U.S. Department of State
Vol. X, Part 1, FRUS, 1958-60: E. Europe Region; Soviet Union; Cyprus
Office of the Historian
[Section 7 of 19]
JANUARY - FEBRUARY 1958: SOVIET ANNOUNCEMENT OF A REDUCTION IN ITS ARMED FORCES; AMBASSADOR, MIKHAIL A. MENSHIKOV'S PRESENTATION OF CREDENTIALS
36. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Regional Organizations
Washington, January 9, 1958, 8:14 p.m.
Topol 2308. Paris for USRO and Embassy. Following is summary of Department's initial and tentative analysis of Soviet announcement Jan. 6 of 300,000 man reduction in armed forces./1/ USRO should see Moscow's 1193, rptd info London 207, Paris 207, Bonn 122 in connection this summary./2/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.00/1 - 758. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Helmut Sonnenfeldt and James G. Lowenstein; cleared by Charles G. Stefan, Henry P. Leverich, and Vincent Baker; and approved by B.E.L. Timmons, Director of the Office of European Regional Affairs. Pouched to the NATO capitals.
/1/The Soviet announcement said that its armed forces would be cut by 300,000 men over and above the reduction of 1,840,000 men announced in 1955 and 1956 and that the reduction would include 41,000 stationed in East Germany and 17,000 in Hungary.
/2/In telegram 1193 from Moscow, January 7, Ambassador Thompson reported that the Soviet announcement of its troop reduction appeared to be further indication that the Soviet Union did not expect serious disarmament discussions in the near future. He added, "in my opinion it is likely that this reduction will in fact be completion of previously announced reduction and not in addition thereto despite Soviet statement to the contrary." (Department of State, Central Files, 761.00/1 - 758)
Announcement part of developing campaign to demonstrate Soviet desires for relaxation of tensions and to encourage Western tendencies toward slowing down military preparations and toward new negotiations with USSR. This third announcement armed forces cuts since Stalin's death. Unlike previous announcements, new statement did not give date by which reductions to be completed. Soviet officials who announced reductions at Moscow press conference took traditional position of declining divulge current strength of Soviet forces.
Announcement foreshadowed in Supreme Soviet Resolution Dec. 21 which "instructed" government consider further unilateral force reductions./3/ On same day Khrushchev mentioned possibility of such reductions in speech to Supreme Soviet and did so again in Kiev speech Dec. 24./4/ These statements indicated clearly that move aimed coincide with other steps by which USSR evidently hopes allay Western anxieties engendered by recent Soviet technological boasts and achievements and to impede resultant Western efforts toward greater military preparedness and political cohesion.
/3/The points developed in this and the following paragraph were made in a memorandum from Hugh S. Cumming, Jr., Director of Intelligence and Research, to Secretary Dulles, January 7, and were probably derived from this memorandum. (Ibid., 761.5/1 - 758)
/4/For text of Khrushchev's speech to the Supreme Soviet on December 21, 1957, see Current Digest of the Soviet Press, February 12, 1958, pp. 3 - 8. For text of his speech in Kiev on December 24, see ibid., February 5, 1958, pp. 12 - 17 and 40.
Khrushchev speeches and Supreme Soviet resolution asserted that certain statements of peaceful intent by NATO leaders at HG meeting were taken into account by USSR and had permitted consideration of force cuts. This unusual acknowledgment of Western peaceful intent perhaps prompted by Soviet estimate that Western opinion favoring slow-down in defense efforts could best be fostered by depicting international situation as improving. However, actual announcement Jan. 6 no longer credited NATO statements with causing Soviet decision but described move as unilateral one which if emulated by Western powers will be "major contribution to the cause of lessening tension". Moreover at Moscow press conference Kuznetsov denied that decision was result of relaxed tension but asserted it would promote relaxation.
Although clearly related to current foreign policy moves, announcement, if it in fact foreshadows reductions in Soviet armed forces, is also significantly based on domestic considerations. In Supreme Soviet and Kiev speeches Khrushchev stated that developments in science and technology had made it possible maintain Soviet armed forces at level demanded by Soviet security requirements with smaller expenditure of resources and emphasized that military effectiveness would not be reduced.
Re effect of projected reduction, factor is whether in fact this is net reduction. Conceivable that during last fall's ME crisis additional troops mobilized and that announcement reflects in part their release after temporary service. Also possible this may merely represent completion of reductions announced in 1955 - 56 although Soviet spokesmen insist new cuts are in addition to earlier ones.
In sum, announcement timed with international situation in mind; if carried out reduction is made feasible by technological developments; and would be desirable for economic reasons. No present evidence that considerations of popular morale entered into Soviet decision.
Announcement stated that of 300,000 men to be demobilized 41,000 would come from Soviet forces in GDR and 17,000 from Soviet forces in Hungary. This figure for reductions in GDR interesting when compared to only 30,000 said to have been withdrawn in connection with earlier reduction of 1,200,000. One aim of this emphasis on reductions in Germany presumably to put West under pressure undertake similar cutbacks. Elaborate farewell ceremonies will probably again be staged in East Germany at which West will be urged follow suit.
Assignment of advanced weapons to Soviet forces in GDR may be practical reason permitting some reductions. Other possible factor is that Moscow may have moved additional troops into East Germany as result Polish and Hungarian affairs and is now taking credit for withdrawing them.
Announcement of reductions is first such public Soviet announcement since revolt. Soviet statement Oct. 30, 1956/5/ indicated that continued presence Soviet troops would be matter for negotiation with Hungary as well as with Warsaw Pact powers. Current announcement not preceded by any public indication that such negotiations in progress or contemplated although Moscow might conceivably go through motions of having Warsaw Pact powers approve move. However, reduction in Hungary presumably intended convey confidence that situation there stabilized.
/5/Regarding this Soviet statement, see Foreign Relations, 1955 - 1957, vol. XXV, pp. 342 - 343.
Soviet announcement may be clue to future Soviet moves in disarmament field. Together with Soviet refusal to participate in disarmament commission and USSR proposal for 82 member commission which would be more suitable for propaganda than negotiation unilateral force reduction casts doubt Soviet interest in serious disarmament negotiations now. Announcement fits in with Bulganin letters' support of Rapacki Plan/6/ and leads to inference further Soviet concentration on this or similar proposals as well as Soviet use of propaganda approach to disarmament problem. End Summary.
/6/The Rapacki Plan, first proposed by Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rapacki in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on October 2, 1957, and subsequently renewed through diplomatic channels, called for the establishment of a denuclearized zone in Poland, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, and the German Federal Republic. The countries in this zone, as well as the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union, would not manufacture, maintain, or import on these territories nuclear weapons of any type, including missile- launching equipment. Moreover, the powers having nuclear weapons would agree not to use these weapons against any territory in the zone. The plan also advanced proposals for the establishment and operation of a control system for the denuclearized zone. See Documents on Disarmament, 1945 - 1959, vol. II, pp. 839 - 892 and 918 - 926.
37. Memorandum of Conversation
Washington, February 11, 1958.
Presentation of Credentials to President Eisenhower by the Soviet Ambassador
The Ambassador of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Mikhail A. Menshikov
The Chief of Protocol, Wiley T. Buchanan, Jr.
President Eisenhower received Ambassador Menshikov at 10:00 a.m., February 11, 1958, at which time the Ambassador presented his credentials./1/ The President opened the conversation by telling the Ambassador he was pleased to welcome him here and hoped he would find his work interesting and assured him of the cooperation of all of the officials with whom he would be dealing.
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 66 D 149. Confidential. Drafted by Buchanan and approved by Goodpaster on February 15.
/1/Menshikov succeeded Georgiy Nikolayevich Zaroubin as Soviet Ambassador. On February 10, Buchanan sent a letter to Robert Gray, Acting Secretary to the President, enclosing a translation of the remarks Menshikov would hand to the President upon his presentation, a copy of the suggested reply, and a short biographical sketch of Menshikov. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File)
President Eisenhower then asked the Ambassador what his most recent post had been and something of his general background. The Ambassador answered that he had been in India and then began a detailed account of his background, which started with his graduation from the Moscow Institute of Economics through his entire employment record, describing in some detail his work with UNRRA when he was stationed in Washington and later in Europe. This outline of his background consumed 15 minutes of the 33 minute appointment.
The President and the Ambassador agreed that they hoped during the Ambassador's time in the United States that the tensions between our two countries would be relieved. Both agreed that this was of great importance to both nations. The President commented that the mutual objective of both countries was a rise in the standard of living, better health, education, etc. He stated that it was foolish for such great amounts of money to be spent on missiles, bombs, etc., with each nation becoming more and more powerful, and glaring at each other across the ocean and the north pole.
The Ambassador stated that the heads of his Government were sincere in their desire for an easing of tensions and he hoped there could be a meeting of the top leaders. President Eisenhower commented that when you use the word "summit" for a meeting that all peoples of the world (and he further commented that he believed all peoples in the world were under tension today) expected something immediately to be forthcoming from such a meeting. The President then stated that it was very important in his opinion that much of the spade work and many of the details must be worked out in advance of the meeting, because as President of the United States it was impossible for him to delegate any authority--that every commission and paper requiring his signature must be done by him personally--consequently, it is impossible for him to ever be gone for more than a few days, possibly 4 or 5. The President stated that he did not expect the other government leaders to come the great distance to the United States, and that at a meeting which lasted for any great length of time it would be necessary for him to send his Vice President.
The President then commented to the Ambassador that he realized that the Russian leaders had certain reservations about dealing with Secretary Dulles. The President then stated, "and I simply state this fact to you. That I have lived with this man for five years, and nowhere in the world is there a more dedicated, a more intelligent and more fair and honest, negotiator than John Foster Dulles. Possibly because of his appearance, and I admit that he does not smile much in his negotiations, you have gotten the impression that he is an unusually hard negotiator. Secretary Dulles attended the Versailles Peace Treaty meeting and from that time on has been working in every way possible for world peace. He is a very experienced and capable man. I am sure, after you have had meetings with Secretary Dulles, that you will agree with what I tell you." The President then commented, "After all, you do not expect me to fire my Secretary of State."
At this point the Ambassador interrupted and stated that the top Russian officials had a very high regard for Mr. Dulles and his ability and there was nothing personal in their desire to have a summit meeting. However, the Russian leaders actually had a complex about meeting at lower levels because they had had so many disappointments over a period of years when time and again nothing had been achieved at lower levels.
The Ambassador then commented to the President that in reporting to his Government he would be completely objective in his views. The Ambassador again stated that his earnest desire also was to see if they could not reach some area of agreement and that he favored as many contacts as possible. He also stated that he hoped that he would, from time to time, be able to see the President. President Eisenhower replied that he would be glad to see the Ambassador, that he had never considered himself to be a person who felt he knew it all, and that he would be very happy to have any position explained to him that the Ambassador might feel he had not understood. At any time that such a situation might arise, the President said he would be very pleased to have to the Secretary of State and the Ambassador call on him.
The President then commented on his relations with Marshal Zhukov/2/ in 1945 and stated that he and the Marshal at that time believed Russia and the United States would make good allies and cooperate, but that he had been greatly disappointed in the results.
/2/Marshal Georgiy Konstantinovich Zhukov.
The President commented that at various times when he was in Europe in 1945, he had spoken through interpreters to various peoples and found that in general the people throughout the world like and are pleased by the same type of things. He commented that in his opinion if a poll could be taken in Russia and the United States that not more than one- half of one percent of the people in either country actually want war. The Ambassador again touched upon his desire and his Government's desire for peace and stated that he felt certain that Khrushchev and Bulganin were sincere in their efforts to ease tensions.
The President said that one difficulty had been that when we present a bill of particulars to the Russian Government, it is turned down without any discussion. By the same token, they present us with a list of items for discussion which are not things that we wish to talk about at the time and that never is there any opportunity to gain any points of agreement during any of these negotiations.
These conversations lasted the other 16 or 17 minutes of the appointment. The President then asked me if arrangements had been made to have pictures made, and I said they had not. He then asked his Appointments Secretary, Mr. Gray, to get the photographers. The President said to the Ambassador, "We will have our pictures made here and maybe we will start some sort of new era of friendliness and cooperation." The photographers completed the pictures and we departed from the President's office at about 10:37 or 10:38./3/
After leaving the President's office, Ambassador Menshikov made a brief general statement to the press./4/
/3/President Eisenhower summarized his meeting with Menshikov for Secretary Dulles in a telephone conversation at 10:38 a.m. The President indicated that he had stressed to Menshikov his trust in Dulles, and added that Menshikov "is the first one he has seen smile except Zhukov." (Memorandum of telephone conversation; Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations)
/4/Menshikov's statement to the press was published in The New York Times, February 12, 1958.
38. Memorandum of Conversation
Washington, March 3, 1958.
Soviet Ambassador Menshikov
The Ambassador said that he had sought this meeting as a follow- up of the conversation which he had had with the President when he had presented his letters./1/ The Ambassador said he had reported that conversation objectively to his Government and had asked for this meeting a week ago in order to tell the President the substance of what was contained in the subsequent Memorandum which Mr. Gromyko had delivered to Ambassador Thompson./2/ Now that that Memorandum had been delivered this meeting which he had requested had less significance. The Ambassador, however, went on to say that he hoped that it would be possible within a few days to arrange through diplomatic channels for a meeting of Foreign Ministers of an agreed composition and at an agreed date and place./3/
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 66 D 149. Secret. Drafted by Dulles. The meeting was held at the White House. Dulles briefed Eisenhower on this interview with Menshikov in a meeting on March 1 and in a memorandum of March 2. Both the memorandum of conversation and the memorandum are in Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles - Herter Series.
/1/See Document 37.
/2/Reference is to the Soviet aide-memoire of February 28, which agreed to a meeting of the Foreign Ministers "to speed up the preparation of a meeting at the Summit with participation of Heads of Government." For text, see Department of State Bulletin, March 24, 1958, pp. 459 - 461.
/3/Documentation on the meetings of the Foreign Ministers and Heads of Government is in volumes VIII and IX.
The Ambassador went on to say that his Government, aware of the especially heavy responsibilities that devolved on the President of the United States, would not oppose the holding of a meeting of Heads of Government in the United States at a city to be selected by the United States.
The President then referred to the fact that it was not usual for him to transact business directly with foreign ambassadors and he did not want to set a precedent by this meeting. Otherwise he might be confronted with requests from over eighty ambassadors.
The President went on to discuss the proposed meeting of Heads of Government and said that there were difficulties in the way and that he felt that there was a necessity for preparation in terms of the substance of matters to be discussed. The President said with emphasis, "We want to find a way to do useful business." But he said we do not want a mere spectacle or a propaganda exercise. The need is for honest preparation of agreed subjects which would lead up to a final act by the Heads of Government. A mere spectacle or propaganda meeting would, the President thought, be without value and indeed of positive disadvantage in confusing the peoples of the world.
