U.S. Department of State
Vol. X, Part 1, FRUS, 1958-60: E. Europe Region; Soviet Union; Cyprus
Office of the Historian
[Section 9 of 19]
MAY - JUNE 1959: VISIT TO THE SOVIET UNION OF W. AVERELL HARRIMAN
74. Editorial Note
W. Averell Harriman, former Ambassador to the Soviet Union and former Governor of New York, made an extensive tour of the Soviet Union during May and June 1959. A memorandum of Harriman's conversation with Foy D. Kohler, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, May 7, on Harriman's forthcoming trip is in Department of State, Central Files, 032 - Harriman, Averell/5 - 759. A memorandum of his conversation with Secretary of State Christian A. Herter, May 7, on his desire to explore an offer made by Deputy Prime Minister Anastas Mikoyan for Harriman to visit the People's Republic of China is ibid. Subsequently, the Department of State acceded to Harriman's request to travel to China as a "journalist" or "news correspondent" and authorized the issuance of a service passport to him suspending the travel restrictions to mainland China. (Telegram 1955 to Moscow, May 22; ibid., 032 - Harriman, Averell/5 - 1459) Harriman did not visit the People's Republic, however, because the government did not issue him a visa. (Telegram 2445 from Moscow, June 3; ibid., 032 - Harriman, Averell/6 - 359)
Charles W. Thayer, retired career Foreign Service officer, accompanied Harriman on his tour. On his arrival in Moscow, Harriman had interviews with Mikoyan on May 13, and Minister of Agriculture Vladimir Vladimirovich Matskevich and Defense Minister Rodion Y. Malinovsky on May 14. Notes prepared by Thayer on Harriman's conversations with Mikoyan and Marshal Malinovsky were transmitted in despatch 654 from Moscow, May 15. (Ibid., 032 - Harriman, Averell/5 - 1559) During the latter part of May, Harriman toured the Soviet Union. He visited some closed areas, including the city of Sverdlovsk and the hydroelectric construction site at Bratsk.
Shortly after his return to Moscow on May 30, Harriman left for a tour of Central Asia. When he returned to Moscow, he had an interview with Nikita Khrushchev on June 23; see Document 75. On June 25, Ambassador Llewelyn E. Thompson gave a luncheon for Harriman, which Khrushchev also attended; see Document 76. Additional details on their conversation concerning Berlin and Germany were transmitted in despatch 741 from Moscow, June 29. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/6 - 2959)
Harriman returned to the United States on July 8 after short stops in Paris, Bonn, and London. He informed Secretary Herter of his trip to the Soviet Union on July 10; see Document 77. His briefing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the same day is printed in Executive Sessions of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Historical Series), 1959, volume XI, pages 733 - 749. His account of his trip, especially of his conversations with Khrushchev, was published in Life magazine, July 13, 1959. He also gave his observations on various aspects of Soviet life in a series of articles for the North American Newspaper Alliance, which were published in The New York Times between June 1 and July 3. His trip to the Soviet Union also provided much material for his book, Peace With Russia?, published in 1959.
Additional documentation on Harriman's trip is in Department of State, Central Files 032 - Harriman, Averell and 611.61. Much of this documentation for the month of July is on the concerns of Harriman and Department of State officials over the leak to the press of Harriman's conversations with Khrushchev. Information on the conversations was contained in articles by Joseph Alsop in the Washington Post and Times Herald on July 2, and by Harry Schwartz in The New York Times on July 3. Harriman also expressed "grave concern" over a postscript to his Life magazine article by John L. Steele, Chief of the Time-Life Washington bureau, which revealed Harriman's report that Khrushchev had given the Chinese Communists atomic rockets for their use in support of a possible invasion of Formosa. (Telegram 125 from London, July 8; Department of State, Central Files, 032 - Harriman, Averell/7 - 850)
75. Despatch From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 032 - Harriman, Averell/6 - 2659. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Ambassador Thompson apparently from detailed notes of this conversation provided by Charles W. Thayer who accompanied Harriman. Thayer's verbatim record of the conversation on Berlin was transmitted in telegram 2653 from Moscow, June 25, printed in vol. VIII, Document 417.
No. 734 Moscow, June 26, 1959.
Conversation Between N.S. Khrushchev and Governor Harriman, June 23, 1959
Mr. Khrushchev received Mr. Harriman at one o'clock in the Kremlin for an interview lasting about 1-1/2 hours prior to going to the country. After the usual pleasantries, the subject turned to corn. Mr. Khrushchev said that the agriculture situation was still very weak, that there were three to four times too many people on the farms. The Soviets have used only one-half of their potentialities.
"The virgin lands have been a complete success. We have recouped all our capital investment and netted a profit of 18 billion rubles not counting machinery and buildings. Even the skeptics are becoming ashamed. We know that the area we have plowed up is what is called in Canada a risky area. However, in the last five years despite two severe droughts we have made a profit. We suppose that this cycle of two bad years in five will be repeated, but the bread grains we harvest are the cheapest in the Soviet Union, that is, 20 to 30 rubles per centner as against 60 elsewhere, and some well-managed farms with good weather conditions have collected grain as cheap as 12 to 15 rubles per centner due to the susceptibility of the virgin lands to mechanization. On the other hand, on some farms we have two to three times as many people as we should. However, many Americans who are good businessmen and rationalizers do not understand the basis of our farming. The average US farmer operates on a purely commercial basis. The Soviet collective farm on the other hand produces for its own needs and sells only what is left over. Hence, we must make a great effort to reduce surplus labor. Some Americans say we lack manpower for the Seven Year Plan. We have plenty of labor for that; we will take them off the farms."
Asked how he was going to do this, he said, "We have no secrets. We revealed all our secrets in 1953./1/ Our chief problem is to change the psychology of the farmers not only by reorganization but by improving management and leadership. Up to now we have given too many directives to farms. From now on farm management must show more initiative. For example, our research centers and experimental farms have hitherto had to operate on our state budgets which they eat up regardless of what they turn out in experiments. From now on they must pay their own way and live on the returns for services they render to our farmers.
/1/Reference presumably is to Khrushchev's lengthy report to the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party at its session September 3 - 7, 1953, which strongly criticized weaknesses in Soviet agriculture and stressed the need to provide collective farmers with greater incentives to increase productivity.
"Matskevich has told me of the American research centers and their assistance to US farmers. We propose to take a leaf from their book. For example, US commercial farms have profited from our early experiments in artificial insemination and use this method far more than even we who developed it. You should hardly be surprised that Communism which was born of capitalism will make the most use of capitalist advances."
Asked whether he really thought that the American economic system was approaching its end, he said that the US was still far from the end but was tending in that direction. Asked what he meant by saying that "the Communist system would bury capitalism," he said he only meant that in an historical sense. Socialism or Communism, he said, was a new and higher form of social organization bound to replace capitalism. The latter must give way. He never meant that Communism would physically bury the capitalist world. The proof of the superiority of the socialist structure is everywhere. During the first Five Year Plan when they constructed the first hydroelectric plant at Dnepropetrovsk, they hired Colonel Hugh Cooper/2/ whom they regarded as the highest authority. Yet when you look back, what Cooper did was mere child's play to what is being done today. Another example was a certain American engineer called Morgan/3/ who was hired as a consultant to the Metro in its early stages. (Morgan was here four years ago and told Khru-shchev he was engaged in housing construction in Turkey. However, being a concrete specialist and an expert in tunnels, it turned out that he was building US military bases and no doubt tunnels in Turkey.)
/2/Hugh L. Cooper, an hydraulic engineer, designed and helped to construct the water power and navigation project at Dnepropetrovsk in the Ukraine area of the Soviet Union in the early 1920s./3/Not further identified.
Mr. Harriman suggested that maybe Soviet achievements were due not so much to the Communist or socialist structure but to very vigorous leadership. The system of free enterprise, he suggested, was in its most creative stage. Mr. Khrushchev compared the level of industry in France, Germany, and England of 30 years ago with that of Russia and claimed that the rate of progress and change in the relative positions of these countries was due without doubt to the social structure. Perhaps, Mr. Khrushchev suggested, it was God's will, in which case God seemed to be on the side of the Communists. But, he added, let us not enter into fruitless theological discussions.
Asked about the possibility of coexistence, Khrushchev stated that he had stated his position frequently: no war, disarmament, and the creation of conditions conducive to peace. "There might be a question about the world's future development, but let us leave that to history. The West says that we want to impose our system by war, but this contradicts objective facts." Western ideologists, he fears, do not understand Soviet doctrines. The original Communist theory was that war was inevitable in imperialistic societies and that the working class should make use of the arms in their hands during those periods to throw out the capitalists. Marxism had always taught that no war is useful for workers but that it should be used by them to the best advantage. This was proved after World War I which brought the Bolsheviks to power. Due to exceptional circumstances, the United States capitalist system was favored by both World Wars in which it made much money. Governor Harriman vigorously denied this and pointed out that the US had given at least 11 billion dollars to the USSR and had made no profits. Mr. Khrushchev expressed his appreciation and thanks for this aid but insisted that nevertheless both wars were highly profitable. Mr. Harriman suggested that Mr. Khrushchev misunderstood the stimulating of production due to war as profit making. He pointed out that in the last war, the Sverdlovsk area had greatly expanded and greatly increased its capacity, but this did not mean that Sverdlovsk had made profits. Khru- shchev replied that compared to the losses in the Donbas, the additional production in the Sverdlovsk area was negligible and asked how many soldiers the US lost in World War II--1-1/4 million casualties in the United States against 20 million in the Soviet Union. Governor Harriman suggested that the Soviet people think that US business wants war or at least an arms race in order to make money. This is not true as Mikoyan no doubt learned. Khrushchev said that Mikoyan had learned no such thing and that he too believed that certain circles in the US wanted the cold war and an arms race for money.
Mr. Harriman pointed out that the cold war and the arms race were started by the Soviet Union. After World War II, the Americans had disarmed faster than any nation in all history and had only started to rearm when the Soviets failed to reduce.
Mr. Khrushchev returned to discussion of the Communist attitude toward war. He said that the old theory of the inevitability of war had been redefined at the 20th Party Congress and later reaffirmed at the 21st./4/ At that time it was decided that imperialist war can be avoided though there is no 100 percent guarantee against this. Today the socialist camp is strong, has a firm economic base, and growing manpower. This new force can deter imperialist war and each year it is becoming a stronger influence.
