and have him believe it.
The large companies that spend as much as $200,000 in making a proposal in a competition of this kind are understandably concerned over the loss of a contract. Some of them may even stoop to putting pressure on their congressmen to determine the cause for their elimination. This is not unusual; it is done every day.  John McCormack has put very heavy pressure on me to deal liberally with a particular friend of his - [William] Willner - whom we hired, unfortunately, at his urging a year ago. I think every call that I have had from McCormack's office has had to do with Willner and the manner in which we were treating him. Willner is a contract negotiator and McCormack wants to see him the deputy head of our contract negotiating group. When we proposed to move Willner from headquarters, to a field station, McCormack called me from Boston saying that he would view such a move with grave concern. I suppose one calls this "good, clean politics"!
In the debate that lasted throughout the day on Friday, there were many moments of good humor. As a matter of fact, it would have been very funny if it had not been quite so serious. Rep. Fulton of Pittsburgh did a very good job in debating with the Democrats and stated our case as clearly and succinctly as it could be. Rep. Bass attempted to stop the nonsensical proceedings but was overruled by the chairman.28 At several points in the debate, it was noted that the administrator didn't appear to be about to change his mind but they must make the record on this matter. Freshmen congressmen were very strong in their statements about the dire consequences of my failure to give in. Finally, at the end of a long and weary day, Congressman McCormack suggested that I speak personally to Joseph Campbell, comptroller general of the United States. Knowing Joe, this is apt to be a waste of time. However, any port in a storm. I believe thoroughly in the necessity for the conduct of public business in the complete view of the representatives of the people and of the people themselves. There does occur an instance, now and then, when effective administration is seriously jeopardized by the release of information such as what I have been attempting to withhold. With the pressures of the type just described being ever present, it seems reasonable to me to believe that some of my subordinates might well lose some of their objectivity and willingness to speak their minds frankly and forcefully if there were the certainty of congressional inquiry as to the advice they had given to their superior. Thus I find myself in sympathy with the democratic process but cautious about extending it to the point where it tends to destroy the initiative, competence and independence of the people on whom we have to rely for getting the job done.
1. Nova was a proposed super rocket several times the size and thrust of Saturn. It was projected to use a first stage of four 1.5-million-pound engines under development by the Air Force, a second stage of one such engine, plus third and fourth stages incorporating liquid-hydrogen-fueled engines (four in the third stage and one in the fourth stage). Anticipated for use in ambitious lunar flights projected for the seventies, Nova was discarded by 1962 because of its technical demands and expected funding problems. See Bilstein, Stages to Saturn, pp. 37, 39, 50-53, 57-60, 63, 65, 67.
2. Little Joe was a relatively small and simple, solid-propellant rocket with a quarter of a million pounds of thrust. It was used as an inexpensive booster, with about the same performance as the Army's Redstone, for testing various solutions to the many problems associated with manned space flight in the Mercury program, notably the problem of escaping from an explosion during takeoff. For details, see Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander, This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4201, 1966), passim.
3. Possibly Ross Norman Williams (1927- ), who became a rear admiral in 1975 and had received his commission in 1951. He was head of the Trident program coordinating branch, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1969-1973 and then commanded the U.S.S. L. Y. Spear, 1973-1975. In 1975 he became the military assistant to the deputy undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, Strategic and Space Systems Office, Secretary of Defense.
4. His resignation became effective 30 April 1960 and he became a consultant.
5. DeHoffmann and Creutz were apparently General Dynamics personnel. Project Orion was an effort begun by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to employ low-yield nuclear bombs as propulsion devices for rockets. It began seriously in 1958 with ARPA's award of a $1 million contract to General Dynamics to explore and develop the idea. In the next few years, there were additional contract awards from ARPA and NASA in the attempt to achieve a high-performance rocket for rapid manned trips to other planets, but the nuclear test ban treaty of 1962 prohibiting nuclear testing in the atmosphere, in the oceans, and in space prevented development of such a propulsion system. The Air Force finally terminated the program in 1965. See Kenneth W. Gatland, "Project Orion," Spaceflight (Dec. 1974): 454-455 and Bill Wagstaff, "A Spaceship Named Orion," Air & Space (Oct./Nov. 1988): 70-75.