The President said that he appreciated the courtesy reflected by the indicated willingness of the Soviet Government to have a meeting if one were to be held in the United States. The President also said that he did not want his opening remarks about the request of the Soviet Ambassador to meet with the President to be taken as indicative of any irritation or impatience on his part. The President realized that the Ambassador was carrying out his instructions.
Secretary Dulles then spoke, emphasizing the impracticability of over eighty ambassadors doing business directly with the President and the importance that any meeting with the President be regarded as exceptional.
The President, in this connection, interjected that he could think of only one prior case where this had been sought and then events had made it unnecessary.
The Secretary went on to emphasize again the necessity of preparation if the "Summit" meeting were to be more than a spectacle. The Ambassador said he thought that there were topics upon which agreement could now be foreseen. The Secretary said he was not clear as to what these topics were. The Soviets proposed to discuss the cessation of testing, but only if this were divorced from "cut-off". The United States proposed to discuss outer space, but the Soviets were only willing to discuss it in connection with the "liquidation of foreign bases".
The President then referred to the unwillingness of the Soviets to discuss the reunification of Germany or the carrying out of earlier agreements with respect to Eastern European states.
The Secretary referred to the note of the Soviet Government to the French Government/4/ and pointed out that this had been even more explicit than the note to the United States to the effect that before there was a meeting of Foreign Ministers, there must be a firm agreement as to the fact of a "Summit" meeting and the date and place. This reduced the Foreign Ministers' meeting to what was almost perfunctory. The Secretary said he did not particularly object to reducing the role of a Foreign Ministers' meeting because he thought that much of the preparatory work could be done through diplomatic channels rather than at a Foreign Ministers' meeting. There were some matters that particularly and almost exclusively involved the United States and the Soviet Union. But this did not imply that diplomatic channels would limit contacts to our two Governments because through diplomatic channels there could also be discussions with the British, French and others, as they were involved.
/4/Text of the March 1 Soviet note to France is in Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204.
The Ambassador said that he would try to report our views objectively to his Government, but asked whether a formal reply to the Soviet Memorandum could be expected at an early date. The Secretary said that a prospective reply had been discussed between him and the President on Saturday afternoon;/5/ that we were now discussing it with some of our allies and that the Secretary hoped that a reply could be finalized for delivery the latter part of the week. The Ambassador thanked the President and the Secretary and discussed briefly what he would say to the press. The President suggested he should say merely that he had had a friendly talk. The Ambassador accepted this and suggested adding that he had hoped to have such talks "from time to time". The Secretary suggested omitting this as it would create problems with other ambassadors if it were to be assumed that the President was to meet periodically with the Soviet Ambassador. The Ambassador indicated he would drop this remark.
/5/See the source note above.
The President reiterated that he did not want the Ambassador to feel that the President was in any sense impatient with the Ambassador for having sought this meeting. He had spoken only in general terms and wanted, if possible, to find ways whereby our two great countries could get more closely together.
SOVIET CHARGES OF U.S. VIOLATIONS OF ITS AIR SPACE; CHANGES IN THE SOVIET LEADERSHIP, MARCH - JUNE 1958
39. Editorial Note
On March 6, Ambassador Menshikov handed an aide-memoire, dated March 5, to Secretary of State Dulles claiming a violation of Soviet air space by a U.S. military aircraft in the Far East on March 2. A translation of the Soviet aide-memoire, which was attached to a memorandum from Fisher Howe to General Goodpaster, March 6, reads in part:
"According to precisely established data, on March 2, 1958, at 4:05 hours Moscow time, an American military jet aircraft, having appeared from the direction of the Sea of Japan, violated the state border of the Soviet Union in the area of the settlement of Velikaya Kema and penetrated into the airspace of the Soviet Union, remaining over its territory for a considerable period of time. Thereafter, the aircraft left in the direction of the Sea of Japan in the area south of the Olga Bay." (Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Intelligence Matters)
In a memorandum of conversation with the President on March 7, Secretary Dulles wrote:
"The President read the Soviet aide-memoire which had been delivered to us yesterday protesting an alleged invasion of Soviet air space in the Far East on March 2. The President indicated a strong view that such infractions should be discontinued. He thought we should reply to the Soviets by saying that we were not aware of the matter referred to but that strong measures were being taken to prevent any recurrence.
"The President expressed the view that any such operations carried a danger of starting a nuclear war by miscalculation. He said that his military advisers had pressed upon him the necessity of retaliation if there seemed to be a movement of Soviet planes toward the United States. The President felt that the Soviets might have the same attitude and might misinterpret an overflight as being designed to start a nuclear war against which they would react.
"The President instructed General Goodpaster to communicate with the appropriate US officials in this sense." (Ibid., Dulles Papers, Meetings with the President)
The U.S. reply, an aide-memoire dated March 31, said that the United States had been unable to determine whether any U.S. military aircraft were in the vicinity of the Soviet Union on March 2. A copy of this U.S. aide-memoire is attached to a memorandum from C. Burke Elbrick to Secretary Dulles, April 28. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/4 - 2158) According to a memorandum of Dulles' conversation with Menshikov, March 31, when Dulles handed the aide-memoire to the Ambassador, he added orally that the United States had issued renewed instructions to military personnel enjoining them to adhere strictly to standing regulations prohibiting U.S. military aircraft from approaching Soviet territory. (Ibid., 761.5411/3 - 3158)
On April 21, a messenger from the Soviet Embassy delivered a note, dated April 21, which indicated that the U.S. reply was unsatisfactory, reiterated the previous Soviet charges, and expected that the United States would investigate the incident further and punish those guilty of the violation. A translation of the Soviet note is attached to a memorandum from Henry P. Leverich to Fisher Howe, April 21. (Ibid., 761.5411/ 4 - 2158)
On May 5, the Department of State delivered a brief note to the Soviet Embassy reiterating its earlier denial of the Soviet allegations. This note concluded: "The United States Government has nothing further to add to its aide-memoire of March 31, 1958 concerning the alleged incident." (Ibid.)
40. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of Intelligence and Research (Arneson) to the Under Secretary of State (Herter)
Washington, March 27, 1958.
Intelligence Note: Khrushchev's Assumption of Soviet Premiership/1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.00/3 - 2758. Official Use Only. Initialed by Arneson.
/1/On March 27, Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Vice Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers, replaced Nikolai Alexandrovich Bulganin as Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers. Khrushchev was appointed to this position by the newly elected Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union at the beginning of its first session in Moscow March 27 - 31.
The assumption of the Chairmanship of the USSR Council of Ministers by N.S. Khrushchev marks a dramatic step in his concentration of political authority, and a further blow to collective leadership in the Soviet regime.
By adding the Premiership to the office of First Secretary, which he continues to occupy, Khrushchev reversed the trend (established in the Soviet Union immediately after Stalin's death and thereafter applied to the satellites) of introducing a clear demarcation of authority as between top offices in the Party and the government.
In deciding to unite the leadership of both the Party and government, Khrushchev must have had to overcome reservations from leaders apprehensive that this kind of concentration of authority might lead to a renewal of Stalinist excesses.
Although in his new post Khrushchev controls the Committee of State Security (KGB) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), their subordination to strict Party control has been proclaimed as a central feature of destalinization. At the top of the structure, this presumably meant subordination of the police to the Presidium as a whole. It now remains to be seen whether this collective control will be maintained.
As government chief, Khrushchev will be able to inject his own type of forceful guidance directly into the management of industry. In connection with the recent reorganization of the latter, as well as in the MTS change, Khrushchev may have felt that he was handicapped in overcoming bureaucratic resistance and inertia by his lack of a command post in the bureaucracy.
Khrushchev's assumption of the Premiership probably was also motivated strongly by foreign policy considerations. Thus, a key factor may have been the Soviet assumption that there will be an early summit meeting. Khrushchev, who is not lacking in self-confidence, has shown vexation at taking a formal position secondary to Bulganin's, as he would be forced to do again if the Geneva situation were to be repeated./2/
/2/Reference is to the Geneva summit meeting in July 1955.
Khrushchev may thus be expected to concentrate the direction of Soviet foreign policy in his own hands even more fully than previously. This will probably not lead to any markedly new orientation in foreign policy but rather to continuation of the tempo of Soviet initiatives affecting East-West negotiations, and of Soviet policies vis-a-vis the underdeveloped countries, characteristic of Khrushchev's preeminence since 1955. At the same time, this further increment of power to Khrushchev within the leadership will very likely make him even less dependent than before on his colleagues in the Presidium, and this in turn could have important consequences for Soviet conduct. What these would be depends primarily on Khrushchev's personality, one aspect of which--his impulsiveness--has been exaggerated. In fact, he has been more impulsive in speech than in action. How the latest increase of his power will affect his behavior remains to be seen.
Khrushchev's move probably does not mean the return to Stalinist policies or methods. Khrushchev himself has been strongly committed to destalinization; his social and economic policies have, in many cases, broken with those of Stalin; and he has shown no signs of reintroducing Stalinist terror as a method of rule.
A similar memorandum has been addressed to the Secretary./3/
41. Memorandum of Discussion at the 361st Meeting of the National Security Council
Washington, April 3, 1958.
[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and agenda items 1 and 2.]
3. Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security
General Cabell commented first on Khrushchev's assumption of the Premiership in the USSR. After summarizing the reasons which probably induced Khrushchev to assume this new authority, General Cabell pointed out that only one additional increment of power was needed to put Khrushchev in the same power position that Stalin had previously occupied in the USSR. This last increment was complete control of the secret police. As yet, the CIA detected no signs that Khrushchev proposed to move in this direction. After discussing the make-up of the new leadership under Khrushchev and underlining the importance of Frol Koslov,/1/ General Cabell concluded by stating that he anticipated no basic changes in Soviet foreign policy as a result of Khru-shchev's moves.
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by Gleason on April 4.
/1/Bulganin assumed the relatively minor position of Chairman of the State Bank in the new government. Other changes included the appointment of only two Deputy Chairmen of the Soviet Council of Ministers--Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan and Frol Romanovich Kozlov--compared with six in the previous government. Mikoyan was reappointed to this position, but Kozlov was newly appointed. Telegram 1684 from Moscow, April 1, reported on the changes. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.13/4 - 158)
Secretary Dulles alluded to General Cabell's speculations as to what had induced Khrushchev to take over Bulganin's job. He added that he thought there was one other possible factor in this decision not mentioned by General Cabell. He pointed out that the realities of power in the Soviet Union rest in the Communist Party, which actually runs the Government of the Soviet Union. This fact was a constant embarrassment to the Soviets because it could not be disguised when there was one head of the Government and one head of the Party. Thus everybody knew that the letters that Bulganin signed were actually dictated by Khrushchev. Now that Khrushchev has become both head of the Party and head of the Government, and wears two hats, the embarrassing situation is somewhat more disguised. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union retains all the advantages of being in a position to say that the Soviet and Satellite Governments are not responsible for the actions of the Soviet and Satellite Communist parties. General Cabell said he would not disagree that this reasoning might well have been one of the factors in Khrushchev's decision.
[Here follow discussion of unrelated subjects and the remaining agenda items.]
S. Everett Gleason
42. Memorandum From Secretary of State Dulles to President Eisenhower
Washington, April 7, 1958.
Social Contacts of Soviet Ambassador Menshikov with High United States Officials
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles - Herter Series. No classification marking.
Following our conversation of March 28, the Department asked Ambassador Thompson for his views on the advisability of informing Soviet Ambassador Menshikov that we did not look with favor upon the issuance or acceptance of invitations to Cabinet officers and other high officials unless and until Ambassador Thompson had similar opportunities to see comparable Soviet officials./1/
/1/Dulles' memorandum of his conversation with the President, March 28, is ibid., Dulles Papers, Meetings with the President. The request for Thompson's views is in telegram 1109 to Moscow, March 31. (Department of State, Central Files, 601.6111/3 - 3158) Dulles' concern about Menshikov's invitations was part of his disapproval of what he believed to be a Soviet public relations campaign to influence high-level public opinion in the United States. Menshikov also asked to see Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, Senate Majority Leader, and Congressman John W. McCormack, House Majority Leader. Dulles spoke on the telephone with both about Menshikov's invitations. (Memoranda of telephone conversations; Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations)
Ambassador Thompson states that at receptions he meets members of the Party Presidium, the only officials comparable to our Cabinet officers. He does not deem it advisable to pay calls on them or have them to meals, as he thinks the Soviets could exploit some of his NATO colleagues who would follow suit for the purpose of disrupting Western unity./2/ I support this view.
/2/Thompson's views are in telegram 1680 from Moscow, April 1. (Department of State, Central Files, 601.61/4 - 158)
Ambassador Thompson has, however, recently entertained members of the U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers. In view of his apparent access to high Soviet governmental officials, I recommend that we not approach Ambassador Menshikov at this time with regard to his invitations to United States officials.
Nonetheless, in view of the public attacks being made on you and the United States by Khrushchev et al. (e.g., at Minsk and Budapest)/3/ and the Soviets' evident desire for acceptance in Latin America, I think that our official attitude toward Ambassador Menshikov should be somewhat reserved. Therefore, I suggest that we advise members of the Cabinet individually to avoid accepting invitations to meals, but to accept, if they wish, occasional invitations to receptions. You may wish to take this matter up in a Cabinet meeting./4/
/3/Reference is to speeches at Minsk on January 22 and at Budapest on April 3 and April 4. For text of the speech at Minsk, see Current Digest of the Soviet Press, March 5, 1958, pp. 15 - 22 and 51. A condensed text of the two speeches at Budapest is printed ibid., May 14, 1958, pp. 13 - 15.
/4/A handwritten notation in the President's handwriting at the end of the source text reads: "OK/D.E." According to the minutes of the Cabinet meeting on April 18, the President called attention to this memorandum and urged discretion in accepting social invitations from the Soviet Ambassador. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Cabinet Series)
43. Editorial Note
At a news conference on April 18, Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko charged that U.S. nuclear-armed bombers had flown across the Arctic toward the Soviet Union, and he asked for a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to consider "urgent measures" to end these flights. Gromyko claimed that the concerns of his government derived "from United Press reports, confirmed by spokesmen of the United States Air Force command, that such flights are made whenever the screens of American radar installations of the so-called advanced warning system show vague shapes which American observers take for guided missiles or ballistic rockets." Text of Gromyko's statement at this news conference was published in The New York Times, April 19, 1958. The text of the letter by Arkady A. Sobolev, Soviet Representative to the United Nations, calling for an urgent Security Council meeting on this matter, was transmitted in telegram 1170 from USUN, April 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/4 - 1858) For text of a Department of State categorical denial of the Soviet charges, April 18, see Department of State Bulletin, May 5, 1958, pages 728 - 729. Memoranda of telephone conversations on April 18 between Acting Secretary of State Christian A. Herter and General Thomas D. White, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, at 11 a.m.; Hagerty and Herter at 11:10 a.m. and 11:25 a.m.; Quarles and Herter at 12:20 p.m. and 2:50 p.m.; Herter and Francis O. Wilcox, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, at 2:55 p.m.; and Herter and Quarles at 2:57 p.m., summarizing discussions on the preparation of the Department of State statement, are in Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations.