/4/The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was held February 14 - 25, 1956. Regarding the 21st Congress, see Document 68.
The class war must be settled not by war but by competition. "We can demonstrate," Mr. Khrushchev said, "the advantages of our system and set an example to other countries which they will follow. However, the question of making a revolution in any country is up to the workers of that country. The US is so rich and its standard of living so high that for the time being it can postpone revolution because it is able to buy off or bribe the workers."
Mr. Harriman stated that it should be obvious that the United States would never under any circumstances start a war. Mr. Khrushchev asked if there was any reason one could see why the Soviet Union should start one, and Mr. Harriman replied that only a misunderstanding or a miscalculation might lead to one. The important thing, he said, was disarmament. Mr. Khrushchev said that he wanted to create the "objective conditions" which would make such accidents impossible. "Further," Mr. Khrushchev said, "if one examines Mr. Dulles' statements, he was motivated not by any misunderstanding but by very real objectives which were endangering peace." He stated that Mr. Harriman's criticisms of Mr. Dulles were different than his. In fact, both Governor Harriman's and Dulles' attitudes pointed in the same direction. Mr. Harriman pointed to the need of greater exchanges between the US and the USSR. Fifteen thousand Americans would come to the USSR this year; when would the USSR send as many to the US? Mr. Zhukov stated that a two week tour in the US costs 8,500 rubles, and Mr. Khrushchev added that while American tourists paid their own way in the Soviet Union, the unions or the Soviet state had to appropriate money for trips abroad that could better be spent for machinery. Nevertheless, appropriations for exchanges were being increased.
He stated that the elimination of discrimination against the Soviet Union in trade matters was of primary importance. The legal obstacles to trade, he said, were discrimination against the Soviet Union, and he accused Mr. Harriman of having a personal role in the setting up of these obstacles. He suggested that Mr. Harriman reverse his position and use his influence to increase trade. Mr. Khrushchev said there was one important point to clarify in connection with arms and trade. There was no doubt that American legal obstacles against trade were raised as reprisals, but this policy had been a complete failure.
"Look at our progress in science. We developed the hydrogen bomb before the US. We have an intercontinental bomb which you have not. Perhaps this is the crucial symbol of our position. The Seven Year Plan is based on an absence of trade with the US and the Plan is being consistently overfulfilled." Furthermore, there was nothing that the United States could furnish which the Soviets could not build for themselves. Nevertheless, the Soviets would like exchanges in certain fields of special equipment which they could build but found cheaper to buy abroad. For example, the Soviet Union had recently bought three textile machines not because they could not build them but because it was cheaper to buy them. Suggesting the Soviet Union also needed pipe, Mr. Harriman said that if some progress could be made on disarmament, the trade problem would settle itself. Mr. Khrushchev reacted strongly that this sounded like a condition. The Soviet Union would not sacrifice the security of its country for the few advantages that increased trade would bring.
Turning to another subject, Mr. Khrushchev stated that Stalin had had a great respect for Governor Harriman and confirmed the suggestion by Mr. Harriman that had Roosevelt lived, history might have taken a different course. Stalin, he said, had often told him that there were many cases when Stalin and Roosevelt had opposed Churchill, but there were no cases in which Churchill and Stalin had ganged up on Roosevelt. Truman, however, he said, was a different type and had changed Roosevelt's policies.
"We don't consider Stalin without blame. He had grown old by the end of the war but because of his position in the world, he had a very strong voice which he did not always use in the right way." It was not useful to go into details, but in the last years he had a bad influence both internally and in international affairs. Stalin was distrustful, over- confident, and had lost the power to work himself, and he distrusted others, thereby making it impossible for them to work. After his death, however, Stalin's successors had successfully developed initiative and produced successes which he had opposed. "We think we have been successful, both internally and internationally," Mr. Khrushchev said, "and have greatly improved our international position." He added, "We want to disarm and cease the cold war. You say you want to, too, but we don't seem to agree.
"Eisenhower suggested air reconnaissance throughout our country./5/ This was utterly unacceptable. Air reconnaissance in view of US bases was not realistically fair though juridically it seemed so. Nevertheless, we would agree to air reconnaissance but not as a start.
/5/" The reference is to Eisenhower's "open skies" proposal, which he presented at the Geneva summit conference in July 1955; see Secto 63, July 21, 1955, printed in Foreign Relations, 1955 - 1957, vol. V, pp. 447 - 456.
The Soviet Union had suggested a non-aggression pact between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries./6/ This would lead to a psychological improvement. However, the US objects to such a treaty on the grounds that the UN Charter is sufficient. However, the NATO Pact itself is defended on the basis of the Charter. Thus in one case the US makes a defense pact, justifying it by the UN Charter, and refuses a non- aggression pact on the ground that the UN Charter is enough. Khru-shchev said such a pact would bring an increase in confidence. A second step would be a reduction in forces. The Soviets would welcome the most thorough control with inspection by both armies. He also suggested a control of communications. The US had turned this down./7/ "We have even agreed to nuclear controls," he stated. The US had suggested that some nuclear explosions be permitted. The Soviets had agreed although they would prefer to prohibit all since any explosion would assist in the perfection of weapons. In the negotiations at Geneva, the technical experts had reached an agreement but then new difficulties were raised on the political plane./8/ "We do not believe," Mr. Khru-shchev said, "that the US is taking a serious attitude toward the control of nuclear weapons."
/6/In his letter to Eisenhower, December 10, 1957, Bulganin proposed, among other things, a nonaggression pact between the NATO and Warsaw treaty nations, based on the principle of "co-existence." (Department of State Bulletin, January 27, 1958, pp. 127 - 130)
/7/Not further identified.
/8/The conference of Allied and Communist experts on the detection of nuclear test violations met in Geneva July 1 - August 21, 1958.
Governor Harriman suggested it was a pity that Stalin had not agreed to the 1947 agreement on nuclear controls./9/ Mr. Khrushchev stated that the 1947 proposals were preposterous and designed to give the US a monopoly of nuclear weapons. They could not have agreed to them in 1947 and even less so today.
/9/Reference is to the Baruch plan, which the United States advanced in the United Nations for the international control of atomic energy from 1946 to 1948. The Soviet Union consistently opposed this plan.
At this point Mr. Khrushchev suggested that we go to the country for luncheon where the discussion could be continued. With Mr. Zhukov of the Cultural Committee and Mr. Troyanovski as interpreter, we got into one car without the usual bodyguard, Mr. Khrushchev commenting that with a former American diplomat such as Mr. Harriman, he felt safe without his bodyguard.
On the way to the country, Mr. Khrushchev stated that the plenary session of the Central Committee due for tomorrow would reach no decisions but simply check up on the progress of the Seven Year Plan. One measure that he hoped would be taken was a setting up of an exhibit in the Industrial and Agricultural Fair/10/ at which inadequate machinery would be exhibited to shame the makers of it into producing better equipment. However, he admitted that there had been some difficulty in collecting the poor machinery. Governor Harriman expressed amazement that there had been such difficulties since he assumed Mr. Khru-shchev's word was law. Mr. Khrushchev readily admitted that his word was law. "But," he added, "there is no law you can't get around."
/10/Reference is to the Soviet Agricultural and Industrial Fair scheduled to open in Moscow in late July.
Returning to the international scene, Mr. Khrushchev said that it seemed the West wanted to prolong the cold war. Three times he had already reduced the strength of his forces/11/ until his military advisers had told him that further reductions were out of the question.
/11/Reference is to the Soviet Government's announcements of August 13, 1955, May 14, 1956, and January 6, 1958, each of which specified reductions in its armed forces.
Mr. Khrushchev said he found many of Mr. George Kennan's ideas expressed in the Reith lectures/12/ coincided with his own. He liked particularly the idea of a gradual withdrawal in Central Europe. "Many of Mr. Kennan's ideas would be acceptable to us and should be to the advantage of the US as well." Asked specifically if he was prepared to withdraw his troops from Eastern Europe, Khrushchev said he was, under certain conditions, which, however, he did not specify.
/12/Kennan's BBC Reith Lectures in 1957, which generally proposed disengagement in Central Europe, were published in George F. Kennan, Russia, the Atom, and the West (London: Oxford University Press, 1958).
The Geneva summit conference, he said, was [a] failure because Dulles and Eisenhower had entertained the unreal objective of liquidating East Germany. "To this we will never agree." Mr. Khrushchev said.
While he did not want to criticize the dead, he found Mr. Dulles had an exaggerated idea of his own personal importance and had underestimated the importance of others./13/ Speaking most confidentially, he stated that it was embarrassing if not unpleasant to note the manner in which Mr. Eisenhower had behaved at Geneva, not as a maker of policy but as an executor of Mr. Dulles' policies. Mr. Dulles, sitting on his right during the conference, had simply passed Eisenhower notes which the latter had then read out without contributing anything of his own.
/13/Dulles died on May 24.
At the dacha which lay beyond Kuntsevo and Rublevo, Messrs. Mikoyan, Kozlov, and Gromyko were awaiting us. For about half an hour we walked about the garden and down to the Moscow River. On the way, we discovered a hedgehog which Mr. Khrushchev picked up and gave to one of his bodyguards to take home to his grandson.
We then started lunch with the usual toasts. The first toast was to Governor Harriman in which his role during the war was praised. Mr. Khrushchev then launched into a review of Soviet international interests. The Soviets, he said, were not interested in expansion anywhere. The Mid-East had only oil and cotton. The Soviet Union had better cotton and oil enough to sell to the United States if it wanted it. India, he said, could take care of its own problems if it were willing to turn its jungles into arable land. Mr. Mendes-France/14/ had suggested to Mr. Khrushchev that China with its bursting population was a menace to the Soviet Union. This, he said, was hardly true. The Soviet Union, if it so desired, could turn its Siberian forests into arable land sufficient to feed all of China if necessary.
/14/Pierre Mendes-France, former French Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
Nevertheless, he said, the Chinese presented a special and delicate situation since they had their own way of looking on problems and the Soviets did not want to tell them how to run their country. (More on China later.)