6. Mikhail Menshikov was then Soviet Ambassador to the U.S.
7. Actually, Apollo lasted 11 1/2 years and cost about $23.5 billion. It ended in December 1972, having landed 12 men on the moon, and yielded an incalculable fund of information and technology, the latter including hardware systems enormously more capable than their predecessors, such as the Saturn launch vehicles, the command and service module, the lunar module, and the lunar roving vehicle, to mention only the obvious. For further details, see Bilstein, Stages to Saturn; Charles D. Benson and William B. Faherty, Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4204, 1978); Courtney G. Brooks, James M. Grimwood, and Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4205); and William D. Compton, Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of Apollo Lunar Exploration Missions (Washington, DC: NASA SP-4214, 1989).
8. Studies of nuclear propulsion began shortly after World War II, leading to the Rover program for the development of a nuclear rocket in 1955, renamed NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications) in 1961. Budgetary considerations led NASA and the AEC to announce the termination of the program in 1972 after some 20 reactors had been built and tested. In 1983 the DOD, the Department of Energy, and NASA began to build upon the technological legacy left behind by Rover and NERVA, beginning the SP-100 project to develop a nuclear power source for use in space. See various documents in the NASA Historical Reference Collection dealing with propulsion, Rover, NERVA, and the SP-100.
9. The actual cost was $9.284 billion, according to Bilstein, Stages to Saturn, p. 422. (I have deleted the figure for the lunar roving vehicle, which seems more appropriately an Apollo than a Saturn expenditure.) See this book for details of the Saturn development and the various boosters and stages that were involved.
10. The Cosmos Club was an exclusive gentlemen's club in Washington, DC, founded in 1878 for 200 "persons interested in science or literature," although the membership grew much larger thereafter. For its history to 1949, see Thomas M. Spaulding, The Cosmos Club on Lafayette Square (Washington, DC: Banta, 1949).
11. Copy of the report in a biographical file on Kety in the NASA Historical Reference Collection
12. In fact, the NASA budget peaked at $5.25 billion in 1965 and was $4.587 billion in 1968. (Aeronautics and Space Report of the President, FY 1991 Activities, p. 180).
13. In his message to Congress of 2 April 1958, the president had requested a national aeronautics and space board appointed by him. The Senate version of the bill that created NASA added the word "policy" to the board's title and located it in the Executive Office of the President. Eisenhower did not like this change but agreed with Lyndon Johnson to accept the board, renamed the National Aeronautics and Space Council, if it were similar to the National Security Council with the president as its chair. (White House Press Release, 2 Apr. 1958; Confidential Committee Print, Senate Special Committee on Space and Aeronautics, S. 3609, 31 May 1958, pp. 4-5; Public Law 85-568, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, 29 Jul. 1958, pp. 2-3, all in box marked "White House, . . . Eisenhower, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958," NASA Historical Reference Collection; Robert A. Divine, The Sputnik Challenge: Eisenhower's Response to the Soviet Satellite (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 146-148.) For the outcome of Glennan and Eisenhower's effort to revise the initial law, see Chapter Seven, note 14.
14. In 1955 Eisenhower had suffered a coronary thrombosis. For a recent account of the heart attack and his recovery from it, see Chester J. Pach, Jr. and Elmo Richardson, The Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower (rev. ed.; Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991), pp. 113-114, 117-118.
15. Operation Alert was an annual civil defense exercise in which people practiced what they would do in the event of a foreign attack.
16. Like NASA, the FAA was created by Congress in 1958. It had the duties of regulating air commerce so as to promote its development and safety as well as fulfill the requirements of national defense; promoting and developing civil aeronautics; controlling and regulating navigable airspace in the U.S.; consolidating related research and development; as well as developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft. (United States Government Organization Manual 1960-1961, pp. 385-386.) Without change in mission, the FAA became part of the Department of Transportation in 1967 and was redesignated the Federal Aviation Administration. (United States Government Organization Manual 1968-69, p. 407.)
17. This mylar balloon launch was a development flight in Project Echo, a program to develop a passive communications satellite, which did have a successful launch on 12 August 1960; Echo I, likewise a 100-foot aluminized plastic sphere, reflected a radio message from the president across the nation and was the largest and most visible satellite launched to date, remaining in orbit for almost eight years. (Emme, Aeronautics and Astronautics . . . 1915-1960, pp. 118, 126. For background on Project Echo, see Joseph A. Shortal, A New Dimension: Wallops Island Flight Test Range: The First Fifteen Years [Washington, DC: NASA Reference Publication Publication 1028, 1978], pp. 686-695. In 1994 the American Astronomical Society expects to publish Donald C. Elder's study, "A History of Project Echo," in its history series published by Univelt, Inc. in San Diego, filling a gap in the literature.)