A summary and analysis of the background of U.S.-Soviet air incidents before the Soviet complaint on April 18 is contained in a memorandum from Hugh S. Cumming, Jr., to Acting Secretary Herter, April 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/4 - 1858)
Initial instructions to the Mission at the United Nations included questioning of Soviet motives in bringing the question before the Security Council, clarifying the nature of the Soviet threat requiring the strong defense in alert status of free world nations, explaining the role of the Strategic Air Command as a deterrent force, emphasizing previous Soviet rejections of U.S. proposals for measures guarding against surprise attack, and consulting friendly Security Council member states, especially Canada, in obtaining supporting statements for the U.S. position. The instructions were transmitted in telegram 732 to USUN, April 18. (Ibid.)
A memorandum of Herter's conversation with President Eisenhower on April 20 at 8 p.m. summarized their discussion on the proposed U.S. strategy on this question, debate on which was set in the Security Council for the following afternoon. Herter recounted that Secretary Dulles had sent back to the Department of State from Duck Island, where he was vacationing April 18 - 21, some suggestions, all of which had been incorporated in the speech prepared for Henry Cabot Lodge, Representative at the United Nations, to deliver to the Security Council. No further record of Dulles' suggestions has been found. With the exception of two paragraphs, Eisenhower approved the draft speech Lodge had prepared, which was almost identical in substance to a Department of State suggested draft. Herter also discussed three possible resolutions the United States might wish to submit to the Security Council. As summarized in Herter's memorandum of their conversation: "The President then expressed real distress that releases apparently approved by the Department of Defense should have led up to the protest lodged by the Soviets. He called Secretary Quarles expressing his unhappiness with regard to these approved releases, and apparently Secretary Quarles said he would institute a very thorough review as to what had led up to them. I had told the President I did not think there was any security violation involved but that I thought the release of the type of information which had caused the difficulties should be carefully reviewed with the Department of State and the President in the future because of the international implications involved." (Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Memoranda of Conversation)
At the meeting of the Security Council on April 21, Sobolev introduced a draft resolution (U.N. doc. S/3993) calling on the United States to end its flights by nuclear-armed military aircraft toward the borders of other states. For text of Lodge's response that afternoon, see Department of State Bulletin, May 12, 1958, pages 760 - 763. Following debate, the Soviet Representative moved to adjourn the meeting first to the following afternoon and then to the following morning, but the Security Council rejected both motions. Sobolev then charged that Lodge, in his capacity as President of the Security Council for the month of April, had discouraged free discussion and he withdrew the Soviet resolution in protest. For text of Lodge's statement rebutting this charge, see ibid., page 763, footnote 5.
Khrushchev revived the Soviet charges in a letter to Eisenhower, April 22. For text of his letter and Eisenhower's April 28 reply, see ibid., May 19, 1958, pages 811 - 815.
During the meeting of the Security Council on April 29, Lodge referred to the "constructive proposal" of President Eisenhower in his April 28 letter to Khrushchev for an international inspection system for the Arctic zone to guard against surprise attack. For texts of Lodge's statement and two subsequent ones he made on May 2, see ibid., pages 816 - 820. For text of the U.S. draft resolution on an Arctic inspection zone as amended (U.N. doc. S/3995), see ibid., page 820. The U.S. resolution, as amended, was favored ten votes to one but was rejected because of the Soviet veto on May 2. The Security Council then rejected, with only the Soviet Union in favor and Sweden abstaining, a Soviet draft resolution (U.N. doc. S/3997) calling for an end to U.S. nuclear- armed military flights toward the borders of other states. The Soviet resolution was published in The New York Times, April 30, 1958.
The debate in the Security Council on this matter is summarized in U.N. Yearbook, 1958, pages 16 - 18.
44. Memorandum for the Record
Washington, April 24, 1958.
On 24 April, at the President's direction, I advised Gen. Twining and Allen Dulles that there are to be no reconnaissance flights, by military or other aircraft, over the territory of the USSR or other Communist countries./1/
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Intelligence Matters. No classification marking. Prepared by Goodpaster.
/1/In another memorandum for the record, dated April 24, Goodpaster wrote: "A.D. asked if OK to send a man in by low-flying a/c. After checking I told him OK." (Ibid.)
45. Memorandum of Conversation
Washington, May 19, 1958.
Courtesy Call of Minister Kuznetsov
EUR--Mr. Foy D. Kohler
EE--Mr. J.A. Armitage
V.V. Kuznetsov--First Deputy Foreign Minister of the USSR
Mikhail Menshikov--Soviet Ambassador to the USA
Anatoli Myshkov--Second Secretary of the Soviet Embassy
Mr. Kuznetsov opened the conversation by stating that he was on his way home from a visit to Argentina and had wished to pay a courtesy call on the Secretary. He expressed appreciation at the opportunity to meet the Secretary, adding that the Soviet Union believed that contacts were useful in promoting understanding and perhaps even in clearing up some points of difference. However, he had no instructions or specific points to bring up.
The Secretary expressed his appreciation for the call, agreed that it was useful to become acquainted and exchange views and asked Mr. Kuznetsov to give his regards to Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko whom the Secretary has known for 13 years. (Mr. Kuznetsov transmitted the regards of Gromyko to the Secretary.) The Secretary said that the Department was working actively on many matters relating to the two countries. He said that he was gratified that it now might be possible to work through experts in studying the question of control of nuclear test cessation. We would have preferred it if the expert study could have covered broader questions of disarmament but this was a start. We are also actively working on the reply to Chairman Khrushchev's letter regarding this matter./1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 601.6111/5 - 1958. Confidential. Drafted by Armitage on May 22.
/1/Reference is to Khrushchev's May 9 letter to Eisenhower printed in Department of State Bulletin, June 9, 1958, pp. 940 - 942.
The Secretary stated that he was more than a little distressed to hear that the Soviet Government had declared Embassy Secretary Baker persona non grata./2/ Apparently it was charged that he had violated the norms of standard diplomatic conduct and, as far as we could gather, this referred only to the fact that he had attended and made friends at the Moscow University. The Secretary added that he would be glad to have some statement as to what the Soviet Union held the proper diplomatic norms to be. On our side, we are trying to give all appropriate facilities to the Soviet Ambassador to have contacts and get to know persons in this country. If the Soviet Union has a different concept of what constitutes the norm of diplomatic behavior, the Secretary assumed that this should apply to diplomats in both countries.
/2/A Department of State press release, dated May 19, summarized the U.S. protest of the Soviet action in declaring John A. Baker, a second secretary in the Embassy in Moscow, persona non grata on May 14. For text, see ibid., June 16, 1958, pp. 1005 - 1006.
Mr. Kuznetsov said that we had many problems between us and that the Soviet Union believed that we should start with smaller ones and find a way to approach the broader questions. With regard to test cessation, he believed that we may have come to the point where agreement may be reached. The needed action is simple and we may agree on this. With regard to the application of the idea of expert studies to broader questions of disarmament, Kuznetsov had nothing to add to Chairman Khrushchev's letter. The Soviet Government believes that it is most important to agree on what should be controlled and then to proceed to a discussion of how the controls would operate. This is the normal procedure, Kuznetsov insisted, adding that two firms decided on what product one wanted to sell to the other before they set up controls to test the product. The same approach should apply to disarmament but the last letter of Chairman Khrushchev, taking into consideration the United States proposal, had agreed to accept our approach in the instance of test cessation.
Regarding Baker, Kuznetsov himself disclaimed knowledge of the details but assured the Secretary that the Soviet Union was trying not to exaggerate cases like this. He could not believe that there were no reasons behind it and said that perhaps Ambassador Menshikov knew more about it. The Soviet Union desires to assist Embassy personnel to meet people. For example, if the Ambassador wants to meet with people, every attempt will be made to facilitate this. He knows of no instance in which a request of the American Ambassador to make Soviet contacts has been rejected. The USSR felt that the cultural agreement was a good step forward and is trying to observe it scrupulously./3/ (Ambassador Menshikov said he had nothing to add on the Baker case.)
/3/For text of the joint communique containing the agreement on exchanges in the cultural, technical, and educational fields between the United States and the Soviet Union, January 27, see ibid., February 17, 1958, pp. 243 - 247.
The Secretary said that he was sorry indeed that our proposal on inspection of the Arctic Zone had been rejected by the USSR./4/ He knew that Gromyko had said that it was a propaganda gesture, but the Secretary assured Mr. Kuznetsov it was not. The Secretary had been on his way to Copenhagen when this proposal was vetoed, and he felt sad when he heard the news. Certainly it has propaganda value that the Soviet Union turned the proposal down, but we hadn't wanted to use it for that purpose. We felt that if we could get some assurance against Soviet attack and they could have some assurance against the possibility of a US attack, this would be a good first step in reducing tensions. The President will write Chairman Khrushchev further on this subject, but the Secretary emphasized that we had missed a chance to allay distrust. The Secretary expressed the hope that Kuznetsov will urge his Government not to have a closed mind in this respect. There are other areas too, to which inspection could be applied. We must get started, though, and we had hoped that if the Soviet Union felt the Arctic Zone particularly important--and Khrushchev had remarked that it was the shortest distance over which missiles could be launched at the United States--we could agree to start here. The Secretary repeated his wish that Kuznetsov take back to Moscow the thought that our proposal was not a propaganda gesture, but that it was an opportunity to do something that would have a great effect on our relations. Admittedly it was only a beginning, but we badly need to begin. We have no objection in principle to extending the idea of inspection to other places, including all bases. The Arctic area proposal, however, is relatively simple and does cover the area of the shortest distance between the two countries. The Secretary noted that he was not asking for Kuznetsov's comments but that he would want Kuznetsov to draw the impression that we were sincere in making the proposal.
/4/Regarding the U.S. proposal on inspection of the Arctic Zone, see Document 43.
Kuznetsov said that he would communicate these remarks to his Government.
The Secretary said that Khrushchev had made a point in his last letter that we had not made clear how the Arctic inspection system would reduce the possibility of aerial attack through the Arctic region. There was also a question in the Soviet note regarding the broader application of the concept of inspection zones, and we hope that we can make our viewpoint clearer in a future letter. The Secretary hoped that clarifications on these points might act to relieve whatever considerations impelled the Soviet Union to reject our proposal on Arctic zone inspection.
Kuznetsov said that in the USSR people don't understand why this proposal is viewed as the only possible step in the betterment of relations. People ask why US planes are dispatched to fly towards the Soviet Union. The USSR is trying to improve relations with the US but, with regard to disarmament, one must keep in mind the security of both sides. A look at the map indicates that the proposed inspection zone includes substantial sections of the USSR and only a strip of Alaska of US territory. (Mr. Kohler corrected Kuznetsov by remarking "all of Alaska and large parts of Canada.") Kuznetsov said that there were many Soviet proposals, some of which had been advanced to meet US points of view and the idea of the inspection of areas to avoid surprise attack could also apply in Europe or the Far East. The US takes only the Arctic and the Soviet people consider this step leads to further misunderstanding, Kuznetsov concluded.
The Secretary said that, while he could not speak for the Soviet Union, acceptance of the proposal would certainly lead to a great relaxation of tensions in the United States. The Secretary knew that he was credited with wanting war in the Soviet Union and he hoped also that Mr. Kuznetsov realized that this was not true.
Mr. Kuznetsov said that the Soviets understand that the Secretary is a good servant of his Government.
The Secretary said that his grandfather had returned from his experience in the Civil War dedicated to the cause of peace. This dedication had become traditional in the Secretary's family. For the Secretary it became an active force as early as 1907 when his uncle, the Secretary of State at the time,/5/ had taken him to the Hague Peace Conference. The Secretary had been imbued with this dedication ever since and he would consider it a major calamity if he took any steps that might lead to war. The Secretary was aware that his ideas of peace did not coincide with those of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union thinks that peace could be achieved if it controlled all the world. The Secretary rejected the idea that military weakness on our part would lead to peace and cited historical precedents when weakness may have invited attack. Though Mr. Kuznetsov would not agree with his theory, the Secretary did not want Kuznetsov to doubt his purpose.
/5/Reference should be to his grandfather, John W. Foster, who was Secretary of State 1892 - 1893, and served as the representative of China at the Second Hague Peace Conference in 1907. Dulles served as secretary of the Chinese delegation at that conference. Dulles' uncle, Robert Lansing, served as Secretary of State 1915 - 1920.
Mr. Kuznetsov said that people all over the world were concerned about peace and want their governments to do something about it. He related some bits about Soviet history and then asserted that history had taught that international problems, when approached through a policy of force, could lead only to catastrophe.
The Secretary remarked that we had nothing in the way of armed force in 1914 and very little in 1939. Our weakness had certainly encouraged the Kaiser and Hitler in their designs.
Kuznetsov said that there were some difficult and some simple international problems. The Soviets considered it more expedient to start with problems that we can solve, thus creating confidence and then proceeding to solve more difficult problems. He knows that we think the USSR is a threat and therefore we arm. Why does the US then not want a friendship treaty? We have had our periods of cooperation in the past and could have them again.
The Secretary stated that friendship is not achieved by a treaty or any signature to a paper but by acts of friendship between two countries.
As he was leaving, Kuznetsov requested the Secretary to transmit regards from Chairman Khrushchev to President Eisenhower and to inform Mr. Kuznetsov if the Secretary considered there were other courtesy calls he should pay.
The Secretary said that he would inform Mr. Kuznetsov if other courtesy calls were deemed appropriate.
(In reply to questions from the press as he was leaving, Mr. Kuznetsov replied only that he had paid a courtesy call on the Secretary and declined any response to questions concerning substantive matters which might have been discussed.)
46. Memorandum From Secretary of State Dulles to the Director of Intelligence and Research (Cumming)
Washington, June 25, 1958.
The President authorized proceeding to work out a project along the lines of your June 18 memorandum to me./1/ He did so with reluctance and concern, and with the understanding that it would be worked out in a way which would give maximum plausibility to an innocent explanation.
//Source: Department of State, INR Files: Lot 58 D 776, Balloons. Top Secret. Initialed by Calhoun and transmitted through the Executive Secretariat.
/1/Cumming's memorandum to Dulles, June 18, noted that the President had recently rejected Air Force project 461 - L, a large-scale high-altitude balloon reconnaissance operation over the Soviet Union, and the Air Force now proposed a similar, but more limited operation involving the release of two or three balloons from Larson Air Force Base in Seattle, Washington, during July. It added that Allen Dulles favored this limited project subject to Secretary Dulles' approval. A handwritten notation on this memorandum reads: "I would not object, but the President should decide. JFD" (Ibid.)
There appeared to be several divergences between the presentation made by Mr. Quarles and the presentation contained in your memorandum of June 18. You spoke of "two or three"; he spoke of "four or five". You spoke of launching from Seattle; he spoke of launching from Alaska. You spoke of covering "only marginal areas of the Soviet Union"; he spoke of transiting the main body of the Soviet Union. You spoke of the purpose being to "test the intelligence potential of the proj-ect with a minimum risk"; he presented it as an intelligence operation standing on its own merits.