Turning to Western Europe, Mr. Khrushchev asked what good Finland with its rocks and swamps was to the Soviet Union. Similarly for the other Scandinavian countries. Germany, however, was a different problem.
The West seemed to forget that a few Russian missiles could destroy all of Europe. One bomb was sufficient for Bonn and three to five would knock out France, England, Spain, and Italy. The US had a winged, pilotless plane whose speed was 1,000 kilometers per hour, which was within easy range of Soviet fighters. US missiles, he said, could carry a warhead of only ten kilograms whereas Russian missiles could carry 1300 kilograms. Under these circumstances it was unrealistic to threaten the Soviets.
[Here follows discussion of Berlin, identical to Thayer's report transmitted in telegram 2653 from Moscow, June 25; see volume VIII, Document 417.]
Calming down, Mr. Khrushchev said that as a great capitalist, Mr. Harriman's opinion was valuable. "In the US the workers have no views. I am a miner by origin, now a Prime Minister, and that is a characteristic of this country." Mikoyan said, "I am a plumber." Kozlov said that he was a homeless waif. Gromyko said that he was the son of a beggar. When Mr. Harriman stated that this was not unusual in the United States and that he had many contacts among the working class, Khru- shchev retorted that the class struggle was an international question. "Tolstoy," he said, "wanted to till the soil like a peasant, but the peasants called him the stupid count, and said the count had worms in his backside."
A discussion ensued as to whether capitalism could survive. Khru-shchev said that if he died and a capitalist came near his grave, he would turn over. "But if you, Mr. Harriman, approach, I won't turn over. We want your friendship but not from weakness. If we doubt from weakness, there would be war. We would like to deal with you because you have authority. You are a master, not a lackey. We don't threaten your capitalism.
"I will tell you a secret. When the war ended, the question of Petsamo arose. We seized it, but Stalin said we must pay something for the nickel because, he said, Harriman is a part owner." Mr. Harriman said he had never heard of nickel in Petsamo until after the end of the war. Khrushchev stated, "Perhaps Stalin was misinformed, but nevertheless we wanted to avoid war and paid dollars for the nickel."
The conversation turned to Mr. Kozlov. Mr. Khrushchev stated that he and Mikoyan were of the same age, though Mikoyan is one year younger. Kozlov is 15 years younger. He and Mikoyan have one thing in common. They are agreed that Kozlov will follow them. "Despite his white hair, which ladies love, Kozlov is young, a hopeless Communist. When we pass on, we will rest easily because we know Kozlov will carry on Lenin's work." Asked what happens if Kozlov dies earlier or what will happen after Kozlov, Khrushchev said, "We have eight million Communists." Khrushchev said that after Khrushchev and Kozlov, it won't be any easier for you. "Nevertheless," he said, "I recommend him. He is modest and not such a brute (nakhalni) as we." Harriman asked, "Were you ever modest?" Khrushchev replied, "Perhaps." Harriman asked his opinion of Kirichenko./15/ Khrushchev asked, "Why do you ask of Kirichenko? We have Aristov, Breshnev, Mukhitdinov, Pospelov, and, youngest of all, Polyanski./16/ Don't try to bet on our followers," Khrushchev said. "If you bet on Kirichenko, you will lose. We have plenty of horses in our stable. Bet on our country, not on individuals./17/ You bet on Malenkov and he proved to be "gavno". You bet on Beria,/18/ he was also gavno. Then on Molotov. You were against Molotov but I respect Molotov more than all of them. Beria was an adventurer. Malenkov was a yellow chicken and Stalin knew it."
/15/Aleksey Illarionovich Kirichenko, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
/16/Averkiy Borisovich Aristov, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; Leonid Ilich Brezhnev, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; Nuritdin Akramovich Mukhitdinov, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; Petr Nikolaevich Pospelov, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; and Dmitriy Stepanovich Polyansky, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
/17/Russian slang, usually transliterated as "govno," which means human excrement.
/18/Lavrenti Beria, Soviet Minister of Internal Affairs, was executed in December 1953 after having been found guilty of high treason by the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union.
Harriman: "Who did Stalin think would follow him?"
Khrushchev: "Stalin didn't think; he thought he would live forever. I will tell you how Stalin died. We all went out to his dacha on Saturday and had a good dinner. He was in fine spirits. We said goodbye and went home. Usually he called us on Sundays but he did not that day. On Monday night his guards called and said that he was ill. Beria, Bulganin, Malenkov and I (Khrushchev) came out to the dacha and found him unconscious. He lived for several days but did not regain consciousness. He was paralyzed in the arm, the leg, and the tongue from a blood clot in his brain. For one moment before he died, he regained consciousness. He could not speak but he shook hands and he made jokes by gestures, pointing to a picture of a girl feeding a lamb, obviously referring to the fact that he, like the lamb, was being fed with a spoon. Then," said Khrushchev, "he died and I wept. I was his pupil. We are all indebted to him. Like Peter the Great, he combatted barbarism with barbarism, but he was a great man.
"Kozlov will be worthy of us. If you want Kirichenko, he will be worse for you than Kozlov will be." Harriman asked why, then, had Khrushchev turned over Party affairs to Kirichenko. Khrushchev replied, "I am very jealous of my prerogatives and while I live I will run the Party. If you are trying to bury me, you are wish-thinking. Nevertheless, he said, "it is ideas that are important, not people. It is not important who will follow me. Our policy will not change."
The subject turned to Ambassador Bohlen./19/ Khrushchev said that he was respected but was not honest. He had documentary proof that Bohlen spread the rumor that Khrushchev was a drunkard. "When General Twining was here,/20/ we all drank heavily. Bohlen can drink too, but later he told the correspondents that I was a drunk. Some British and Scandinavian journalists protested."
/19/Charles E. Bohlen served as Ambassador to the Soviet Union 1953 - 1957.
/20/General Twining's report to the President on his trip to the Soviet Union June 23 - July 1, 1956, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1955 - 1957, vol. XXIV, pages 246 - 249.
Khrushchev then said, "Please understand we want friendship. Within five to seven years we will be stronger than you. I am giving you a secret of the General Staff which your military can use in competition in ballistic missiles. I am talking seriously now. If we spend 30 billion rubles on ballistic missiles in the next 5 - 6 years, we can destroy every industrial center in the US and Europe. Thirty billion rubles is no great sum for us. In the Seven Year Plan, we are spending on power, gas, etc., no less than 125 billion rubles. Yet to destroy all Europe and the US would cost us only 30 billion. We have this possibility. If we save 11 billion in one year, if we overfulfill our plan by five percent, this will give us a savings of 55 billion in five years. Yet we only need 30 billion. I am frank because I like you as a frank capitalist. You charm us as a snake charms rabbits. I am talking about potentialities. Of course, we will make some missiles but we won't use them. We know if you use yours, it would be silly. Who would lose more? Let us keep our rockets loaded and if attacked we will launch them."
Discussing the Japanese question, Mr. Khrushchev said, "We helped to defeat Japan at the request of Roosevelt. It is true that we agreed to help Chiang Kai-shek but that was during the period in which Japan was the enemy. Once Japan was defeated, the situation was changed and when another force--the Communists--arose, naturally we supported them against Chiang and we will continue to support them. What is China, Peking or Formosa? To whom does Formosa belong? Only to China, and China is Peking. At any time we desire, we can destroy Formosa. I will tell you confidentially, we have given the Chinese rockets which are in the Chinese hinterland but within range of Formosa and can destroy it at will. Your Seventh Fleet will be of no avail. Fleets today are made to be destroyed. If the Chinese decide to take Formosa, we will support them even if it means war."
Governor Harriman expressed surprise at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations' estimate that the maximum future industrial growth of the United States was only 2 percent./21/ He said he had told the professors that if they wanted to keep their jobs, they should revise their estimates to 4 or 4-1/2 percent. Mr. Khrushchev supported by Mr. Mikoyan stated that they were satisfied with the 2 percent figure because this had been the figure for the past five years.
/21/Not further identified.
Mr. Zhukov told Mr. Harriman that the Seven Year Plan contemplated no increase in the rate of production of automobiles. The cheap 8,000 ruble car which was planned would probably not be out for another 15 years.
Mr. Khrushchev stated that while he was the senior member of the Presidium, he had only one vote and that decisions were taken by a majority.
Repeatedly during the conversation, Mr. Khrushchev referred to the class struggle throughout the world and to "circles in the United States" which wanted cold war and an armaments race.
Mr. Khrushchev was scornful of the suggestion of free elections in Germany as a method of reunification.
Throughout the evening there was much free bantering between Mikoyan and Khrushchev. Mr. Harriman suggested that if Mikoyan became too obstreperous, Khrushchev should send him to the United States rather than Siberia. Mikoyan stated that it was too late to send him to Siberia as that was no longer permitted. Kozlov and Khrushchev, however, stated that between them they could make an exception of Mikoyan. However, Mr. Khrushchev added, what is the good of sending Mikoyan to Siberia? We would merely have to clothe and feed him. It seemed apparent that Mikoyan is the second in a double leadership. Frequently Khrushchev referred to decisions of "Anastas and myself", e.g., the selection of Kozlov as successor.
Asked whether in the secret speech at the 20th Party Congress a passage relating to foreign affairs had been omitted from the public published version, Mr. Khrushchev replied, "That speech was written not by me but by Allen Dulles."/22/
/22/Documentation on the efforts of the Department of State to exploit Khrushchev's secret speech to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party on February 25, 1956, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1955 - 1957, vol. XXIV, pp. 56 ff.
However, he admitted later that undoubtedly foreign diplomats dealing with Stalin had shared some of the difficulties in international affairs which Stalin's Soviet subordinates had suffered in internal questions.
Asked whether he found it difficult to make 150 speeches every year, Khrushchev said many are speeches of greetings or farewell. Speeches on developments within the Soviet Union, he said, wrote themselves and were a pleasure rather than a burden to make.
During the last hours of the discussion, Mr. Harriman frequently suggested he leave, knowing that the Soviet leaders were very busy. However, Mr. Khrushchev insisted that he stay on and discuss problems in greater detail. "Our working day is over and we are ready to spend all night talking with you." When eventually Mr. Harriman got up to leave at 10:30, Mr. Khrushchev stood in front of the door for at least 15 minutes preventing him from leaving while he continued his talk.