18. Walker L. Cisler was a special consultant to the secretary of defense who had submitted a letter to him on 30 Nov. 1959 proposing the establishment of a Central Scheduling and Control Office under the Secretary of Defense with broad authority and responsibility over both DOD and NASA ranges and space flight ground stations. He had sent Dr. Glennan a copy of the letter, and Glennan replied on 17 December that the director of this office should be jointly appointed by NASA and the DOD. Glennan further suggested the "office" be called the "Space Flight Ground Facilities Board" and that it concern itself primarily with problems common to both DOD and NASA, allowing each agency conduct its own operations separately. This suggested, Glennan said, that there needed to be a single office in DOD with centralized control of ranges and stations as there was in NASA already. (T. Keith Glennan to Cisler, 17 Dec. 1959, Glennan files, NASA Historical Reference Collection, miscellaneous, C-Ci.) Dryden had sent a copy of the letter to Dr. Herbert F. York in the DOD, and the DOD apparently responded to Glennan's suggestion for a single office by giving York control over its missile ranges and ground stations. (Mark S. Watson, "Dr. York Is Given Control of Services' Space Work," Baltimore Sun, 8 Apr. 1960 in York biographical file, NASA Historical Reference Collection.) The proposal for a central space flight ground facilities board seems not to have reached fruition, except perhaps in a different and expanded form in September 1960 when NASA and the DOD established a broader Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board with Dryden and York as co-chairmen. On the latter board but none of the preceding negotiations, see Rosholt, Administrative History of NASA, pp. 172-173. On Cisler, see also Chapter III of the diary.
19. Probably Sir H. S. W. Massey, Professor of Physics, University College, London, 1950-1975.
20. The Scout was a low-budget, solid-propellant booster used to launch small payloads into orbit. Its development began at Langley Research Center in 1957. The first four-stage Scout arrived at Wallops Island in 1960, and NASA used it to launch many small satellites and probes in the years that followed. The Scout evolved with time, its payload more than doubling by 1965, for example. For its early history, see Ezell, NASA Historical Data Book, vol. II, pp. 61-62.
21. This was a long-range ballistic missile fired by the USSR. According to Soviet statements, apparently accepted by the Pentagon, the missile travelled 7,762 miles and landed within 1.24 miles of its intended target. ("Shot in the Pacific," Chicago Tribune, 24 Jan. 1960, reprinted in NASA Current News, 25 Jan. 1960, p. 13.)
22. Seaver appears not to have been prominent in his own right.
23. United Research does not appear as a NASA contractor in either volume I or II of the NASA Historical Data Book.
24. The Democratic Science Advisory Council was a 17-person committee of scientists who formed an adjunct to the Democratic Advisory Council. It had prepared a lengthy report critical of the Eisenhower administration's space program. One section of the report, which allegedly was not intended for publication, characterized Eisenhower as "bewildered by the problems of space technology and the threat Russia has posed by its Sputniks." The council members urged that the Mercury program be deemphasized in favor of communications and weather satellites. ("Space Survey is Admitted," Baltimore Sun, 25 Jan. 1960, reprinted in NASA Current News, 25 Jan. 1960, p. 2, NASA Historical Reference Collection.)
25. On 31 May 1960 NASA selected Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation to develop a 200,000-pound-thrust engine using hydrogen and oxygen propellants for use in the second stage of the Saturn program. On 12 January 1959, NASA had selected McDonnell Aircraft Corp. as the source for the design, development, and construction of the Mercury capsule, which McDonnell delivered to the agency on 12 April 1960. (Emme, Aeronautics and Astronautics . . . 1915-1960, pp. 106, 121, 123.)
26. "Butler" was Butler Aviation at Washington National Airport, Butler having the contract with NASA to provide maintenance of NASA aircraft. Apparently, this aircraft belonged to the Lubrizol firm, however.
27. The actual budget for FY 1961 was $964 million. (Aeronautics and Space Report of the President, FY 1991 Activities, p. 180.)
28. Probably Perkins Bass (R-NH), elected from the second district of that state since 1954, but possibly Ross Bass (D-TN), elected to every Congress since 1942. (Congressional Directory, 87th Congress, 1st Session [Apr. 1961], pp. 91, 154.)