It was agreed that State, Defense, CIA and Killian would work out the details of the specific project, which would then be resubmitted to the President, it being understood that, in case of conflict in the detailed preparation, the views of State would prevail./2/
/2/A memorandum for the record prepared by Goodpaster of a meeting among Secretary Dulles, Quarles, Allen Dulles, Dr. Killian, and the President on June 25, indicated that the President gave a "limited go ahead" to the idea of two or three balloon flights from Seattle "on the understanding that the group that was meeting with the President would itself consider the operational specifics and attendant public statements, cover and diversionary operations, etc.--with political considerations to be given top priority." (Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Intelligence Matters)
JUNE - DECEMBER 1958: C - 118 AND C - 130 AIRPLANE INCIDENTS; U.S. BALLOON RECONNAISSANCE PROGRAM; VISITS TO THE SOVIET UNION OF ADLAI E. STEVENSON, ERIC JOHNSTON, AND HUBERT HUMPHREY
47. Editorial Note
On June 27, an unarmed U.S. C - 118 transport-type airplane, on a flight from Wiesbaden, West Germany, via Nicosia, Cyprus, to Tehran and Karachi, crossed the Soviet border near Yerevan where Soviet fighter aircraft intercepted and shot down the military transport. Five of the nine crew members parachuted to safety. The remaining four crew members, whose escape was prevented by fire, successfully landed the burning airplane on Soviet territory. All nine were taken captive. For text of the June 28 Soviet note charging that this violation of Soviet air space was "intentional," and the June 30 U.S. memorandum rejecting this charge, see Department of State Bulletin, July 28, 1958, pages 146 - 147. [text not declassified]
For text of the July 4 Soviet note responding to the U.S. memorandum of June 30, and the July 11 U.S. note, see ibid., August 4, 1958, pages 202 - 203.
All nine crewmen were detained by Soviet authorities until July 7 when they were returned to U.S. custody in Astara, Soviet Union, and transported to Tehran. Documentation on the negotiations in Moscow leading to their release and on subsequent discussions of the incident is in Department of State, Central File 761.5411.
48. Special National Intelligence Estimate
SNIE 11 - 8 - 58 Washington, July 8, 1958.
IMPLICATIONS OF CURRENT SOVIET CONDUCT
To assess the implications of current Soviet conduct relative to Eastern Europe and the West.
1. We believe the basic motivation behind Moscow's current tough line to be its grave concern over its power position in Eastern Europe, where it considers "revisionism" to have developed to dangerous proportions./1/ This concern has led the USSR to attack Tito and to cause the execution of Nagy--measures intended, at least in part, to put pressure on Gomulka. We believe that the Soviets will exert greater efforts to obtain Gomulka's compliance with Bloc requirements or, failing that, perhaps even to replace him.
//Source: Department of State, INR - NIE Files. Secret. According to a note on the cover sheet, the CIA and the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and The Joint Staff participated in the preparation of this estimate, which was concurred in by the Intelligence Advisory Committee on July 8. The AEC representative to the IAC and the Assistant Director of FBI abstained because the subject was outside their jurisdiction.
/1/We employ the term "revisionism" to embrace deviations from current official Communist doctrine which appear to the Soviet leadership to threaten its power and control. Pressures for greater autonomy in the Eastern European Satellites and Titoism currently rank high among the sins of revisionism. [Footnote in the source text.]
2. We believe that recent Soviet actions do not indicate that the USSR has abandoned its "peaceful coexistence" line. However, the USSR probably estimates that its anti-revisionist moves, particularly the Nagy execution, have seriously reduced the chances for early East-West negotiations favorable to its interests. The Soviets will nonetheless continue to press for negotiations and to seek to place the onus on the West for delays.
3. It is possible, however, that the explanation of recent events lies deeper, and these events may reflect differences within the Soviet leadership and a degree of Communist Chinese influence. If this is so, it may portend a new and stiffer policy towards the West as well as the Satellites.
4. The Campaign against Revisionism. Since the November 1957 meetings in Moscow,/2/ the Bloc campaign against revisionism has been mounting. But its effectiveness was hampered so long as two logical steps remained untaken. First, until Tito was denounced and read out of the socialist world, it was impossible to demonstrate convincingly that his positions were impermissible to a socialist state. Second, until Nagy had been executed, the attitude of complete intolerance toward his crimes was compromised. Both these steps were difficult to take, however, if only because of the negative effect they would have on the Soviet stance in foreign policy. Another restraining factor possibly was involved: a reluctance on the part of Khrushchev, both for personal and policy reasons, to admit the failure of his policy of rapprochement with Tito and of his less restrictive policy toward the Satellites.
/2/Reference is to the meeting in Moscow November 14 - 16, 1957, of representatives from the Soviet Union, Albania, Hungary, North Vietnam, East Germany, Communist China, North Korea, Outer Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.
5. The logic of the anti-revisionist campaign would appear to call for yet a third step--the reduction of Poland to full subordination to the USSR. There is no evidence that Moscow has actually employed its economic and military weapons against Gomulka, although these facts cast a continuing shadow over Soviet-Polish relations. He is obviously placed under great pressure, however, by the actions taken against Tito and Nagy. Against this pressure he retains many of the assets which helped him to power in October 1956: the threat of mass resistance by the Polish people under his leadership, and his ability to argue persuasively that only he can prevent popular violence and to warn that violence in Poland might spread to East Germany and risk embroilment with the Western powers. Over the last 20 months Gomulka has strengthened his position with the Polish military forces and probably counts on their support in any stand he takes with respect to the USSR. Moreover, he has moderated many of those aspects of the Polish internal scene which are offensive to the USSR, has helped the Soviet Union to build and maintain an image of respectability and tolerance before the uncommitted nations, and has, to a limited extent, even assisted the anti-revisionist campaign.
6. Against the above must be set the evidence, implicit in recent Soviet actions, of a greater Soviet determination to meet the dangers of revisionism. In addition, the USSR may believe that, with the West preoccupied with the Middle East, the risk of widened conflict arising from direct Soviet intervention in Poland would be lessened.
7. We infer from Gomulka's speech of 28 June that, while he realizes he must pull in his horns, he does not regard Soviet-Polish relations as having reached the stage of an ultimate and unavoidable showdown. He neither succumbed altogether to Soviet pressure nor called for popular support against it. Instead, he sharpened his criticism of Yugoslavia, but retained a tone of sorrow in contrast to the anger shown by all other Bloc statements. He condemned Nagy's behavior, but still pictured him as a weak leader giving way to pressure rather than as an active and long-term conspirator. Most important, he did not endorse the execution, calling it Hungary's internal affair.
8. We do not believe that the USSR has taken a decision to subdue Poland at all costs, using whatever means prove necessary. But we cannot reaffirm that "the USSR's reluctant acceptance of the `new' Poland . . ./3/ appears to be a long-range adjustment rather than a temporary accommodation."/4/ In view of the intensity of the current Soviet campaign and Gomulka's continued foot-dragging, we believe that the USSR will make more direct efforts to obtain his compliance or, failing that, perhaps even to replace him.
/3/Ellipsis in the source text.
/4/NIE 12 - 58, "Outlook for Stability in the Eastern European Satellites," 4 February 1958, paragraph 44. [Footnote in the source text. NIE 12 - 58 is printed as Document 2.]
9. Implications for Soviet Foreign Policy. We believe that recent events do not indicate that the USSR has ceased to desire a conference at the summit or lower level negotiations on matters in which the Soviet leaders have an interest. At the same time, the Soviet leaders may have concluded prior to undertaking their recent moves that, since the chances of an early summit conference on their terms were waning, they could more easily accept the political losses they would suffer in international affairs by pursuing a harder policy in Eastern Europe. In any event, they must recognize that adverse reactions in the West to their moves against revisionism may seriously reduce the short run chances that negotiations can be conducted on a basis favorable to Soviet interests. We believe that they are prepared to accept such a price, if necessary, in dealing with the situation in Eastern Europe, which they consider must always take precedence over non-Bloc affairs. They probably estimate that other powers will not agree to high level negotiations as long as the USSR continues to take strong measures in Eastern Europe. The Soviet note of 2 July and Soviet conduct at Geneva indicate that the USSR will nonetheless continue to press for negotiations and to seek to place the onus on the West for further delays./5/
/5/The July 2 Soviet note may refer to Khrushchev's letter to Eisenhower which proposed a conference of Soviet and U.S. experts to develop recommendations regarding measures for the prevention of the possibility of surprise attack. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, August 18, 1958, pp. 279 - 281. The reference to Geneva presumably refers to meetings there beginning on July 1 among technical experts representing Canada, France, United Kingdom, United States, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union to study methods of detecting violations of a possible agreement on the suspension of nuclear weapons tests.
10. Other Possible Considerations. While we think that the above most satisfactorily explains recent Soviet moves, other factors may also be involved. For example, we cannot be certain that Khrushchev's removal of opponents has put an end to the view within the Soviet leadership that his peaceful coexistence line is a dubious tactic which weakens the internal vitality of the Communist movement and that any but the smallest grants of autonomy to the satellites are impermissibly dangerous. Persons of this persuasion may feel that, in view of the recent gains in Bloc strength and weaknesses in the free world, victory is assured if only unity can be maintained. The failure of certain of Khrushchev's policies--courtship of Tito, partial relaxation of controls over Eastern Europe, effort to force the West into a summit conference on Soviet terms--may have encouraged a resurgence of this view within the Soviet leadership. If so, it would probably enjoy the support of the orthodox regimes in Eastern Europe as well as that of the Chinese Communists, who appear to be exerting an increased influence on Bloc policy and to prefer a generally tough line. We think that Khrushchev would take account of such views and, in order to prevent the formation of a serious opposition group, might take the lead in implementing them.
11. But the evidence concerning activities within the Soviet leadership is, as usual, elusive. On the one hand, the published results of the recent CPSU plenum reveal a further step in agricultural reforms associated with Khrushchev and the reinforcement, via the appointment of two new candidate members, of his position within the Presidium./6/ We know of no hardening in domestic Soviet policy paralleling that in policy toward the Satellites. On the other hand, there have been reports of alleged policy differences within the Soviet leadership. Moreover, unresolved leadership differences may underlie several recent oscillations in Soviet foreign policy which have no other wholly satisfactory explanation. The Chinese role is obscure: Peiping has taken an even stronger line against revisionism than has the USSR, and we think that, if the Soviet leadership were divided on this issue, the Chinese position might exert considerable weight.
/6/Following a number of plenary meetings of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party June 22 - 29, the party on July 3 announced several changes in the composition and membership of the Presidium of the Central Committee, including increasing the number of candidates (alternate) members of the Presidium from seven to nine.
12. If it is indeed the case that a new line is being pressed upon Khrushchev, then the future course of Soviet policy becomes even more uncertain. On its face, such a new line could involve a more extensive shift in tactics toward the non-Communist world than the mere raising of difficulties about the Geneva meeting, and a greater and more immediate threat to Gomulka's position than could be staved off by his recent speech. But any line of policy involving a partial retreat by Khrushchev would be quite unstable, in view of his almost certain subsequent attempts to reassert himself. Thus policy might undergo a series of zigs and zags flowing from the push and pull of an internal power struggle.
13. Alternatively, Khrushchev himself may have initiated the current line. He has to be especially concerned to distinguish sharply between his own innovations and those of others which he has labelled "revisionism." Thus he may have chosen to attack Tito, execute Nagy, and force concessions from Gomulka in order to establish himself as an anti-revisionist while demonstrating in other fields that only he is permitted to alter Communist doctrine. This view is all the more reasonable if Khrushchev has become personally disenchanted with Tito and impatient with Gomulka. If the initiative is indeed Khrushchev's own, the change in line might become as substantial as in the preceding paragraph but it would still be unstable, if only because of Khrushchev's willingness to change his mind.
14. We conclude that, at present, the most likely explanation of recent Soviet actions is not that the USSR has either abandoned its "peaceful coexistence" line or settled on Gomulka's downfall. Rather Moscow appears to be moving to insure its position in Eastern Europe, involving greater pressure upon Poland, and is prepared to take the consequences of a temporary setback in relations with the non-Communist world.
49. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State
Moscow, July 23, 1958, 11 a.m.
201. At Polish Embassy reception last night my wife and I were seated at small table with Italian, Iranian, Canadian and Netherlands Ambassadors. Khrushchev and other members of Presidium were seated in large circle composed mainly of satellite representatives and such countries as Egypt, India, etc. Shortly before 8 o'clock when party should have broken up, Khrushchev ostentatiously came over to join our table bringing Indian Ambassador and later we were joined by Mikoyan and Polish Ambassador. Despite several attempts on part of Mikoyan and myself to break up the party Khrushchev insisted on staying until half past nine. In view composition of party and that of other tables within earshot I thought it best to avoid serious conversation and deliberately contrived to put my wife between Khrushchev and myself. Although most of the evening was spent in largely trivial conversation between him and my wife, following subjects came up in general conversation.
Khrushchev looked me straight in the eye and asked bluntly why Secretary Benson had cancelled his visit./1/ I immediately replied that I was sure the reason given in his letter was correct one. When he expressed skepticism I went on to say that we had an approaching election and that agricultural policy was one of the most important issues and as I developed my personal knowledge of Benson's great interest in the visit, Khrushchev appeared convinced. In this connection he said Soviet Union would have a bumper crop this year including the new lands. When my wife remarked that she had seen a large party of youth preparing to depart for participation in the harvest Khrushchev said this was a bad system which they had to employ due to lack of adequate machinery but that they hoped within two or three years to remedy this and abolish the system.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/7 - 2358. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution.
/1/Telegram 75 to Moscow, July 11, requested the Embassy to inform Soviet Minister of Agriculture Vladimir Vladimirovich Matskevich that Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson had to delay his proposed trip to Europe and the Soviet Union indefinitely because of the extreme pressure of legislative and agricultural policy matters. (Ibid., 033.1161/7 - 1158)
Subject of civil aviation came up and Khrushchev asked me why we had never carried out the agreement to establish civil airlines./2/ I said I thought we had great interest in this but was entirely uninformed as to why negotiations had not been started. (I should be grateful if Department would inform me of current status this question.)/3/ Khrushchev proposed that he and I start the negotiations next day to which I said I knew nothing about subject and would have to get help. He remarked somewhat contemptuously that this was a typical diplomatic answer.
/2/Section XIV of the agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union on exchanges in the cultural, technical, and educational fields, signed in Washington on January 27, provided for agreement in principle to the establishment on the basis of reciprocity direct air flights between the two nations and the commencement of negotiations on terms and conditions "at a mutually convenient date to be determined later." For text of the agreement, see Department of State Bulletin, February 17, 1958, pp. 243 - 247.