Despite the roughness of Mr. Khrushchev's language and the toughness of the position he took on many issues, he was most genial throughout the evening, smiling incessantly, proposing toasts frequently--chiefly in cognac which he drank liberally--and constantly flattering Mr. Harriman as a great capitalist. "Since workers in the United States have no rights, we like to talk to a great capitalist like yourself, particularly because we know of your good works during the war." Comparing him to Eisenhower, he stated, "You talk with authority and not as a lackey, and that is why we have been so glad to receive you."
Eventually at 10:45 the party ,broke up. Mr. Khrushchev stated that he would announce to the press only that the conversation had taken place in a warm and friendly atmosphere. He requested that no mention be made of the hedgehog as hedgehogs had a somewhat special and embarrassing connotation in Russia.
For the Ambassador:
Robert I. Owen First Secretary of Embassy
76. Despatch From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/6 - 2959. Secret; Limit Distribution.
No. 739 Moscow, June 29, 1959.
Conversation with Khrushchev
Supplementing my telegram #2665,/1/ the following points developed in my conversation with Khrushchev on the occasion of the luncheon given for Averell Harriman on June 25.
/1/Telegram 2665 from Moscow, June 26, reported Thompson's conversation with Khrushchev on the Berlin question; for text, see vol. VIII, Document 420.
During the course of the luncheon Khrushchev talked about the current Plenum of the Central Committee and said that in addition to the members of the Central Committee there were about 700 Communist and Government officials attending. I raised the question of the decentralization of industry and observed that a lot of their plans still appeared to be on paper. I also said it seemed to me that 104 was an unwieldy number of Councils of National Economy. Khrushchev agreed on both points and said their plans called for a consolidation of the existing Councils of National Economy, but said this would have to be done gradually. He also said they would further decentralize the operation of the economy but could not do this until their production reached higher levels. The present system did not sufficiently develop local initiative but until they had bigger margins to work with they could take no chances by not keeping tight control in Moscow.
In the course of this conversation Khrushchev remarked that both Bulganin and Kaganovich/2/ had supported him in his plan to decentralize. He said Molotov was opposed and that in general both Molotov and Kaganovich were opposed to any innovations or changes in the system.
/2/Lazar Moiseevich Kaganovich, who was expelled from the Presidium and the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party in June 1957 as a member of the "anti-Party" opposition group.
There was a good deal of banter across the table between Khru-shchev, Mikoyan and Kozlov. At one point Harriman asked if Khru-shchev were not worried that we would try to keep Kozlov in America./3/ Later on Harriman said that if Khrushchev came we would really make an effort to hold him. When Mikoyan said this would be a splendid idea, Khrushchev said that it was perfectly clear why Mikoyan supported this idea as he was after Khrushchev's job. Although said with a smile, one could not help but think the remark made Mikoyan uncomfortable.
/3/See Document 78.
At another point in the conversation Harriman made some remark about their completing the Seven Year Plan in five years. Khrushchev said that there was one thing he did not need to worry about as this would not happen. In discussing planning, Khrushchev said their Seven Year Plan was merely an outline of a general direction since science and technology were developing so fast today that it was impossible to plan accurately seven years in advance. He referred to the tendency of the industrial ministries and other economic units to demand resources three or four times in excess of their needs but said that despite this their plans had worked out fairly well. He said this had been possible despite the fact that the Soviet Union was surrounded by American bases.
In connection with the opening of the American Exhibition, he said he had to leave for Poland on July 14 and did not plan to return until July 23 or 24. He said he would arrange his schedule, however, to be sure to be here for the opening of our Exhibition. He spoke as though he dreaded the Polish trip as he said the Poles would insist on his doing a lot of traveling and speaking, which was very tiring. He looked to be in better health than the last time I had seen him, but obviously is beginning to find he does not have the energy he once had.
I shall submit a separate report supplementing that part of our conversation which related to the German and Berlin questions./4/
/4/Llewellyn Thompson Transmitted in despatch 741 from Moscow, June 29. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/6 - 2959)
77. Memorandum of Conversation
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/7 - 1059. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Boster, initialed by Kohler, and approved by Calhoun on July 16.
Washington, July 10, 1959.
Harriman - Khrushchev Conversations
Mr. Averell Harriman The Secretary of State Mr. C. Douglas Dillon, Under Secretary of State Mr. Robert Murphy, Deputy Under Secretary of State Mr. Livingston T. Merchant, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Mr. Foy D. Kohler, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs SOV--D. E. Boster
After expressing regret at the leaking of information concerning his interview with Khrushchev,/1/ Mr. Harriman said he very much hoped that there would be no disclosure on one inference he had drawn from the talks--his conclusion from the clear distinction Khrushchev had made in talking of Soviet "rocket" progress--that the Soviets did not have much confidence in the present capability of their long range missiles./2/ He recalled that Khrushchev early in his conversation had referred to Soviet ability to destroy European cities and U.S. overseas bases but had not included American cities in these statements. Later, he had boasted that if the Soviets spent 30 billion rubles on ballistic missiles over the next five or six years, they could destroy every industrial center in Europe and the United States. He thought that disclosure of this conclusion would be damaging to us if the Europeans thus gained the impression that we felt secure from devastation while they were not.
/1/See Document 74.
/2/See Document 75.
Mr. Harriman said he felt that Khrushchev's performance had been all bluff. But he was a man of many misapprehensions who might over-play his hand. Although we should not take too seriously his flamboyant arrogance, it was true that Khrushchev thought he had us over the barrel tactically (an idea which Mr. Harriman repeatedly emphasized). He thought that he could end our rights in Berlin by signing a piece of paper, and we would be the ones to move our tanks and accept the onus of war./3/ He also undoubtedly reasoned that we had not had the courage to act with force in 1948 and would not have it again today.
/3/The record of Harriman's conversation with Khrushchev on Berlin were transmitted in telegrams 2653 and 2665 from Moscow, printed in vol. VIII, Documents 417 and 420.
Mr. Harriman said he felt that Khrushchev had probably made some commitment to help Ulbricht/4/ in East Germany and was anxious to have us concede some acceptance of the reality of East Germany as part of a deal with the Soviets. Khrushchev did not take seriously our protestations that we really want German reunification. Mr. Harriman said he would like to see us get out of the negotiations over Berlin and move into disarmament negotiations. He thought this might be fruitful as there have been indications that Khrushchev felt his armaments were costing too much.
/4/Walter Ulbricht, First Deputy Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic.
Khrushchev had seemed in good health, Mr. Harriman observed. He had drunk a great deal and had eaten everything, although sparingly.
Mr. Harriman indicated his feeling that a summit conference might be a good idea. Khrushchev was a genial personality and would enjoy it. The President, too, might enjoy it if the conference were not taken too seriously. Some progress might be made in disarmament, he thought.
There were two points that he had emphasized to Khrushchev, Mr. Harriman said. First, that the American people, both Republicans and Democrats, were solidly behind the President; and, secondly, that he could not take Khrushchev's statements seriously. He had told Khru-shchev that he had seen the great things the Soviets were doing and he could not believe he would jeopardize this. He had assiduously refrained, Mr. Harriman said, from probing Khrushchev on any points but he thought it would be desirable for the Vice President/5/ to be primed to do this.
/5/See Document 92.
Mr. Harriman said he would summarize his main impressions as these: (1) Khrushchev's present lack of confidence in his missiles; (2) his desire to bolster the East German regime; (3) the possibility of progress in disarmament. His advice, he said, would be to keep the conversations going with the Soviets and not to issue ultimatums to them, as Khrushchev was an impetuous man whose reaction to ultimatums might be unpredictable.
Mr. Harriman criticized Chancellor Adenauer for his overly-rigid views on the current German problem--he wanted everything and would give up nothing. Adenauer believed that Moscow and Peiping were suspicious of one another, that the Soviet virgin lands were a dust bowl, and that Soviet industrial strength was highly over-rated.
Replying to the Secretary's question as to whether he though Kozlov was the heir apparent, Mr. Harriman said he did. He quoted Khru-shchev as saying that this was a point on which he and Mikoyan were agreed. "We have decided on our successor--Kozlov," he had said. Khrushchev had been very definite about this, Mr. Harriman thought.
Mr. Harriman recounted an episode which had impressed him. When he had suggested to Khrushchev that if Mikoyan caused too much trouble he should be sent to the United States instead of to Siberia, Mikoyan emphatically interjected that it was no longer possible to be sent to Siberia. This had impressed Mr. Harriman as sincere, and he felt in general that the one encouraging thing he had seen in the USSR had been this greater sense of relaxation.
The Secretary asked if Mr. Harriman thought that water was a problem for the Soviets in the virgin lands. Mr. Harriman said he thought it was but that the Soviets were attacking the problem in a number of ways and were having some success with their method of holding snow cover during the winter.
Mr. Murphy asked Mr. Harriman's impression about Soviet relations with Communist China. Mr. Harriman replied that Khrushchev had been very upset at Senator Humphrey for suggesting that these relations were not good./6/ Khrushchev had pointed to China's plans for expanding food production and had noted that, if there were still trouble, the Soviets could always cut down some of the vast timber lands that Harriman had seen to help feed China.
/6/ Humphrey met with Khrushchev in Moscow on December 1; see vol. VIII, Document 84.
Mr. Harriman returned again to his concern at the seriousness of the leak of his conversation, suggesting that he perhaps would not be permitted to return to the Soviet Union. The Secretary said that we shared his concern but were convinced the leak had not been from the Department. Mr. Murphy asked if Mr. Harriman had any evidence to believe the leak had come from the Department and Mr. Harriman said he had not except that he had assumed it was on the basis of the notes he had left with Ambassador Thompson. Mr. Merchant assured him that this could not have been the case as these notes had not left his desk until after the publication of the Alsop article. It was agreed that the leak must have been on the basis of the earlier cables received on this subject from Moscow.
In leaving, Mr. Harriman adverted again to a summit meeting, indicating that Khrushchev had told him to tell the President that he would not come to such a meeting to endorse the status quo but would come to a meeting to have a good time and enjoy it.