/3/In a letter to Ambassador Thompson, August 27, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Thomas C. Mann wrote that bilateral negotiations with the Soviet Union on a civil aviation agreement might begin after the airline industry and the Civil Aeronautics Board had formulated a U.S. position for the talks. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.6194/8 - 2758)
When I asked him when we were going to get a vacation he said he was leaving for Kiev about August 16 and was going on to the Crimea about August 20. He renewed an invitation he had on a previous occasion extended to my wife that I bring my family to Crimea and that we spend our vacation together there where he promised some good hunting. My wife explained her plans were fairly well advanced to leave for Austria and Italy August 11, mentioning children's need for carrying on dental work already begun in Vienna. Khrushchev indicated he considered this evasion and that he was serious in invitation. He said he realized of course that I would have to obtain authorization from State Department. Matter was left in such manner that it could easily be pursued or dropped. When my wife asked where we would stay he said he thought he had some influence with mayor of nearest town and could find us accommodations. At one point in conversation I said I thought if we could rid world of propaganda, problem of establishing peace would be easy. Khrushchev immediately said "let's make an agreement to do it at once." The various toasts he composed were completely inoffensive.
In the later conversation with my wife she asked what had happened to end our wartime collaboration. Khrushchev replied that our establishment of a large fund for subversion of the Soviet system was largely to blame. He told her that it was Bulganin who had brought him the news of his son's death during the war and he spoke of former in affectionate terms. When he expatiated on role of India as a go-between my wife remarked she did not understand why we could not talk directly to each other and he agreed there was no valid reason.
During this time I was talking to Mikoyan who was close to being drunk, the conversation relating mostly to wartime reminiscences. He paid me some extravagant compliments, saying among other things that although our relations had probably never been worse they found it always possible to talk to me. When he said the role of being American Ambassador in Soviet Union must be an extremely difficult one, adding that he could say anything he pleased while I had to be careful, I replied I was very glad that he realized this. I also remarked that an American Ambassador had to be adept at ducking flying glass, which he took in good part. When he started to make a crack about Arab problem I said that if he wanted to maintain atmosphere which this conversation had hitherto had I would advise him not to open up this subject. He laughed and changed subject.
Throughout conversation I endeavored to maintain as reserved an attitude as circumstances permitted. My general impression is that Khrushchev was worried although I suspect Indian Ambassador may have taken initiative to suggest he join our table. Whole performance was an eerie one, perhaps best expressed by fact that throughout evening gramophone was playing number of American jazz songs including repeated renderings of "Why Must You Be Mean To Me?".
50. Editorial Note
In early July 1958, Secretary of State Dulles approved a plan for a limited high-altitude balloon reconnaissance program of the Soviet Union. For background on the planning of this operation, see Document 46.
The operational plan, outlined in a July 2 memorandum from Cumming to Dulles, called for about eight balloons to be released from a carrier in the Pacific to fly over the United States. "At the same time, two or three balloons equipped with cameras will be aimed specifically to pass westward over the USSR, the explanation, if they are detected, to be that they are apparently strays from the launchings previously announced." Dulles' approval of this plan is noted on this memorandum. (Department of State, INR Files: Lot 58 D 776, Balloons)
Attached to Cumming's July 2 memorandum to Dulles is a draft memorandum from Deputy Secretary of Defense Quarles to the President, July 2, outlining the cover plan and operational plan. No record of the President's final approval of this plan has been found, but three balloons were released to fly over the Soviet Union, as planned, respectively on July 12, 14, and 15.
According to undated notes on a meeting among State, CIA, and Defense officials, attached to a July 25 memorandum from Cumming to Under Secretary of State Christian A. Herter, the press release preceding this operation as part of the cover plan indicated that several balloons would be released to fly over the United States, and publicity on these flights was carried in west coast papers on July 17. These notes also indicate that the Air Force officer responsible for setting the mechanism governing the length of the flight of the balloons decided on his own to have the balloons cut themselves down after 400 hours when he estimated they would be over the Atlantic Ocean, but his error in judgment meant that they might possibly descend in the Soviet Union, Poland, or Denmark. (Ibid.)
A copy of the press release, prepared by the Department of Defense and issued by the Cambridge Research Center in Bedford, Massachusetts, on July 25, which explained that 5 of the 35 balloons released during the first half of 1958 had been lost, is in telegram 274 to Moscow, August 8. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/8 - 858)
For the reactions of Eisenhower administration officials to the first balloons coming down in Poland on July 28, see Documents 51 and 52.
51. Memorandum for the Record
Washington, July 29, 1958.
Mr. Ayer/1/ called me at about eleven o'clock to advise that a reconnaissance balloon of the 461 - L project had apparently gone down in Poland yesterday. He said that he was planning for a statement to the press to be made within a very short time, and read off what it was proposed to say. To my query he indicated that this proposed action and text had been taken up at Assistant Secretary level in State, but not higher, and had not been taken up with the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Defense. I told him that the President had reserved all major decisions in the matter to himself, and would wish for the matter to be brought to his attention with the recommendations of Mr. Quarles and Secretary Dulles or Mr. Herter. Mr. Ayer argued against doing so, and I finally told him that it was essential that the matter be handled in this way. I also suggested that he get in touch with Mr. Quarles without delay.
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Intelligence Matters. Top Secret. Prepared by Goodpaster.
/1/Frederick Ayer, Jr., Special Assistant for Intelligence, Department of the Air Force.
I talked to Mr. Herter, who advised that he had seen the text of the proposed action and found it satisfactory. I then talked to Mr. Quarles, who was not familiar with the matter, but said he would go into it at once.
I spoke briefly to Dr. Killian, in my office. He advised that the mishap had occurred because of a decision on the part of an operating official in the Air Force to set the balloons for automatic descent at 400 hours duration, this being a major change in the plan as presented to the President and approved by him.
I then reported the matter to the President and Secretary Dulles, who was with him. The President indicated that, when Mr. Quarles had a proposed statement and plan of action ready, he should take it up with Secretary Dulles in view of the latter's interest as to timing, content, impact on other activities, etc.
The President deplored the way in which this project has been handled. He asked me to advise Mr. Quarles that the project is to be discontinued at once and every cent that has been made available as part of any project involving crossing the Iron Curtain is to be impounded, and no further expenditures are to be made.
I called Mr. Quarles, who said he would clear any proposed statement with Secretary Dulles and with the White House, through me. He confirmed that he understood the President's instructions about discontinuing the project and all outlays of funds connected with the project.
Brigadier General, USA
52. Editorial Note
According to a memorandum of a telephone conversation between President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles, July 30 at 6:31 p.m., "the Sec said another balloon is down in the interior of the SU--the one they thought would come down around Denmark. The Pres would take the man who ordered that and fire him. There will be a great thing before the Supreme Court but in the meantime the man will suffer." (Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations) According to telegram 273 to Moscow, August 8, it was believed this balloon as well as a third one came down in the vicinity of Kiev in the Soviet Union. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/8 - 858)
The Soviet Union protested these aerial balloon flights over Soviet air space. For the September 3 Soviet note and the U.S. reply of September 5, see Department of State Bulletin, September 29, 1958, pages 504 - 505. The Soviet note of October 13 renewing the protest was transmitted in telegram 826 from Moscow, October 13. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/8 - 1358) For text of the U.S. reply, October 22, see Department of State Bulletin, November 10, 1958, pages 739 - 740. A further Soviet protest on November 20 was transmitted in telegram 1125 from Moscow, November 20. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/11 - 2058) According to a memorandum from Richard M. Service to Richard H. Davis, May 23, 1960, the United States did not answer this last Soviet note. (Ibid., 761.5411/5 - 2360)
53. Editorial Note
Adlai E. Stevenson, Democratic Party Presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956, visited the Soviet Union July 12 - August 8. The purpose of his visit was twofold: to conduct business for his law clients and to observe conditions in the Soviet Union as a private citizen. During his visit, he met with numerous prominent Soviet officials to discuss outstanding political issues between the United States and the Soviet Union. His conversation with Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko on July 16 was summarized in telegram 133 from Moscow, July 16. (Department of State, Central Files, 032 - Stevenson, Adlai/7 - 1658) Memoranda of his conversations with Nikolai A. Mikhailov, Minister of Culture, on July 16, Soviet First Deputy Premier Anastas I. Mikoyan on July 31, and Nikita S. Khrushchev on August 5 were transmitted in despatch 92 from Moscow, August 8. (Ibid., 032 - Stevenson, Adlai/8 - 858) Memoranda of his conversations with Mikoyan and Khrushchev were prepared from notes taken by Robert C. Tucker, who had previously served in the Embassy in Moscow and accompanied Stevenson on his tour. There is no drafting information on the memorandum of Stevenson's conversation with Mikhailov, but presumably Tucker also prepared it. Attached to despatch 92 is a covering memorandum dated August 8, from Ambassador Llewellyn E. Thompson indicating that prior to these conversations Stevenson asked him for suggestions on points he might raise during these talks. Thompson made several suggestions, and Stevenson was able to introduce most of them in his talks with Soviet leaders.
Additional documentation on Stevenson's visit, including his diary notes and extracts from memoranda of his conversations with Mikoyan and Khrushchev, is in The Papers of Adlai E. Stevenson: Continuing Education and the Unfinished Business of American Society, 1957 - 1961, Walter Johnson, ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1977), volume II, pages 232 - 279. Stevenson also wrote 12 articles summarizing his meetings with Soviet leaders and giving his impressions of the Soviet Union for the North American Newspaper Alliance, which syndicated them. The articles were published in The New York Times between August 27 and November 23. Much of the information presented in these articles was subsequently incorporated into Stevenson's book, Friends and Enemies: What I Learned in Russia (New York: Harper, 1959)
A summary of Stevenson's conversations with Soviet leaders is printed as Document 54.
54. Report Prepared in the Department of State
Washington, September 5, 1958.
SUMMARY OF MR. STEVENSON'S CONVERSATIONS WITH SOVIET LEADERS
US - USSR Political Relations
Khrushchev repeatedly posed the question of what could be done to improve US-USSR relations. He and Mr. Stevenson agreed that non- interference in the internal affairs of other countries is a highly desirable step in this direction. However, Khrushchev's manifest resentment of Stevenson's expressed interest in Soviet actions toward Yugoslavia and Hungary and the sharp attack on US "intervention" in Lebanon, Guatemala, Cuba, etc., revealed the broad discrepancy in meaning attached to "non-interference." Khrushchev also repeated the usual Soviet objections to US foreign bases. Mr. Stevenson was impressed with Khrushchev's statement that "If a country wants to go to war, then it can ignore public opinion. But if one does not want war, then one must take account of public opinion. Mr. Stevenson interpreted this statement as an indication that Soviet leaders must now consider public opinion in formulating foreign policy because they now rely more on persuasion and less on coercion than was the case in the Stalin regime.
Mr. Stevenson emphasized to Gromyko that the US public firmly supports its Government in the current Middle Eastern crisis. Khrushchev, Mikoyan and Gromyko all repeated the standard Soviet line that Chamoun's/1/ request for US troops was unconstitutional and unsupported by the Lebanese people and that the despatch of US troops to protect US citizens was a classic pretext of imperialists for armed intervention. Khrushchev stated the Soviet Union would never reconcile itself to US troops remaining in the Middle East and expressed the view that Arab dislike of the US would continue to grow as long as troops were present.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/9 - 1058. Confidential. Drafted by John A. Armitage. An attached memorandum from Kohler to Dulles, September 10, briefly summarized this report. Also attached was a memorandum from Elbrick to Dulles, September 8, that noted Stevenson's consultation with Ambassador Thompson before his conversations with Soviet leaders.
/1/Camille Chamoun, President of Lebanon.
Mr. Stevenson interpreted Khrushchev's vigorous expression of distaste for sitting with Chiang Kai-shek/2/ as an indication that the Chinese Communists had vigorously objected to this but also felt that the Soviets considered the General Assembly a better forum for mobilizing public opinion than the Security Council, particularly when the Secretary had excluded private talks unless, as Khrushchev said, "they took place by accident in the men's room."
/2/President of the Republic of China.
US-USSR Trade Relations
Khrushchev said that the USSR had not expected US credits but told the Governor that the "secret" motivation of Khrushchev's trade letter/3/ was to demonstrate to the Soviet people that US expressions of concern over the welfare of Soviet consumers was politically motivated and not genuine. Khrushchev and Mikoyan characterized the President's reply as a "rather good," "generally favorable" one./4/ In reply to Mr. Stevenson, Khrushchev conceded equivocally that the lend-lease account must be settled before a substantial expansion of trade could take place. Khrushchev also remarked about the failure of American papers to publish his letter in full.
/3/For text of Khrushchev's June 2 letter to Eisenhower on expansion of U.S.-Soviet trade, see Department of State Bulletin, August 4, 1958, pp. 200 - 202.
/4/For text of Eisenhower's July 14 letter to Khrushchev on expansion of U.S.-Soviet trade, see ibid., p. 200.
Mikoyan said that the USSR could allocate 500 million to 1 billion dollars of its 8 billion dollar trade volume to trade with the US. He referred to Khrushchev's letter as indicating what US goods Soviet trade monopolies would be interested in and added that USSR could buy excavators over the period of a year or two and so avoid creating domestic productive capacity to meet a short-time need.
While disclaiming economic autarky, Mikoyan said the Soviet Union must be "independent of the capitalist world in the basic questions." However, Soviet purchase of 5 to 10% of a given type of machine from foreign sources would not impair this independence. The USSR desired to expand output and export of items it could produce more cheaply, such as timber, paper, cellulose and oil.
Mikoyan said the abolition of US discriminatory practices was a prerequisite to trade expansion. He mentioned the high US tariff on Soviet manganese, restrictions on US import of raw furs, US disapproval of the export of an oil drilling cutting edge in return for the Soviet turbo-drill, US refusal to export some medical equipment and supplies and some other equipment for the IGY.
Khrushchev remarked that Secretary Weeks/5/ had said the US Government would not hinder deals with private firms and that "apparently we will consider the propositions made by these firms with a view to inviting their representatives to come here for talks."
/5/Sinclair Weeks, Secretary of Commerce.
US-USSR Cultural Relations
Soviet Minister of Culture Mikhailov demonstrated the sensitive Soviet amour propre in discussing the film negotiations. Noting the US reluctance to take as many films as the Soviets did, he said "This experience had shown disrespect for the Russian films." Mikoyan vigorously and emphatically defended Soviet jamming of the Voice of America, attributing it to American cold-war policy and gave no indication of Soviet willingness to make concessions in its travel restrictions.
Governor Stevenson's efforts to obtain Soviet recognition of American authors' rights to royalties on works published in the Soviet Union met with a non-committal response from Mikhailov.
Soviet Foreign Trade and Aid
Mikoyan stated that the Soviet Union would "have to expand" its foreign economic assistance and that joint UN economic development programs could and should be expanded.
Mikoyan claimed that recent large-scale Soviet exports of aluminum, particularly to Great Britain, were designed only to obtain foreign currency and that the Soviet Union would not go in for large aluminum exports in the future as its domestic requirements were growing.
Mikoyan said that in the long-range future, the Soviet Government hoped to make the ruble convertible.
Governor Stevenson's talks with Soviet leaders confirmed the impression he had from European leaders that "Communist China bulks very large in Soviet thought, concern and policy."
Khrushchev emphasized that the pace of Communist Chinese development was "astonishing" and had exceeded even what the Chinese Communists themselves foresaw.
Mikoyan remarked that the USSR, as a matter of policy, bought what Communist China could supply, perhaps reducing its own output of a particular item by 1 to 3 percent in order to do so. He gave rice and silk as examples of this policy. He denied that there was any friction in Soviet-Chinese Communist trade relations, stating that it might be necessary to "talk things over" if the trade imbalance exceeded the 80 million dollar swing fund.
Soviet Domestic Situation
Governor Stevenson's over-all impression of the Soviet Union was one of concentrated and harnessed energy and industry. Both Khrushchev and Mikoyan stressed that the industrial decentralization was working out successfully and that the local executives were proving highly capable and equal to their tasks. Both men explained the large number of economic regions (which is generally conceded to be uneconomic) are as determined by the existence of given administrative divisions. This is an interesting commentary on the limitations which entrenched bureaucracy places even on a powerful dictatorship.
Mikoyan reaffirmed the Soviet intention to convert all industry to a 7- hour working day by 1960 although this conversion had cost the coal industry four billion rubles in the past twelve months and would cost the iron and steel industry three billion rubles this year.
Remarks Concerning the Secretary
Khrushchev made obvious oblique unfavorable references to the Secretary, terming him "A person who if brought together with a saint would make the saint a sinner." He said that Communist leaders said they would regret the Secretary's departure from the State Department because "we'll hardly get a more helpful opponent than he." Later Khrushchev said that "that Sputnik of the President is embittered and is artificially keeping up a state of tension." He implied that the Secretary was motivated by personal feelings and failed to appreciate that politicians' behavior must be determined by the needs of their own countries.
Mr. Stevenson's Conclusions
Mr. Stevenson considered that there was little to encourage hope of an early settlement of major issues. He was impressed with Khru-shchev's "desire to avoid war . . . and his eagerness to talk."/6/ He told Khrushchev that "we should proceed from the idea of equality of power on the two sides--Neither rollback by us nor expansion by the Soviet Union." Mr. Stevenson was struck by Khrushchev's acceptance of the idea of equality. He tentatively suggested, in one of his articles, that Khrushchev be invited to visit the United States./7/
/6/Ellipsis in the source text.
/7/Stevenson made this suggestion in the second of his articles published in The New York Times, August 28, 1958.
55. Editorial Note
On September 2, an unarmed U.S. Air Force C - 130 transport airplane on a roundtrip flight from Adana to Trabzon and Van, Turkey, with a crew of 17 on board, was reported as missing along the Soviet-Turkish border. In Goodpaster's memorandum for the record, prepared on September 9, which summarized his discussions with General Thomas D. White, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, President Eisenhower, and Secretary of State Dulles on the missing aircraft, Goodpaster wrote:
"On the evening of 2 September General White told me he had just received information indicating that a C - 130 equipped for electronic reconnaissance had apparently been shot down somewhere along the Turkish-Soviet border earlier that day. He said the report was inexplicable, in that the course of the plane as planned was never closer than 85 miles to the Soviet border. He phoned me the next day, indicating that while there was no further public information, a C - 130 was unreported. He sent General Walsh over, with a report indicating that the aircraft had been off course, had crossed the Soviet border (possibly lured by a false radio beacon) and that it had been shot down.
"General White said that he had taken several steps to tighten up further the conduct and supervision of such reconnaissance flights. He sent over copies of instructions aimed at assuring that the aircraft do not, even through navigation error, leave friendly territory. At his request, I reported the matter to the President and the Secretary of State in Newport on 4 September, and discussed it further with the President on 6 September. He thought the instructions were about all that could be done, but stressed the necessity of command emphasis and supervision. I so informed General White." (Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Intelligence Matters)
Major General James H. Walsh, USAF, was Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Department of the Air Force. Neither the report on the decoy theory nor the instructions on future flights, both mentioned in Goodpaster's memorandum, has been found.
For text of the Department of State announcement, dated September 6, of the missing plane and the U.S. note delivered to the Soviet Foreign Ministry on September 6 requesting any information on the plane and its crew, see Department of State Bulletin, September 29, 1958, page 505. [text not declassified]
The United States based much of its subsequent protests to the Soviet Union on information derived from telegram 845 from Ankara, September 9. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/9 - 958)
A Soviet note of September 12, transmitted in telegram 580 from Moscow, September 12, indicated that the wreckage of an airplane and the remains of six crew members had been found well inside Soviet territory. (Ibid., 761.5411/9 - 1258) The queries of charge Richard H. Davis to Soviet authorities about the other eleven missing crew members and requests for permission of U.S. personnel to visit the crash site were transmitted in telegram 579 from Moscow, September 12. (Ibid.) For text of the Department of State statement of September 12, summarizing the September 12 Soviet note, see Department of State Bulletin, October 6, 1958, page 531. For text of the U.S. note of September 13, claiming that Soviet fighter aircraft had intercepted and shot down the C - 130 and requesting a visit to the crash scene by U.S. technical experts to investigate the circumstances of the crash and to identify and arrange for transportation of the remains of the victims out of the Soviet Union, see ibid., page 533. For text of the September 19 Soviet note, which reiterated that only six bodies had been found, denied any knowledge of the other eleven, repeated its charges of an intentional violation by the plane of Soviet air space, rejected U.S. charges that Soviet aircraft had shot down the C - 130, and offered to arrange for the transfer of the remains of the six bodies to U.S. authorities, see ibid., February 23, 1959, page 270. For text of the U.S. note of September 21 and the Department of State announcement of September 23 indicating agreement with the Soviet Union on the transfer of the remains of the six crew members to U.S. officials, see ibid., October 20, 1958, page 618. Six coffins and bodies along with personal effects were transferred to U.S. authorities on September 24. (Telegram 1048 from Ankara, September 26; Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/9 - 2658)
The U.S. Government continued to press Soviet authorities concerning the fate of the eleven missing crew members but failed to elicit any information. For text of a U.S. note of October 3, see Department of State Bulletin, October 27, 1958, pages 659 - 660. For an account of the conversation between Eric Johnston and Khrushchev on the C - 130 incident on October 6, see Document 56. For text of a Soviet note of October 16 on this case, which also charged another violation of Soviet air space by a U.S. military aircraft, see Department of State Bulletin, February 23, 1959, page 271. For text of a U.S. note of November 8, see ibid., December 1, 1958, page 885. For text of Robert Murphy's representation on the C - 130 incident to Soviet Ambassador Menshikov on November 13, a chronology on the matter, a translation of a tape- recorded conversation among Soviet fighter pilots participating in the alleged attack on the C - 130, and translation of two articles from Sovetskaya Aviatsiya (Soviet Aviation), all of which were released to the press on February 5, 1959, see ibid., February 23, 1959, pages 263 - 269.
Discussion of possible countermoves to Soviet attacks on U.S. aircraft is in Document 58.
On January 6, 1959, Vice President Richard M. Nixon took up the question of the eleven missing crew members with First Deputy Premier Anastas I. Mikoyan, who visited the United States January 4 - 20, 1959. Secretary of State Dulles raised it again with Mikoyan on January 16, 1959. For text of their representations, see Department of State Bulletin, February 23, 1959, pages 262 - 263. For texts of Department of State press releases of February 5, 6, and 7 reviewing the entire issue, see ibid., pages 262 and 269 - 270. Summary of a TASS statement of February 17 reacting to the February 5 press release was transmitted in telegram 1628 from Moscow, February 17. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/2 - 1759) The translation of an Izvestia article of February 18 by M. Mikhailov charging that the evidence presented in the Department of State press announcement of February 5 was a "crude forgery" was transmitted in despatch 484 from Moscow, February 20. (Ibid., 761.5411/2 - 2059)
On May 4, Ambassador Thompson met with Khrushchev concerning the eleven missing crew members and left an aide-memoire which indicated that President Eisenhower had instructed him to bring this matter to Khrushchev's personal attention. A draft text of this aide-memoire, which the President approved on April 3 with minor changes, is attached to a memorandum from Herter to the President, April 2. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles - Herter Series) The aide-memoire was then transmitted in telegram 1602 to Moscow, April 3. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/4 - 359) For Thompson's summary of his interview with Khrushchev, see Document 73. A translation of the Soviet reply to the aide-memoire, handed to Thompson on May 25, was transmitted in telegram 2371 from Moscow, May 25. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/5 - 2559) For the brief statement by Press Secretary James C. Hagerty on April 4, see Department of State Bulletin, May 25, 1959, page 743.
At the end of his visit to the Soviet Union July 23 - August 2, 1959, Vice President Nixon wrote a letter to Khrushchev concerning the missing crewmen. A copy of this August 1 letter is attached to a memorandum from Richard H. Davis to John A. Calhoun, August 26. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/8 - 2659) A translation of Khrushchev's reply to Nixon, August 22, is ibid., Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1416.
President Eisenhower did not raise the matter with Khrushchev during his visit to the United States September 15 - 28, 1959, but he wrote Khrushchev on October 1 expressing "the deep concern" of the families of the eleven missing men and making a personal appeal for information about them. Text of Eisenhower's letter was transmitted in telegram 904 to Moscow, October 1. (Ibid., Central Files, 761.5411/10 - 159) A translation of Khrushchev's reply, October 10, is ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204.
On October 21, 1959, Secretary Christian A. Herter wrote a memorandum to the President saying that because Khrushchev's letter of October 10 provided nothing new, it was "highly unlikely that we shall ever be given further information about the fate of the eleven men." He suggested that the families of the missing men receive a personal message of sympathy from the President, and he enclosed a suggested message and names and addresses of the next of kin. (Eisenhower Library, Staff Secretary Records, International Series) Text of Eisenhower's letters to the families of the missing airmen has not been found, but a memorandum from James Carson of S/S - RO to Stephen Winship of EUR, December 1, 1959, notes that Eisenhower sent such letters on October 29. (Ibid., Central Files, 761.5411/11 - 3059)
56. Report by Eric Johnston
October 6, 1958.
[Here follows the first part of the report containing Johnston's summary of the arrangements for his visit to Khrushchev; his airplane flight accompanied by Georgi A. Zhukov, Chairman of the Soviet State Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, from Moscow to Adler on the Black Sea; and his impressions of the scenery on the drive to Gagra and the grounds and dacha where Khrushchev was staying.]
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Administration Series, Eric Johnston. Confidential; Limit Distribution. Eric Johnston, President of the Motion Picture Association of America, visited the Soviet Union in September and October to conduct negotiations on the purchase and sale of motion pictures under the cultural exchange agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union. The portion of the report printed here, which was presumably drafted after Johnston's return, recounts his meeting with Khrushchev on October 6 near Gagra in the Soviet Union. Before leaving the Soviet Union, Johnston left with the Embassy in Moscow an account of his conversation with Khrushchev, highlights of which were reported in telegrams 778 and 784 from Moscow, October 8. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/10 - 858 and 032 - Johnston, Eric/10 - 858, respectively) The full text of Johnston's account, which is identical to the text printed here, was transmitted in despatch 223, October 10. (Ibid., 032 - Johnston, Eric/10 - 1058)
Attached to the source text is a November 11 memorandum from J.S. Earman, Executive Officer of the CIA, to Minnich forwarding Johnston's memorandum as well as a memorandum of Johnston's November 4 conversation with Allen Dulles (Document 57).
Also attached to the source text are a briefing note for the President prepared by Minnich on November 13 summarizing the topics covered in Johnston's memorandum and an undated cover sheet indicating that the President would see Johnston at 8:45 a.m. Eisenhower met with Johnston on November 14, 8:43 - 9:43 a.m., but no record of their conversation has been found. (Eisenhower Library, President's Appointment Books)
We walked down the board walk for a couple of hundred feet to a platform covered by a large umbrella under which were several chairs and a table with fresh fruit and dishes. Zhukov pointed out to me that Khrushchev was coming down the walk. Indeed he was. I quickly saw that he was hatless, and was wearing a blue suit somewhat like the seersucker type we wear in Washington in the summer. A Georgian white shirt with blue embroidery was tied by a string at the neck. Sandals were on his feet. His bald head was fringed with closely cropped white hair. He is a man of short stature with a bull neck and a large girth. He greeted me with a merry twinkle in his eye and immediately started the conversation by saying: "Mikoyan has just told me about you. He left here yesterday for Moscow. You know, I had a hard time getting rid of him. I thought he was never going to leave."
I replied that I had met Mikoyan in 1944.
A breeze was blowing across the Black Sea and Khrushchev waved his hand and said: "This is a cold wind. It is coming from your ally Turkey. I presume we could expect nothing else but a cold wind from a NATO country." But he emphasized, "This doesn't bother us." He quickly launched into a story which he said a Yugoslavian had told him. "During the war" he went on, "people deserted the cities of Yugoslavia and lived in the hills where they engaged mainly in guerrilla warfare. The animals left the city, too. After the war was over the people returned to the city but the animals remained in the hills. A dog, a cow and a jackass got together and decided that perhaps they should go back to the city and see how life really was. They had been gone so long, however, that they thought they would send a scout down to reconnoiter. The dog was sent first. In due time he returned and said the city was terrible. He had barked and everybody had told him to keep quiet. They wouldn't even let him bark in the city any more and he didn't like it. So they sent the cow down to reconnoiter. The cow returned after awhile and reported that the city was terrible. Everybody had milked her dry. Finally, the jackass took his turn at viewing the city lights. When he came back he said the city was wonderful. The people had all gotten together and had elected him president. Tito heard that this story was told to me by the Yugoslavian and was furious because he felt that it was a direct insult to him. Tito is queer that way."
Suddenly, Khrushchev looked at me and said: "Why, you don't look like a capitalist at all. You are not fat. They have sent me a man in disguise- -a lean man."
I replied that we had to work so hard in the capitalist countries that we couldn't get fat.
"No, no," he said and laughed heartily, his belly shaking like old St. Nick's. "Sit down," he said "and have some fruit." I am glad to welcome you to this communist land. A capitalist and a communist can at least talk together."/1/
/1/In a letter to Foy Kohler, October 10, charge Davis indicated that, beginning at this point in their conversation, Johnston and Khrushchev discussed Johnston's idea for the exchange of either feature-length films of Soviet-U.S. relations since World War II or shorter newsreels in which Khrushchev and Eisenhower would informally explain the aims and desires of their peoples. Johnston omitted this portion of his conversation with Khrushchev from this report because he had not yet discussed the idea with government officials in Washington. (Department of State, Central Files, 032 - Johnston, Eric/10 - 1058)
I then asked: "What is the cause of present world tensions, and how would you relieve them?"
"What is your next question?" he asked. I again repeated my question to him. He replied:
"There are many causes of world tension today but perhaps the most important is imperialism in its many forms. England and France have grown rich on the exploitation of other peoples." I interrupted to say that I felt that imperialism or colonialism had cost these countries far more in the recent years than any advantages they might have received; that these countries were trying to educate people for freedom and independence.