JUNE - JULY 1959: VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES OF FROL R. KOZLOV
78. Editorial Note
Frol R. Kozlov, First Deputy Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers, visited the United States June 28 - July 13. First word of the impending visit came from Richard H. Davis, Charge in Moscow, who reported in telegram 2375 from Moscow, May 26, that Acting Foreign Minister Vasiliy Kuznetsov had just told him that Kozlov would open the Soviet National Exhibition of Science, Technology, and Culture in New York in late June and would spend about 2 weeks in the United States. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/5 - 2659)
During the next month, U.S. and Soviet officials held numerous conversations in Washington to discuss Kozlov's tentative itinerary and security arrangements. U.S. officials believed that the Soviet leadership regarded Kozlov's visit in part as reciprocal to Vice President Richard M. Nixon's trip to the Soviet Union scheduled to begin in late July. While Secretary of State Christian A. Herter did not want to establish any direct connection between the Kozlov and Nixon visits, he recognized that treatment accorded Kozlov would undoubtedly affect the reception Nixon would receive in the Soviet Union. (Secto 254 from Geneva, June 17; ibid., 033.6111/6 - 1759) Department of State officials from the outset wanted to accommodate as many Soviet requests concerning Kozlov's visit as possible. William S. B. Lacy, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for East-West Exchange, was designated coordinator for U.S. Government arrangements connected with the visit. (Memorandum from Kohler to Dillon, June 2; ibid., 033.6111/6 - 259)
Lacy had several talks on Kozlov's upcoming visit with Soviet Ambassador Mikhail A. Menshikov. Memoranda of their conversations on June 5, 9, 10, 15, and 20 are ibid., 033.6111/6 - 559, 033.6111/6 - 959, 033.6111/6 - 1059, 033.6111/6 - 1559, and 033.6111/6 - 2059, respectively. Memoranda of Lacy's conversations with Soviet Charge Mikhail N. Smirnovsky on June 23 and 24 are ibid., 033.6111/6 - 2359 and 033.6111/ 6 - 2459. A memorandum of Smirnovsky's June 25 conversation with John M. McSweeney, who had been designated the senior Department of State official to accompany Kozlov during his stay in the United States is ibid., 033.6111/6 - 2559. Memoranda of their two conversations on June 26 are ibid., 033.6111/6 - 2659, and a memorandum of Menshikov's telephone conversation to McSweeney later that same day is ibid.
In a memorandum to the President, June 27, Acting Secretary of State Robert Murphy summarized the conclusions of the Department of State concerning Kozlov's visit and its potential significance for future U.S.-Soviet relations:
"We believe the reason for his visit is: (1) to reciprocate the Vice President's visit to the U.S.S.R.; (2) to estimate U.S. official and unofficial opinion on resolve to preserve our position in Berlin and elsewhere; and (3) to broaden his own experience.
"Kozlov is a trusted deputy of Khrushchev and appears to be regarded by the latter as his "heir apparent". Because we may find ourselves dealing with Kozlov in future years we think we could make the best use of his visit by trying to give him as clear a picture as we possibly can of basic U.S. national objectives." (Eisenhower Library, Staff Secretary Records, International Series)
Along with this memorandum, Murphy enclosed a paper providing talking points for Kozlov's proposed call on the President, a biographical sketch of Kozlov, and his tentative itinerary.
A briefing book, containing position papers on major political issues and bilateral questions, is in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1408. Copies of correspondence concerning the visit, memoranda of Kozlov's conversations with U.S. officials, and a chronology of his travels is ibid., CF 1409. A detailed chronology of Kozlov's visit, prepared on July 20 by McSweeney and Heyward Isham, who also accompanied the Kozlov party on its tour, contains the names of those Americans who hosted Kozlov's visits and their brief summaries of Kozlov's reactions to the places he visited and the events he attended. (Ibid., Central Files, 033.6111/7 - 1359)
Kozlov and his party arrived in New York at 11:20 a.m. on June 28. On the next morning, he inspected the Soviet Exhibition. President Eisenhower, accompanied by Vice President Nixon, Secretary of Commerce Lewis L. Strauss, Under Secretary of State C. Douglas Dillon, and Ambassador to the United Nations Henry Cabot Lodge, arrived in New York at 4 p.m. for a preview of the Exhibition, and were welcomed to the Soviet Exhibition by Kozlov. A copy of the President's short letter to Kozlov of June 30, thanking him for his courtesy, is ibid., Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1409. Eisenhower left the exhibition at 5 p.m. and Kozlov formally opened the Soviet Exhibition at 6 p.m. For texts of the brief addresses of Kozlov and Nixon at this opening ceremony, see The New York Times, June 30, 1959.
On Tuesday, June 30, Kozlov drove to Philadelphia and in the afternoon flew to Washington. At 10 a.m. on July 1, he met with Secretary Herter. A memorandum of their conversation on the Berlin situation is in volume VIII, Document 422. At 11:15 a.m., he met with President Eisenhower; see Document 79. Following lunch with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kozlov met with Vice President Nixon; see Document 80. On July 2, Kozlov visited the Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, and gave a speech at a luncheon sponsored by the Overseas Press Club and the National Press Club. For text of his speech, see The New York Times, July 3, 1959. In the afternoon he went sightseeing in the Washington area.
The next morning, Livingston T. Merchant, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, saw Kozlov off at the airport in Washington for his flight to Sacramento, California. A part of their memorandum of conversation is printed as Document 81. The portion of the memorandum of conversation on Berlin is printed in volume VIII, Document 425. Subsequently, Kozlov visited San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Shippingport, Pennsylvania, before returning to New York on the afternoon of July 11.
Kozlov held a press conference on Sunday, July 12, summarized in The New York Times on July 13. A memorandum of his conversation with W. Averell Harriman on July 12 at 6:30 p.m. is printed as Document 86. A memorandum of his conversation with Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Murphy at 9 p.m. is printed as Document 87. Kozlov left for Moscow by airplane very early the next morning. For text of his letter to President Eisenhower, July 13, thanking the President for his and the Americans' hospitality and the President's July 14 reply, see Department of State Bulletin, August 3, 1959, pages 157 - 158.
On July 15, McSweeney and Isham prepared a four-page summary of Kozlov's visit and a report giving their observations on Kozlov's personality. (Both in Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/7 - 1359) Their evaluation of his visit, prepared on July 16, is printed as Document 90. Intelligence Report No. 8067, "Kozlov's American Tour: June 28 - July 13, 1959," which the Bureau of Intelligence and Research prepared on August 7 is in National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, OSS - INR Reports.
Additional documentation on Kozlov's visit, including memoranda of his conversations with state and local officials outside the Washington, D.C., area, are in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1408 - 1409, and Central File 033.6111.
79. Memorandum of Conversation
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Staff Secretary Records, International Series. Secret. Drafted by Akalovsky. The meeting was held at the White House. Another copy of the memorandum indicates that the White House approved it on July 14. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/7 - 159)
Washington, July 1, 1959, 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Kozlov's Call on The President
U.S.--The President, The Secretary of State, Mr. J.M. McSweeney and Mr. A. Akalovsky
USSR--F.R. Kozlov, M.A. Menshikov, A.A. Soldatov, and V.M. Sukhodrev (interpreting)
The President opened the conversation by saying that he had just come from his press conference./1/ He explained that the President's press conference is similar to the questioning of prime ministers in countries with parliamentary systems. He indicated that some of the questions asked by the newspaper men may be embarrassing.
/1/For the transcript of Eisenhower's July 1 press conference, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959, pp. 488 - 497.
Mr. Kozlov replied that press conferences are also used frequently in the Soviet Union and that Soviet leaders, particularly Mr. Khrushchev, have frequent press conferences. He added that during Marshal Stalin's time this method of acquainting the population with current developments had not been used and that he thought that this was unfortunate, since he believed that the public at large should be informed.
The President said that during the press conference the question of the paintings to be sent to the Moscow Exhibition/2/ had been raised. He said that those paintings, or at least most of them, represented an extreme form of modernism and that some of them are even unintelligible to the average eye; some of the paintings were satirical or even lampooning. The newspaper men had asked him why he personally had not participated in the selection of paintings. The President observed that the committee that had selected the paintings was apparently not much interested in public taste. The public at large, at least 95 per cent of the population, would approve the type of paintings he had seen at the Soviet Exhibit. He said that the committee represented a thin stratum of artists, or at least of people who call themselves artists and who believe that they are the ones who interpret America. The President asked Mr. Kozlov what his view was on this subject.
/2/Reference is to the American National Exhibition that was scheduled to open in Moscow in late July.
Mr. Kozlov replied that he would certainly see the paintings in question in Moscow and that he would inform the President of his reaction to them. As far as modern art was concerned, in the Soviet Union as in the United States, the public cannot understand it, and even artists themselves frequently cannot understand it. He recalled that when he had visited the Brussels Exhibition/3/ he had seen an abstract painting. He had asked the woman guide to explain what the painting represented, but she could not. It was someone else's decision, she said, to show the picture. Of course, Mr. Kozlov said, he was not an expert on art and could not judge the value of modern art, but he could say that the general public does not understand it. He also recalled that in Brussels he had seen some "normal" pictures and he liked them; because such pictures can be understood by the average people.
/3/Reference is to the Brussels Exhibition held April 17 - October 19, 1958.
The President said that the opinion of the masses would probably be the same both in the Soviet Union and in the United States, because Mr. Kozlov represented the non-artists in the Soviet Union, just as he represented the non-artists' opinion in the United States. So he thought that he knew what Mr. Kozlov's reaction would be.
The President then recalled that in his early youth he had lived on a farm, in a beef and grain area. When he was in the Soviet Union in 1945/4/ and visited some collective farms he talked the same language with the workers because their problems at that time had been the same as he had experienced at his farm in his youth. As a result of the war the farms in the Soviet Union had been deprived of farming implements and the workers were very much concerned with improving the yield, raising the number of cattle, etc.
/4/Regarding Eisenhower's visit to the Soviet Union in August 1945, see Crusade in Europe (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1948), pp. 459 - 467.
Mr. Kozlov agreed that immediately after the war the collective farms in the Soviet Union did not have much mechanical equipment but observed that now agriculture in the USSR is mechanized. For instance, 100 per cent of wheat is harvested with mechanized equipment and harvesting of corn is also being mechanized. In this connection he noted that corn in the United States is of excellent quality.
Mr. Kozlov admitted that there had been a defect in Soviet agriculture which now has been corrected, i.e., crops had been prescribed from above. At Mr. Khrushchev's initiative free crop planning has been introduced; in other words, everyone is free to cultivate the type of crop that is most suitable for his land. As a result of this, the peasants now live better and are much happier. Mr. Kozlov also noted the fact that 3.6 million hectares of virgin land have been cultivated in the Soviet Union and that this had saved the Soviet Union during the drought in 1957, when the Volga and the land in the south of Russia were very dry. He recalled the big famine of 1921, when the Soviet Union had to buy wheat from the United States with gold taken from churches, because it was the only way out.
The President commented that the Soviet Union might find itself one day in the same situation in which the United States is now. That is, where the United States has great surpluses of wheat, corn, tobacco, peanuts, cotton and other agricultural commodities. The storage alone of these commodities costs $1,000,000,000 a year. The President said that one of our biggest problems was what to do with these surpluses, how to supply other countries that are in need of such commodities without undermining the markets of other exporting countries. For this reason, the United States' exports of agricultural surpluses are limited to such countries as do not have the means to buy such commodities from, for example, Canada, Argentine, etc.
Mr. Kozlov stated that the Soviet Union would not reach such a stage very soon, if ever. He said that the Soviet Union is a very large country and that all of its resources can be utilized by converting one commodity into another so as to raise the standard of living of the people. However, the Soviet Union always has reserves of grain and other foodstuffs for emergency cases. The Soviet Union has now started a big program for increasing the production of milk and butter. The Soviet Union wants to compete with its great and mighty partner, the United States, in the production of milk, butter, and meat. For this reason it intends to treble its livestock. Great emphasis is also placed on corn. In this connection good contacts have been established with one of the outstanding American farmers, Mr. Garst./5/ Mr. Kozlov expressed the hope that Secretary Herter will not exert any pressure on Mr. Garst because of his contacts with the Soviet Union.
/5/Roswell Garst, an Iowa farmer, had played a leading role in organizing exchange visits between Soviet and U.S. farmers and had met Khrushchev in Moscow.
The President observed that he loves corn, and that it is his favorite cereal. He said that he loves corn bread, corn cakes, and all other products of corn.
Mr. Kozlov retorted by saying this made the President a great friend of Mr. Khrushchev's who also is a great lover of corn and who always mentioned it, whatever the topic of his speech. Therefore, the President should meet with Mr. Khrushchev and discuss corn directly with him. True, Mr. Kozlov observed, he could not say at what level this meeting should take place but still this common interest would be a good basis for a meeting.
The President said that if only the United States and the Soviet Union, which both are great powers, could work [in] parallel rather than engage in disputes because of their different ideology, this would be a great force for the betterment of the entire world. The genius and inventiveness of the Russian people can be seen at the New York Exhibition, while Mr. Kozlov would see the genius and inventiveness of the American people on his trip. So the problem was to direct the minds of our two peoples toward the same objective. The President noted that he was not putting the blame on anyone or assessing the blame but rather making an observation.
Mr. Kozlov stated that life would be indeed wonderful if our two countries could revive their World War II comradeship-in-arms. He recalled his visit on the previous day to the construction site of the United States atomic ship Savannah/6/ and said that American engineers there had expressed great interest in the achievements of Soviet technology. He suggested that by exchanging the experience gained from such projects as the Savannah and the Soviet atomic icebreaker Lenin a great deal of good could be done to both countries. There were many things in common between our two countries, and the struggle for peace was one of them. Of course, there were differences of opinion between our two countries on certain problems but if we adopted a realistic approach they could be resolved. For instance, the Berlin question could be resolved peacefully, through negotiation. However, he did not want to elaborate on this question because he had done this in a conversation with Mr. Herter earlier in the day./7/ Mr. Kozlov continued by saying that it was a horrifying thought that our two countries could use their military potential to destroy each other; this would be a catastrophe for mankind. Therefore, he wanted to associate himself to the President's view that our two countries should work parallel. The Soviet Union realized that certain differences do exist between our two countries: the Soviet Union is a socialist country while the United States is a capitalist country. However, they are far apart geographically so that our peoples can live under their respective systems. One way to broaden the cooperation between our two countries would be to expand trade. However, the United States seems to be unwilling to do that. For instance, American chemical industry is willing to sell to the Soviet Union but the Department of State has refused to issue the necessary export license. Mr. Kozlov stated that he wanted to emphasize the principle on which the policy of the Soviet Union is based is that of peaceful coexistence and to that principle the Soviet Union will always faithfully adhere.
/6/On June 30, Kozlov visited the Ideal Toy Corporation in Jamaica, New York, and the construction yards of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, New Jersey, where he inspected the nuclear- powered freighter Savannah.
/7/A memorandum of Herter's conversation with Kozlov on July 1 is printed in vol. VIII, Document 422.
The President expressed concurrence with Mr. Kozlov's statement and that he was delighted to hear it. He said that many American groups returning from the Soviet Union come to him and report that the Soviet people are very friendly and cordial. Many American groups have been in the Soviet Union--groups of professors, educators--and now there is a group of governors touring the Soviet Union./8/ All of these groups tell us that the people of the Soviet Union are just as devoted to peace as the people of the United States. Everybody knows that the American people do not want war. Therefore, our two countries should break this log jam in their relations and deal with each other in conciliatory terms.
/8/Nine U.S. governors toured the Soviet Union in early July. They had an interview with Khrushchev on July 7, reported in The Washington Post on July 8 and 9.
Mr. Kozlov said that he fully agreed with what the President had said and that this was not only his personal view but also that of the entire Soviet people. The problems existing between our two countries can be resolved only through negotiation and not through force. After all, what are our countries fighting about? If we take West Berlin, there are some 2.2 million people in that city and if they want the capitalist social order, that is all right with the Soviet Union. But the occupation regime in that city that has lasted for fourteen years should be terminated.
Mr. Kozlov reiterated that the Soviet Union has all natural resources, all chemical elements as indicated in Mendeleyev's chart; it is a country of colossal wealth. It is true, however, that the United States has developed the harnessing of its resources on a larger scale. Today there is a great deal of work to be done in the Soviet Union, particularly in Siberia, work which could take hundreds of years. Mr. Kozlov then recalled Mr. Averell Harriman's visit to Siberia/9/ where we went to see the 3.5 million k.w. power station on the Angara River that is now being constructed. Mr. Harriman had received permission to go to that area in spite of the fact that this is a closed zone. Mr. Harriman could see personally how this power station is being built and he was very much impressed with what he had seen. The power from that station would be used for the production of cellulose, synthetic fibres and aluminum.
/9/See Document 74.
If we take the Middle East, Mr. Kozlov continued, the cotton that is produced in Egypt is inferior to that produced in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union also has great reserves of oil and needs no oil from that area. Moreover, it could sell oil to the United States, but unfortunately the United States doesn't need it. The main problem of the Soviet Union is that it has no sufficient means to harness its natural wealth fast enough. It is also true that the living conditions in Siberia are more difficult than those in the United States, but people are used to them.
For all these reasons, Mr. Kozlov went on, why should our two countries fight each other? If we take the Berlin problem, it should be resolved by the Germans themselves. After all, it was they who twice imposed war on us, so why should we fight because of them? The Soviet Union is investing thousands of billions of rubles in the development of its industry; 104,000,000,000 rubles are being invested in the chemical industry alone. Therefore, if both of our countries should work in the same direction, wonderful relations between them would exist.
The President said that if this happened, this would open great prospects for advance for the entire world. Mr. Kozlov said what the Soviet Union is trying to do for its country could be done for the entire world. In other words, the Soviet challenge must be translated into concrete measures to improve the welfare of the people throughout the world. Therefore, the President said, he wanted to echo Mr. Kozlov's phrase, that our two countries have no reason, no excuse for war because they have so much to do. What has to be done now is to find a way how to do it better.
Mr. Kozlov expressed full agreement with the President's words.
The President expressed his hope that Mr. Kozlov would convey his good wishes for health and happiness to Mr. Khrushchev and his hope that ways could be found for fruitful negotiations as Mr. Kozlov had mentioned. The President also asked Mr. Kozlov to convey the same message to the Soviet people. Mr. Kozlov replied that he wanted to take this opportunity once again to convey to the President Mr. Khrushchev's best wishes for health and for the prosperity of the American people.
The President said that Mr. Kozlov would have a good time in the United States and that everybody would be ready to talk freely to him. In this connection he expressed satisfaction that Mr. Kozlov would visit Bohemian Grove in California, which is located in beautiful surroundings./10/
/10/A memorandum for the files, dated July 1, signed only "a." (presumably Ann Whitman) and initialed in the margin by Goodpaster, gave Eisenhower's reactions to this interview as follows:
"The President, in talking of his conversation with Deputy Premier Kozlov, said that first of all he liked the man--that he was frank and willing to state clearly the Russian positions. The President said what we have to do is to `thaw out' the Russian defenses. About Berlin we say we will never have our rights there diminished. The Russians say this is an illogical position. We admit it is illogical, but we will not abandon our rights and responsibilities--unless there is a way made for us to do so." (Eisenhower Library, Staff Secretary Records, USSR)
80. Memorandum of Conversation
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/7 - 159. Secret. Drafted by Akalovsky on July 6 and cleared by the Vice President's office on July 10. The meeting was held in Nixon's office.
Washington, July 1, 1959, 3:30 - 4:50 p.m.
Mr. Kozlov's Call on the Vice President
United States: The Vice President Mr. Kohler Mr. McSweeney Mr. Akalovsky (interpreting)
USSR: Mr. Kozlov Ambassador Menshikov Mr. Soldatov Mr. Sukhodrev (interpreting)
The Vice President opened the conversation by inquiring whether Mr. Kozlov had had a good time at the luncheon with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to which Mr. Kozlov replied in the affirmative. The Vice President commented on the very good press coverage that Mr. Kozlov had had in the American press. The Vice President expressed the view that, as he had said many times before, it was very important that both sides obtain good visibility of the situation and clarify the issues that are before them.
Mr. Kozlov agreed that it was very useful to define the issues and see where the "boundaries" in such issues lie. He also suggested that it would be useful to expand trade between the U.S. and USSR.