"This is not true," he said, "Look at the Middle East. Colonialism and feudalism still continue there. You are tying to keep the existing governments in power, but the people want their own governments, responsive to their own wishes. This can only come by revolution. Every woman who has a child hopes that it can be born without pain but most women have pain. The overthrow of feudalism and colonialism usually comes with pain."
"Perhaps you misunderstand our position," I said, "We do not object to nations changing their leadership even by violent method but we do object to a revolution started by an outside force, a Communist, conspiratorial force directed from the outside."
"We are not doing that." he said. "Do you think Nasser/2/ is a communist? Communism is outlawed in Egypt and I understand there are 5,000 or more communists under arrest. Do you think this is an outside communist conspiracy? Take Iraq, there the leaders are not communists. In fact, they are anti-communists. The revolt was against a feudal system. Take Finland, there is a Communist party in Finland. We wish them well, but we are not supporting them. We hope all people will overthrow feudalistic governments, wherever they are. But in your case you support these feudalistic regimes with troops. If it had not been for British troops in Jordan, Hussein would have been murdered long ago by his people, not by Communists./3/ As soon as British troops are removed from Jordan, the people will decide what they want to do. If they want to overthrow Hussein they will do so. Why do you support these obsolete regimes in many of these Middle Eastern countries? Your imperialism takes the form of interest in oil and its revenues. Oil seems to be more important to you than people."
/2/Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of the United Arab Republic.
/3/Reference is to the request of King Hussein of Jordan for military aid following an army revolt in Iraq on July 14 and the dispatch of British troops to Jordan July 17 - 18.
He had uttered these last remarks with some heat. At the first opportunity I denied vigorously many of his allegations and pointed out in some detail what the oil companies had done to raise the standard of living of peoples in these areas. I explained that several of these countries were receiving large revenues from oil, which had been developed by technical skills not possessed by these less developed areas, and that the sale of oil produced the revenue needed by these countries. "Would you buy this oil?" I asked. His reply was quick: "Of course not! We have more oil and gas than we need. We have no interest in Middle Eastern oil. In fact, we are closing many of our coal mines because we do not need the coal. Oil and gas are being used instead. We are dieselizing our railroad locomotives, making electricity from oil and gas, using it in our factories, and we shall continue to use more oil. We are not interested in Middle Eastern oil."
I took several minutes to try to explain to him some of the problems of the oil companies, their interest in the peoples of these areas, their avoidance of political entanglements, etc., and finally said: "But many of these countries need outside help, financial assistance. The oil revenues, although large, are not of sufficient size to bring the improvements so urgently needed. Would you be willing to cooperate with financial assistance?"
To my surprise he said: "You wrote an article about this a few weeks ago in The New York Times./4/ Some of this article was accurate. The revolt in this area is against poverty and disease and feudalism. You suggested in your article that you would contribute three dollars to every dollar that we would contribute to this area."
/4/Reference is to Johnston's article published in The New York Times, August 10, 1958, which set forth his proposed solution to the Middle East crisis.
"That's correct," I replied, "but I suggested that it should be channeled through the United Nations and be used on a regional basis. Would you agree to this?"
"We agree with the principle of helping these people," he said, "but we will not agree to spend the money through the United Nations, because the United Nations is just a puppet show with the strings being pulled by the United States. In fact, we may get out of the United Nations. Why remain in such a puppet show? No longer does the United Nations reflect the will of people."
"But," I continued, "would you be interested in joining in some fund to help raise the living standards that you have been talking about so eloquently?"
"We will contribute," he said, "but we will do so in our own way. The countries which should contribute the most, however, are those which have benefited the most from the imperialism in this area."
"Who is that?" I asked
"England and France," he answered. "They should pay for the past exploitation of this area. Western Europe wants the oil of the Middle East. Let them pay for it at a reasonable price and let them contribute to a large fund to make up in some small measure for their long exploitation of these people. You know," he added, "it is difficult for me to understand your side. You were founded by a revolution and for years you were the great revolutionary force in the world, but today you support reactionary regimes everywhere. You don't seem to understand that the world is undergoing a change. On the contrary we support the desires of all people who set up their own governments and would be free from outside domination."
"Does that include Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland?" I asked.
His voice reared and his fist pounded the table. "They are free," he said. "They have governments of their own choosing." Then he shifted the subject quickly, asking: "Why is Nixon so fond of Chiang Kai-shek? This is another subject of disagreement between our two countries."
I asked him if he had not confused Knowland/5/ with Nixon.
"This doesn't make any difference," he said. "Why don't you understand that the Chinese Government is the government of the people of China. We can never settle the China question until you realize this. Kerensky/6/ is now living in New York, but Kerensky has just as much chance of coming back and taking over the government of Russia as Chiang Kai-shek has of taking over the government of the mainland of China. Why can't you people understand this?"
/5/Senator William F. Knowland.
/6/Alexander Kerensky, head of the provisional government in Russia July - November 1917 until the Bolshevik takeover.
Here I carefully explained that this was a problem I felt should be discussed by the President of the United States or the Secretary of State. This dealt with the foreign policy of the United States and I was not in a position to comment, but as a private citizen I thought that perhaps there were several reasons. One was that China was at war with the United Nations, that she had still not come to a peace treaty in Korea with the United Nations.
"You mean," he snapped, "come to a peace treaty with the United States. The United States furnished the forces and the United States did the fighting. The United Nations is just a puppet. Why do you continue to obscure the real facts. But let's not discuss these things, they are details. The broad question is, why don't you understand the situation in China? Eventually the China question must be solved."
I asked him if he would use his good offices with China to try to help solve it.
"Of course," he replied, "provided you will recognize the conditions that exist in China."
"And another cause of irritation," he said, "is you are constantly flying your planes around our border. When a neighbor pulls his blinds down you don't try to peek around the corner. We have shot down several of your planes in the East and West and we are going to continue to shoot them down when you get around our borders. Just recently," he continued, "you had a reconnaissance plane on our border and it crashed in flames. We returned six bodies to you. Now you claim that there are eleven more men, but we don't know anything about those men. We never saw them."/7/
/7/See Document 55.
I asked him if I heard him correctly--that he had never seen these eleven men and did not now have them.
He said: "Yes, you heard me correctly. We have never seen the men, we do not now have them. We do not even know that there were eleven men aboard. If they were, we do not know what happened to them."
I said: "Have you told our Embassy?"
He replied "Yes. Now you claim that this was a plane en route from Germany but we know that isn't true. We know the base of the plane in Turkey. Your plane was on reconnaissance trying to find out about a new radar warning system that we have installed. I want to tell you that we are going to continue to shoot down any planes that violate our borders. When we have guests in our country we treat them well, but we are not going to tolerate unwelcome guests and, furthermore, I don't know what you are bothering with Turkey for. I'll let you in on a secret. We have no navy in the Black Sea and no submarines in the Black Sea and we are not going to put any there. Our missiles could wipe out Turkey in 15 minutes. We have sent a note to Turkey and we are going to make claim against Turkey for these plane incidents."/8/
/8/In telegram 789 from Moscow, October 8, charge Davis reported that the Turkish charge in Moscow had called on him that afternoon to say that Georgi Nikolaevich Zaroubin, Deputy Foreign Minister, had read to the Turkish charge the previous day the text of a Soviet protest note regarding the C - 130 plane and had emphasized Turkish responsibility because the plane was based in Turkey. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/10 - 858) The text of this Soviet note has not been found.
This was a subject that I was not prepared to discuss and not desiring to pursue it further, I changed the subject, saying:
"I have asked you your opinion of the cause of your irritation with the United States. Now let me give you one of the irritating problems that we have with your country." I suggested that perhaps he wasn't going to like it but I thought I should state my views frankly. He interrupted me to say: "How do you know I am not going to like it. You capitalists are always judging what communists are going to say even before they say it."
"All right," I said, "here it is. I believe that your relationships with the outside world would be greatly improved if you would allow foreign correspondents to report what they see and hear in the Soviet Union without censorship."
"There is no censorship of facts," he said, "in the Soviet Union. It is only lies that we censor. The foreign press reports what it sees. We only delete the lies. Then after we have deleted the lies, the correspondents go to the Embassy and send them through the diplomatic pouch, so they get there anyway."
"But," I interjected, "who determines what are facts and what are lies?"
"We do," he replied.
"That is just the problem," I said. "People may have different versions of the truth. If you would allow foreign correspondents to report without censorship, you would probably get a few bad articles, but you get many good ones that would far outweigh the bad ones. Much of the suspicion which exists because of your secrecy and your censorship would be removed."
His eyes narrowed to slits, like a tomcat about to fight another. He pounded the table until the fruit shook. "Look at the lie that CBS just presented on television, the play in which I am supposed to have killed Stalin," he said./9/ "That's the kind of lie that we don't appreciate. What would you think that kind of lie does to the relationships between our two countries during this period of the cold war? Suppose we had presented on television a play depicting President Eisenhower as murdering someone. What would you say?" I told him that I deplored untruths about anyone, particularly about rulers of states, but that untruths were sometimes stimulated by the secretiveness used in the operation of the Soviet system. For instance, the Voice of America in Russian is jammed when coming into the Soviet Union, whereas we do not attempt to jam Radio Moscow when it is broadcast in English to the states and to the world.
/9/Reference is to the CBS television series "Playhouse 90," which produced the play "The Plot To Kill Stalin" on September 25. Ambassador Menshikov protested this production, which portrayed Khrushchev as the virtual murderer of Stalin. Subsequently, the Soviet Union ordered CBS to close its Moscow news bureau.
He said: "That is because the Voice of America tells lies."
"Mr. Chairman," I said, "the Voice of Moscow tells lies, too."
"No, it doesn't," he thundered.
"But, Mr. Chairman, I have heard the lies with my own ears on my shortwave radio in my hotel room in Moscow. Distortions of the truth, clearly. Why don't you like the Russian people to get the same kind of information that we give the American people, so the Russian people may judge for themselves. Freer flow of information both ways would do this."
During this part of the conversation he had been gesticulating vigorously and talking to me as though he was haranguing a crowd, but as the sunlight sometimes breaks through the clouds on an April day, his countenance changed, he smiled, laughed, and said: "Now we are getting angry at one another. We are friends. Let us act as friends. What other question do you want to ask me?"
I started to ask him about his new educational program but he looked at his watch and remarked: "It is after 2 o'clock. Come along and have lunch with me and my family. You are going to spend the night here."
We arose and started down the walk. I had my camera with me and asked him if I might take a picture of him. He agreed readily, and I snapped several pictures of him and of Zhukov; then Zhukov took a picture of Khrushchev and me, and the interpreter took a picture of all three of us. Khrushchev was intrigued with the camera. I told him that I was taking three-dimensional pictures in color to be viewed through a finder that restored the three dimensions. He looked at the camera with great interest during my explanation and then said: "You make better cameras than we do, but we make better missiles." And, again with a loud St. Nick's laugh, he added: "Of course the world will judge which is the most important."
We walked down the boardwalk to the right angle walk that led up to the house. His family awaited us. I was introduced to his wife, a stocky, peasant-type woman with a bulbous nose and gray stringy hair pulled back off her face. Wisps fell carelessly over her ears. She wore a sack-type dress of dark gray. She was very pleasant, but other than the customary salutations, said little. His daughter, whom I would judge to be about 40, was tall and rather slender, with light brown hair, a quick smile and penetrating eyes. It was obvious she had her father's energy and enthusiasm. Her husband, a man perhaps 10 or 15 years older, was tall and large of athletic build, with lots of gray hair. I later learned that he was the head of the theater in Kiev. A doctor, whom I judged to be Khrushchev's personal physician, a tall, lean man, rather handsome and fiftyish, and another man, whose name I did not learn but who appeared to be a personal secretary, completed the luncheon party. I noticed that the living room was large and spacious. The furniture was white, perhaps bleached teakwood. The chairs and draperies were also white. The room was furnished in good taste with objects of art. It was not overdone. He showed me to my bedroom, located off the living room, and it was a large, spacious room, with white furniture. A big bathroom was off this room. It was tiled and contained, in addition to the ordinary plumbing fixtures, what seemed to be a massage table. All types of toiletries were on a table and in the basin tray there was what appeared to be a large cake of perfumed French soap. The soap was purple and finely textured. After washing my hands, I joined the group in the living room and we went upstairs. On a wide balcony extending the entire length of the house, there was a dining table with the proper number of places set and a large quantity of various types of Russian hors d'oeuvres. A lace table covering looked as if it might have come from Belgium. Mrs. Khrushchev sat at the head of the table. Khrushchev was on her right and next to him sat his daughter, her husband, and the male secretary. I sat on Mrs. Khrushchev's left and next to me came Zhukov, Volsky, and the doctor.
After we sat down, Khrushchev said: "Let's have a drink of Armenian brandy first. Mikoyan won't speak to me unless I give you a drink of his brandy first." This, of course, we drank "do dna"--bottoms up.
The hors d'oeuvres were followed by soup, and trout, then by lamb chops, a salad, fruit, and coffee. We had two drinks of brandy and two drinks of vodka during the meal and there were many toasts to friendship and closer cooperation between our peoples. The lamb chops were delicious but I noticed that Khrushchev ate none. I asked him if he didn't like lamb chops. "Oh yes," he replied, "but my doctor won't let me eat them." He waved a hand at the tall man at the end of the table.
I then said: "Mr. Zhukov has told me a big lie."
"What do you mean?" asked Khrushchev.
"He told me," I replied, "that Russians had small lunches and I have never seen a bigger one." Everybody seemed to laugh at this and Khrushchev said: "You should really see a big Russian lunch if you think this is big."
My back was towards the Black Sea but I occasionally glanced around. The sea was like a mill pond, not even waves lapped on the pebbles. Through the branches of these odd surrounding trees, there was the Black Sea, and beyond loomed the tall mountains rising like blue guardians to the Caucasus.
The conversation went at a rapid fire pace. It was a jovial one. There was much kidding of me as a capitalist. I took it in good nature and, in many instances, felt that I was able effectively to turn the tables on the communists. No one spoke during the lunch except Khrushchev, his daughter, the interpreter, and me. No one interrupted him except his daughter and I noticed all were deferential including his wife.
Early in the meal I remarked that his daughter didn't look like him but like her mother. Quick as a flash, he stuck his whole arm across the table with his finger pointing towards me and roared: "Another capitalist mistake. You capitalists can never get anything right. This woman isn't her mother. This is my second wife. Ha! Ha!" he roared again. "Another capitalist lie!" His daughter came to my rescue, however, and said that she had frequently been mistaken for her stepmother's daughter. The contours of their faces were the same. "No, no," he roared, slapping the table, "I never thought my daughter would stand up for a capitalist." He then went on to explain that he had several children; one boy had been killed as a flyer during the war; another son was a graduate engineer and was now working in a technical job in Moscow; another daughter was married to an editor. "How many children are there in families in America?" he asked. "I understand an average of about four children. This is good. To increase the population--good idea."