The Vice President said that with regard to trade he believed that it could be developed along with an increase in exchanges between the United States and the USSR.
Mr. Kozlov observed that the Soviet Union was particularly interested in buying from the United States technical equipment, such as chemical equipment, automatic machinery and textile machinery. On the other hand, the United States appeared to be interested in buying chrome ore, manganese ore, and other raw materials from the Soviet Union. He remarked that so far he had seen two American factories/1/ and that apparently the United States could learn something from the Soviet Union. Such exchange of experiences could be promoted by mutual purchases of individual equipment on the basis of barter trade.
/1/See footnote 6, Document 79.
The Vice President pointed out that, as Mr. Kozlov probably knew, one of the major problems was the difference in our two systems. The United States system was that of private enterprise and American free enterprise manufacturers would be extremely reluctant to engage in any trade without their patent rights being fully guaranteed.
Mr. Kozlov again reverted to the subject of chemical production and said that American exporters appeared to be having difficulties in obtaining export licenses; therefore it was not only up to the Soviet Union to promote trade but also up to the United States. He remarked that the Soviet Union trades with many countries, including Adenauer's Germany, notwithstanding the fact that the Soviet Union has no sympathy with Mr. Adenauer. Therefore differences in social systems should not be an obstacle to foreign trade. In this connection, he recalled the extensive trade between the Soviet Union and the United States before the war, and said that U.S. firms which had supplied equipment for the hydroelectric power station on the Dniepr as well as for the industrial facilities in Magnitogorsk had made good profit and that both sides had been very pleased with the situation. He said that he realized that differences between our two systems do exist and will exist, but nevertheless he believed that trade should be developed. For instance, the Soviet Union conducted trade with England; just recently an agreement had been signed providing for a chemical plant to be built in the Soviet Union by British firms./2/ This agreement had been concluded on a mutually advantageous basis in spite of the fact that the British and Soviet socio-political systems are different. Mr. Kozlov said he believed that the United States is an even more democratic country than England and, therefore, there should be no obstacles to trade between the United States and the USSR.
/2/Reference may be to contracts obtained by the British firms, Courtaulds Ltd. and Prinex Ltd., a subsidiary, in early 1959 to supply complete plants and technical processes to the Soviet Union for the manufacture of various synthetic materials.
The Vice President said that in order to have an understanding both sides would have to give. In this connection, he recalled Mr. Kozlov's and Mr. Khrushchev's comments on peaceful co-existence and stated that many of those comments could be understood as meaning that one side is saying that it should be free to do what it wants.
Mr. Kozlov replied that this was an incorrect interpretation of co- existence, and said that Mr. Khrushchev had supported a number of Mr. Nixon's statements which he had considered to be useful and constructive.
The Vice President said that what he meant was that there was a feeling that the Soviet Union insisted on having different rules applied to different sides. Of course, he observed, he realized that propaganda can sometimes create false impressions.
Mr. Kozlov noted that the Soviet Union was engaged in large-scale trade with West Germany, England and some 70 other countries, most of which are capitalist countries. He recalled that recently the Japanese Minister of Trade had visited the Soviet Union and displayed great interest in Soviet lumber and oil. All this, he said, indicated that differences in systems are not necessarily obstacles to trade.
The Vice President replied that he wanted to refer not only to trade but to a broader, diplomatic area. He said that it was not clear whether the Soviet Union, in speaking of peaceful co-existence and competition, pursued as its primary purpose the objective of strengthening its own country--to which the United States, of course, had no objection--or whether in addition to that, the Soviet Union wanted to extend its influence and domination to other parts of the world. The Vice President pointed out that he was not making any charges but simply wanted to explain how the problem appeared to many people in this country. Some people in the United States are saying that the Soviet Union is developing its own strength, but that in addition to that it has placed great emphasis on extending its influence and domination to other areas of the world, such as Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Vice President said that he realized that in raising this point he would not meet with complete agreement on Mr. Kozlov's part; just as had been the case when Mr. Mikoyan was in the United States. Nevertheless, it was important that this situation be understood by everyone.
Mr. Kozlov replied that he was aware of the situation mentioned by the Vice President and expressed the opinion it was due to a lack of confidence between the Soviet Union and the United States--confidence which actually should exist. He said that the Soviet Union has no interest in expanding its influence and domination, because it has everything in the way of materials needed for the development of its industry, such as bauxite, nickel, chrome, manganese and oil as well as other natural resources in the bowels of the earth within its boundaries. Moreover, practically all of Siberia is still undeveloped, and there is a great deal of work to be done there. The Soviet Union has to exert great efforts to catch up with the United States in developing natural resources. The Soviet Union, Mr. Kozlov continued, has rich deposits of oil as well as excellent cotton and other materials. For this reason the Soviet Union has no economic interest in Iraqi oil. As far as cotton is concerned, Soviet cotton is superior to Egyptian, and it was only for humanitarian reasons that the Soviet Union had bought cotton from Egypt--it simply wanted to assist Egypt, which is an underdeveloped country--in promoting its foreign trade./3/ Mr. Kozlov then reiterated that the Soviet Union has all natural resources needed for industrial development, but that the harnessing of those resources had to be expanded in order to bring it up to the level reached by the United States. One of the areas in which this had to be done was in the field of chemical industry. Mr. Kozlov continued by saying that any talk of the Soviet Union's wanting to impose Communism on other people was propaganda--if the people themselves do not want Communism no one could impose it upon them. In this connection, he wanted to point out that the Soviet Union is rendering technical assistance in India,/4/ where a social system exists that is different from that of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union has no claim on India. It simply wants to assist the development of that country. He recalled that Mr. Harriman, during his visit to Moscow, had made very favorable comments with regard to the industrial combine which had been built by the Soviet Union in India, and which Mr. Harriman had seen while there. However, if India ever became a socialist country, it would require huge economic assistance for raising its standard of living. Mr. Kozlov said that he also wanted to point out that the Soviet Union had friendly relations with countries that had a totally different social system, such as, for instance, Afghanistan, Nepal and Ethiopia, which are monarchies. The relations between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union are most cordial, in spite of the fact that monarchy is almost tsarism, which, as everyone knows, is abhorred by the Soviet people even more than capitalism. The Emperor of Ethiopia is visiting the Soviet Union at this time./5/ Thus, the Soviet Union has good relations not only with socialist countries but also with countries having a different social system, such as India, Indonesia, Afghanistan, etc.
/3/An economic and technical agreement between the Soviet Union and Egypt signed in Moscow on January 29, 1958, provided, among other things, for a Soviet long-term loan, which Egypt would repay in part by supplying Egyptian goods, including cotton, to the Soviet Union.
/4/A 5-year trade agreement between the Soviet Union and India signed in Moscow on November 16, 1958, provided, among other things, for Soviet exports to India of industrial and power equipment, machinery, machine tools, tractors, and other products.
/5/Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, made an official visit to the Soviet Union June 29 - July 13.
In other words, the Soviet Union is not interested in expanding its borders or conquering new territories. Such relations are the true reflections of the principles of peaceful co-existence. The Soviet Union lives in peace with bourgeois India as well as with capitalist Finland. As far as Finland is concerned, the Soviet Union has no interest in swallowing that small country, and the fact that the Soviet Union has given up its base in Porkkala-Udd is evidence of the Soviet Union's peaceful intentions./6/ Moreover, the border between the Soviet Union and Finland is open and many Finns come to Leningrad just to go to the theater. The Finns sell butter and milk to the Soviet Union; although Finland is a small country, it has surplusses of these commodities. Thus, for instance, Mr. Kozlov continued, when he was in Finland two years ago the Finns told him that they wanted to sell their butter surplusses to the Soviet Union, a total of 1,000 tons. This was a rather small amount, Mr. Kozlov continued, sufficient to supply the population of Leningrad with butter for two breakfasts, and so, with Mr. Mikoyan's agreement, the butter was bought.
/6/In September 1955, the Soviet Union and Finland signed an agreement providing for the return to Finland of the Porkkala naval base, which Finland had leased to the Soviet Union in 1947 for 50 years.
The Vice President stated that this was a subject which could be discussed at length. However, he merely wanted to point out that he had traveled to 52 countries of the world, and that the Soviet Union would be the 53rd country. In many of those countries he had seen evidence of very intensive propaganda which could not be called peaceful co- existence. He said that he realized that the Voice of America has been charged with engaging in propaganda that the Soviets do not consider peaceful either--and this point had been raised by Mr. Mikoyan with the Vice President/7/--but that during his visit in Latin America/8/ he had seen evidence indicating that Radio Moscow had urged the population of those countries to engage in hostile demonstrations against the Vice President of the United States. Of course, this was a personal experience, and he realized that demonstrations occasionally go in the other direction too, but the main point is that on both sides there must be mutual recognition that both the United States and the Soviet Union are strong economically and militarily, and that it is necessary to avoid words and actions outside which tend to inflame the population against certain countries.
/7/See Document 61.
/8/Nixon made a good will tour of eight South American countries April 27 - May 15, 1958.
Mr. Kozlov expressed full agreement with the Vice President's latter statement but noted that he could not agree that Radio Moscow had incited people in Latin America against the President or the Vice President of the United States; the Vice President must have received fabricated information. On the contrary, the Soviet press had carried very favorable articles about the Vice President. True, the Vice President has a different ideology, but his approach to problems is rational, particularly with regard to cooperation between nations. This fact had also been noted by Khrushchev, at least on two occasions.
The Vice President said he wanted to discuss the situation in a somewhat different context. He remarked that his attitude to the military strength of the USSR and the United States may be somewhat different from the attitude taken by some other people, and that what he wanted to say was that one could read statements (although these are not made by the President, the Vice President or the Secretary of State) to the effect that the United States has a military potential of destroying any aggressor. At the same time, there are statements by Mr. Khrushchev to the effect that the Soviet Union has missiles and bombs capable of destroying any enemy of the Soviet Union. Now his attitude was, the Vice President continued, that there is no sense in arguing who has more missiles or more bombs; what is important is that there be a mutual understanding that neither side should get such advantages as would force the other side to diplomatic surrender or would assure to a great extent the military destruction of the other side without that side having enough military potential left to return the blow. The Soviet Union is a strong nation both militarily and economically and its people are determined to protect their homeland. On the other hand, the people of the United States are also determined to protect their homeland--this should be realized by both sides.