"You wanted to ask me about our education system," he said. "My son doesn't have the same desire for education as I had." And again his eyes closed to almost catlike slits. He went on: "I worked in a coal mine owned by the French in the Donbas. I got what education I could at night. The French paid miserable wages, so I couldn't go to college at that time. This is the type of capitalist exploitation we are fighting against all over the world." His voice was raised, his fists were clenched, but the storm passed as quickly as it came. He added: "There is no use in talking about the past. The future is ours. The future of communism is inevitable. Nothing can stop it. But our youth must have the same respect for manual labor that I have. After their secondary education they will go to work. If they want to they can study at night and those who want to get an education can do so, but all must have respect for labor. It is through labor that we make human progress and the Soviet Union is going to make progress."
We had arrived at the salad course and Khrushchev wanted to know if I like mangoes. I told him I was very fond of them. "Well," he said, "I got a shipment from Nasser the other day. I am afraid they are a little too ripe but let's try them." He rang for a servant who brought in a large tray heaped with mangoes. I took one and remarked upon its excellence. Khrushchev said: "Yes, they are good but they are not as good as the ones I get from Nehru./10/ He sends me a shipment about once a month. By the way," he changed the subject, "how is President Eisenhower?" I told him that the President's health, in my opinion, was excellent.
/10/Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India.
"You know," said Khrushchev, "I like that man. At the Geneva Conference/11/ he took me to the bar after every meeting and we had a drink together. I hope his health is good. I'd like to sit down and have another talk with him. Why do you people have such crazy ideas about Russia and the Communist Party? It must be you capitalists who are fearful that the common people will get what they have. But President Eisenhower is a soldier, not a capitalist."
"Tell me about your seven-year plan," I said./12/
/11/Documentation on the Heads of Government meeting in Geneva in July 1955 is printed in Foreign Relations, 1955 - 1957, volume V.
/12/See footnote 3, Document 57.
"There isn't much to tell. It is really an extension of old five-year plans, and a little more ambitious. We are going to increase those things that we need the most. It was hard in the early days to make much prog-ress with industrialization but now it is increasing by geometric proportions. At the end of seven years we are going to go a long ways toward catching up with the U.S. At the end of another seven years, or at the end of 14 years, we will catch up with the U.S. in production per capita. We will have electricity for the farms of the Soviet Union, automobiles for her people. It is endless the things you can do. This is a great country, a storehouse of resources. Under communism we can do anything."
"I noticed," I said, "that you are trying to populate Siberia and locating some of your new plants there. To the south of you lies a great country whose population is increasing by 15 million people a year. Ten years from now China may have another 150 million people. China could be a blessing or a problem to you. Do you consider her a problem at all? Might she be interested in the vacant lot to the north of her? Has this thought motivated your planning in Sibera?"
He looked at me rather quizzically and said: "China is a great country. By the year 2,000 it may have a billion people, but communist states never think of going to war with each other. It is only capitalist states that do that. Of course, we will have no trouble with China. All communist states believe in getting along with each other, in growing and developing. We think of peace not of war. In my latest conference with Mao Tse-tung/13/ he told me that China was producing more grain this year than she needed. In the Soviet Union, we can increase our agricultural production by ten-fold with adequate mineral fertilizers and adequate manpower. No, there is no fear of China. We both believe in the communist doctrine. We want to develop our countries, have a higher standard of living for our people, and you can only do that through peaceful means."
/13/Khrushchev visited Peking July 31 - August 3 for talks with Mao Tse- tung, Chairman of the People's Republic of China.
The sumptuous lunch had been completed. We walked into the upper hall where there was a large wooden box that looked like cedar painted with some design. The box was about 3-1/2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet. He opened the lid. Inside were neat rows of apples, rapped in white paper. "Take one," he said, "they are the best apples I have ever eaten." I took one. It was bright red. "Who sent you these?" I asked. "An old friend of mine," he said, "Kadar/14/ in Hungary." Each of us took an apple and walked down the stairs through the living room to the front porch.
/14/Janos Kadar, First Secretary of the Hungarian Revolutionary Socialist Party.
"Let's take a walk," he suggested. We walked along the boardwalk. The family remained near the porch. We were alone except for the interpreter. We walked to the end of the boardwalk, a considerable distance, and then came back. During the walk, he said: "There are two things you must understand. The Soviet Union doesn't want war and under your system the United States can't start a war. Isn't it foolish therefore to continue endlessly this cold war?"
"I quite agree with you," I said, "but it seems to me that the problem is primarily yours."
"No, that's not true," he said. "You hate communism just because it is a different system. You think you can destroy us. You think if you keep up an armaments race that we cannot do likewise and at the same time improve the standard of living of our people. You think that if our people have a lower standard of living there will be a revolt in our country. But we have proved this false. We have kept up with you in the armaments race. In fact, in some ways I think we are ahead. At the same time we have improved our country and improved the conditions of life of our people. You are afraid of competition from us. You are afraid that we will outproduce you and outsell you in the markets of the world and that other countries will follow the communist example."
I told him that I was not afraid of this at all. As a matter of fact, I welcomed it because I was just as firmly convinced that our democratic society could produce more and bring greater happiness to its people. In such a race, free from force, there was no question in my mind which would eventually survive. There have been many changes in the world and modern capitalism in America today was no more like capitalism of the 19th century than a flower garden resembled a desert. Khrushchev came back to the subject, remarking: "Why don't you reduce armaments then, quit this foolish race and use this saving or a portion of it to help undeveloped countries improve their position?"
I retorted that President Eisenhower had said the same thing. In fact I think he proposed it.
"No," said Khrushchev, "it was a Frenchman who proposed it first and I did it second." I replied that I didn't know who proposed it first but I do know that President Eisenhower is for this kind of development program.
By this time we had rejoined the family who had gathered in a small group conversing. It was about a quarter to five.
"Now," said Khrushchev, "you will spend the night here, have dinner with us, go grouse hunting with us tomorrow. I know a wonderful spot about 30 miles from here across the sea."
"I am very sorry, Mr. Chairman," I said, "but I really think I should go back to Moscow tonite. I would like to go grouse hunting with you but I have already over-stayed my welcome as it is."
"But you haven't seen all the Caucasus," he said, "If you won't stay overnight then at least let me send you to Lake Ritzaluke. It is beautiful. You can spend the night up there."
"But, Mr. Chairman," I said, "I must be back in Moscow on Tuesday (October 7) and that would mean I wouldn't be back in Moscow until Wednesday morning. I must fly back at night."
"Why?" he asked.
"Mr. Zhukov says that I must fly back at night on Monday," I replied. "You can fly back any time you wish. You can fly back in the daytime tomorrow, if you wish."
Zhukov turned to me and said: "We can go and spend the night at Ritzaluke and leave tomorrow afternoon by plane for Moscow.
This I agreed to do.
"But you should leave immediately," said Khrushchev. "It is a long mountain road and if you leave right now you can make it there before dark. I don't want you to drive that road after night. I'll have my chauffeur put the top of the car down and I'll give you my fur-lined coat. You'll need it in the mountains."
[Here follows the remainder of the report containing Johnston's impressions of the scenery on the way to Lake Ritzaluke, the hotel where he spent the night, and his boat trip on the lake the following morning before returning to Moscow.]
57. Memorandum of Conversation
Washington, November 4, 1958.
Meeting Between Eric Johnston and N. Khrushchev on 6 October 1958/1/
[List of participants (6 lines of source text) not declassified]
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Administration Series, Eric Johnston. Secret. The source text bears no drafting information. This memorandum of conversation was given to the President; see the source note, Document 56.
/1/See Document 56.
Mr. Johnston opened the conversation describing a visit to Mr. Khrushchev's summer home which lasted between five and six hours. In the course of this visit Mr. Johnston was entertained at dinner during which time he learned the following about Khrushchev's family. Johnston was advised that Khrushchev's wife, who was present at the dinner, was Khrushchev's second wife. Also present were Khru-shchev's oldest daughter, who appeared to be between 40 and 43 years of age, and her husband, Victor Petrovich, Director of the Kiev Opera. In the course of this discussion it also developed that Khrushchev has a younger daughter who is married to an editor in Moscow and that he has a son about 24 years of age who is an engineer and who works in Moscow. Khrushchev mentioned that he had another son who was killed during World War II and stated that he had several grandchildren but did not specify precisely how many. Johnston also noted that it appeared that Khrushchev's daughter and her husband, Victor, had been visiting at the Khrushchev home for about two weeks at the time of this particular dinner.
Johnston was informed that the Sinkiang Railroad, which has been known to have been planned for some time, is actually under construction by the Chinese and the Soviet. He was informed that they hope to have trains in operation on this railroad by the end of 1959. The Russian terminus of the railroad is at Alma-Ata in the Kirghiz Republic and the Chinese terminus will be at Lungchow in Kwangsi Province where it will tie into the railroad presently leading into Vietnam.
Johnston stated that prior to his meeting with Khrushchev, he had been advised [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] that Khrushchev had been a drunkard and that he now had very bad kidney and bladder trouble as well as prostate trouble and that he could no longer drink any alcoholic beverages and had to be very careful of his health. In addition, Johnston remarked that he had been informed [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] that Khrushchev was not a good business executive, that he could not delegate authority, and that all decisions had to be made by Khrushchev personally or nothing was accomplished. Johnston took issue with both of these points, based upon his observations during his visit with Khrushchev. He pointed out that during his entire five or six hour visit with Khrushchev, Khrushchev did not drink excessively but did consume two drinks of vodka, two brandies, and two or three glasses of wine. In addition, Johnston observed that during the entire time of the visit, Khrushchev never excused himself to go to the bathroom. Further, Johnston noted that during this five or six hour period Khrushchev was not at any time interrupted by any phone calls, messenger, or message of any description. Johnston stated that Khrushchev remarked several times in the course of the discussions that he delegated certain functions to certain officials and that they completely managed the responsibilities he had assigned them until such time they ran into difficulties which they could not solve and then, and only then, they came to him for assistance. Johnston also stated that contrary to certain information and impressions he had received prior to this meeting, he did not consider Khrushchev to be a blabber-mouth or a person who spoke without thinking and knowing what he was saying. Johnston considered Khrushchev to be a master showman but nevertheless thought he was extremely careful in everything he said despite the fact that he spoke quickly and in an apparent off-hand manner. It was Johnston's observation that when Khrushchev did not wish to discuss a subject or was not prepared to discuss a subject, even in a private conversation, he merely changed the subject in each case and refused to go further along lines of conversation he did not want to pursue. With respect to the state of Khrushchev's health, Johnston noted that at the end of this lengthy session Khrushchev seemed just as bouncy as ever and without any signs of fatigue, whereas Johnston himself felt exhausted.
Johnston was impressed with Khrushchev's statistical knowledge of the United States. He stated that Khrushchev was extremely well-informed on all matters pertaining to United States production in all fields but showed a complete lack of comprehension of how the U.S. or, for that matter, the West in general operates and functions. In the latter respect, Johnston felt that Khrushchev had no comprehension whatsoever.
According to Johnston, Khrushchev on two or three occasions expressed an interest in visiting the United States. In this connection he expressed a liking for and a desire to talk to President Eisenhower but commented that the President was sensitive and would not talk to people. Khrushchev went on to say that the President ought to talk to people and stated that he would like to sit down and have several long talks with the President. He expressed the view that some good might come of such talks. In this connection Johnston reported that in a conversation with Mikoyan, Mikoyan had also said that he thought it would be helpful if the President and Khrushchev could sit down and have private conversations similar to those which Mikoyan had with Adenauer./2/ In both instances, Johnston pointed out to Khrushchev and to Mikoyan that because of our system wherein reporters, photographers and the people in general know whatever the President is doing, it would be virtually impossible for the President and Khrushchev to have conversations unbeknownst to the populace of the United States. Johnston stated that Mikoyan remarked that he and Adenauer had made some "deals under the table" which were presently in process of being worked out, but Mikoyan declined to respond to Johnston's questions as to the details of such arrangements.
/2/During Mikoyan's visit to Bonn April 25 - 26, he had discussions with Adenauer and other German leaders. The report to the North Atlantic Council by Herbert A. von Blankenhorn, West German Permanent Representative to NATO, on Mikoyan's visit, including Mikoyan's discussion with Adenauer, was summarized in Polto 3475 from Paris, April 28. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.6162/4 - 2858)
Both Khrushchev and Mikoyan described Khrushchev's visit to China in glowing terms. Khrushchev stated that in his meeting with Mao Tse-tung, Mao told him of the magnificent harvest China had had; they had ample grain for everyone, and were making great strides in their industrial and agricultural developments. According to Khru-shchev, Mao stressed that with the new fertilizers, new chemicals, new seeds, and new methods of agriculture and with the new scientific developments, they anticipated being able to support without any problems a billion people by the year 2000. Khrushchev informed Johnston that Mao was a very forward-looking man and that he anticipated no problems between China and Russia in the future. Khrushchev, in fact, ridiculed Johnston's suggestion that conceivably ten years from now Khrushchev might be looking to the United States for assistance against China and stated that this was purely a capitalist idea and that only capitalists get into wars.
In summation, Johnston expressed the view that the entire motivation of Khrushchev and the Soviet hierarchy is due to a feeling of inferiority and desire to "Beat America." He cited several illustrations in support of this and stressed that Khrushchev studies the United States, particularly statistically, as a challenger studies the champion he is to oppose. Johnston believes that this feeling of "Beat America" permeates all fields of Soviet endeavor including sports, cultural activities, agriculture, industrial production and scientific development, although Khrushchev appeared particularly to place emphasis on surpassing the United States economically and in production per capita prior to the end of his second Seven-Year Plan./3/
/3/Reference presumably is to the Soviet Union's second Seven-Year Plan, which would begin in 1966 following completion of the first Seven-Year Plan (1959 - 1965). In introducing the first Seven-Year Plan at the plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on November 12, Khrushchev asserted that by 1970, and possibly even earlier, the Soviet Union would surpass the United States, as well as all other nations, both in absolute output and in per capita industrial output. (Current Digest of the Soviet Press, January 14, 1959, pp. 10 - 11)
When asked whether or not he thought a visit by Khrushchev to the United States would be helpful to Khrushchev's understanding of the United States, Johnston replied that he was doubtful that it would change any of Khrushchev's very decided misimpressions of America unless he could remain here for a fairly considerable period of time. He expressed the opinion that a short visit in which Khrushchev was wined, dined, and entertained would not affect him in the slightest. He believed that Khrushchev would merely translate his various misimpressions into antagonisms unless he could remain here for a long enough period of time to persuade himself that certain of his impressions were in fact erroneous.
58. Memorandum on the Substance of Discussion at the Department of State - Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting
Washington, November 21, 1958, 11:30 a.m.
[Source: Department of State, State - JCS Meetings: Lot 61 D 417. Top Secret. Extract--4 pages of source text not declassified.]
[End of Section 7]