Mr. Kozlov said that he agreed with the Vice President and stated that no objective would be justified in a future war. The Soviet Union knows that the United States is a mighty country; it knows that the United States has H-bombs. Of course, the United States knows that the reverse is also true. Therefore, if the United States should send its aircraft with H-bombs to drop such bombs in the Soviet Union and should the Soviet Union fire its missiles on the United States, this would cause great damage to the Soviet Union--that is true. But the Soviet Union knows that it will destroy the enemy. Soviet missiles are ready for launching; they are in mass production now, which means they are produced one after another.
However, the Soviet people are against war. Mr. Kozlov recalled that within his and his wife's family 10 persons had been killed during the last war and that there was no family in the USSR that had not suffered losses in one form or another during the past two wars. For this reason the Soviet people value their achievements and love their country, just as the American people love theirs. But the Soviet people will fight staunchly if they have to.
Mr. Kozlov then suggested that the Soviet Union and the United States should engage in peaceful competition in various areas of human endeavor. For instance, they could compete in the field of corn. In this connection, he wanted to note the useful contacts that had been established between one of the outstanding American corn producers, Mr. Garst, and the Soviet organizations concerned./9/ The United States and the Soviet Union could also compete in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy. During his visit to the construction site of the U.S. atomic ship Savannah, American engineers had given Mr. Kozlov very useful and broad information, for which he wanted to express his thanks, but at the same time they showed great interest in Soviet experiences gained in connection with the construction of the Soviet atomic ice- breaker Lenin. American engineers felt that there was much they could learn from Soviet engineers.
See footnote 5, Document 79.
Mr. Kozlov continued by saying that the Soviet Union did not object to criticism by Americans, and recalled in this connection the fact that Mr. Harriman had noted that a great shortage of housing still existed in the Soviet Union. Mr. Harriman was right, but one should take into account the fact that the United States had no war on its territory, while the Soviet Union's territory was devastated during the last war.
Mr. Kozlov said he wanted to emphasize that, not only as a representative of the Soviet Government but as a Russian citizen, he knew the peaceful feelings of the Soviet people, but he also knew that if something should happen they would sweep away the enemy. For this reason, both the Soviet Foreign Ministry--and here Mr. Kozlov said he was not patting the back of his own Foreign Ministry--and the United States State Department should be more flexible in their approaches to various problems, because this is the essence of co-existence.
The Vice President interjected that flexibility means giving on both sides.
The Vice President said that he wanted to suggest two points with regard to Mr. Kozlov's present visit. He said that he believed that even if Mr. Kozlov went back home without any changes in the Soviet position, his visit would have been a useful one. Also, he wanted to suggest one variation to Mr. Kozlov's program in the United States. He believes that the present program places too great an emphasis on meeting the American big businessmen and that greater emphasis should be placed on meetings with wage-earners, workers and farmers, so as to give Mr. Kozlov an opportunity to meet American people at large. This, the Vice President said, was based on his own experience during his many trips to foreign countries.
The Vice President also said that he wanted to suggest that if some concrete result, however small, is obtained from Mr. Kozlov's visit to the United States, this would have a very favorable influence in the United States. Of course, he didn't expect the Berlin situation to be resolved, but there were smaller things as, for instance, the matter of travel restrictions. Mr. Kozlov's visit to Pittsburgh and other closed areas in the United States and his own trip to the Soviet Union could result in opening Soviet closed cities on the basis of reciprocity. This would influence the situation usefully.
Mr. Kozlov said that he had no disagreement with this suggestion and recalled Mr. Khrushchev's statement with regard to Mr. Harriman's visit that Mr. Harriman was free to go wherever he wanted to go. Of course, Mr. Harriman's visit was a private one, whereas the Vice President's would be an official visit. If the Vice President wanted to go to the Angara, this would be all right. The reason for Siberia being closed for foreign travel was not because the Soviet Union had secrets in that area but rather because it is a quite inaccessible area, difficult for travel. All doors would be open to the Vice President during his stay in the USSR. If he wanted to see the ice-breaker Lenin, or the atomic research institute in Dubno, or any of the new construction projects in the Soviet Union, that would be all right. The Vice President would be welcome everywhere. However, Mr. Kozlov said, the only advice he wanted to give to the Vice President was that he should gather his strength because the Soviet Union was larger than the United States and the distances are much greater. The Soviet Union has many places that the Vice President could visit.
The Vice President replied that he realized that there was no problem with regard to travel to closed areas on an individual basis. However, he said, that he believed that if this were to be formalized on a broader basis, this would have a very favorable effect on the Russian and American peoples. The Vice President observed that this question was under discussion between the two governments at the present time and that he was not trying to put Mr. Kozlov on the spot.
Mr. Kozlov agreed that expanded contacts would be useful. Referring to propaganda, Mr. Kozlov said that recently Mr. Gold, an American correspondent, and his wife had visited the Soviet Union and that Mr. Gold upon his return to the United States had published articles which could not be characterized as anything but slanderous. Mr. Gold had published his articles under such headlines as "Woman is the Work-Horse of Russia" and "What Mules Do in Spain, Women do in the Soviet Union"./10/ Such articles and headlines do not promote mutual understanding and improvement of mutual relations between the USSR and the United States.
/10/Not further identified.
Mr. Kozlov said that during his visit to the atomic ship Savannah he had seen several workers suffering from heat prostration, and that if someone used that fact for articles generalizing the working conditions in the United States this would be an unfair description of the situation and would be sheer propaganda. Contacts should serve the purpose of promoting better understanding between our two peoples. The United States has certain deficiencies and shortcomings, including shortcomings with regard to the atomic ship Savannah. And the Soviet Union also has certain shortcomings, but all this should not be used as an obstacle to improvement in mutual understanding between our two peoples.
The Vice President said he wanted to raise another point. He said that New York, where the Soviet exhibition is taking place, is a great cultural center of the United States, and that Leningrad, a city which Mr. Kozlov knows very well, is also one of the great cultural centers of the Soviet Union. Therefore, the Vice President continued, he hoped that Mr. Kozlov could use his influence in order to expedite the exchange between our two governments of consulates in these two cities.
Mr. Kozlov replied that this question was new to him and that it has to be studied. He apologized that he didn't know anything about it.
The Vice President pointed out that the point was that little yardage should be made first before long distances are covered. Therefore, concrete results in small limited areas should be an encouragement to people that the problem in greater areas could be resolved.
Mr. Kozlov replied that contacts are indeed very useful and the Soviet people know this very well. The Soviet Union is in favor of expanding contacts in all fields. In particular, he felt that an expansion of contacts in the artistic field would be very useful.
The Vice President said that he wanted to raise a last point. He referred to Mr. Macmillan's visit to the Soviet Union/11/ during which the representatives of the British press accompanying Mr. Macmillan were exempted from censorship. Some representatives of the American press will accompany the Vice President on his trip to the Soviet Union and it was our hope that there would be no discrimination of American press as against the British press. The Vice President expressed the belief that it is always better to have a broad coverage of visits such as that.
/11/Harold Macmillan made an official visit to the Soviet Union February 21 - March 3.
Mr. Kozlov replied that during Mr. Macmillan's visit to the Soviet Union the British press was very objective. The point raised by the Vice President would, of course, be discussed. Mr. Kozlov expressed the belief that by the time of the Vice President's arrival in the Soviet Union this problem would have been fully studied and resolved.
81. Memorandum of Conversation
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/7 - 359. Confidential. Drafted and initialed by Merchant.
Washington, July 3, 1959.
Mr. Frol Kozlov, Deputy Prime Minister USSR Mr. Merchant, Assistant Secretary EUR
While seeing Kozlov off at the airport and waiting for his plane to be refueled I had a conversation with him lasting nearly half an hour. No one was present throughout except his interpreter though newspapermen kept sidling up and attempting to eavesdrop. Toward the end Ambassador Menshikov joined us.
I opened by handing him the President's letter which he immediately opened and asked to have translated./1/ He expressed obvious pleasure and said it was a most thoughtful note of thanks for his pres-ents to the President and Mrs. Eisenhower. He asked that I communicate to the President his appreciation which I promised to do. He then noted that the painting he had given the President was entitled, "Spring," and that he hoped this was the breaking up of the ice of winter and would soon move into the summer of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States. I said that this was more dependent on actions and policies of the Soviet Union than it was on us.
/1/A copy of Eisenhower's July 1 letter to Kozlov is ibid., Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1409.
Kozlov then launched into an exposition of the importance of good relations between our two countries. He said that they were large and powerful like ourselves and wanted to live in peace. He emphasized the importance of developing trade. I said that we also desired only to live in peace but that there was more to it than trade. In so far as the latter was concerned I said that there was a very broad area in which trade was unrestricted and that I thought the low volume of commerce between our two countries was due to the fact that we were not particularly interested in what they had for export and that they were not particularly interested in consumer goods which formed the bulk of our exports. He said that they were interested in machinery and factories and that the British were supplying them as well as "our friend Adenauer."/2/ I said that patent difficulties were an obstacle but he did not reply to this point. He then went on to say that they had more materials than we had and as an example we lacked asbestos. I said that this was true but that our good friends in Canada had ample asbestos which represented a convenient and reliable source of supply.
/2/A trade agreement between the Soviet Union and West Germany signed in Moscow on April 8, 1958, provided, among other things, that during the period 1958 - 1960, the Soviet Union would place large orders for various kinds of machinery and equipment in West Germany.
I then changed the conversation by pointing to the view of the Capitol which he compared to a cathedral in Leningrad. We discussed architects of that period and I mentioned that our Capitol was now being rebuilt and in fact it had to be rebuilt after the British burned it in the War of 1812. Kozlov said that the Russians helped us in the War of 1812 (which he characterized as "our rebellion against the British") by bringing their fleet into San Francisco./3/ I said that my recollection was that at the time San Francisco was a part of Mexico. He denied this and after a little we dropped the argument.
/3/Kozlov was apparently thinking of the visit of the Russian fleet to San Francisco during the U.S. Civil War.
[Here follows discussion of the Berlin question, printed in volume VIII, Document 425.]
82. Memorandum of Conference With President Eisenhower
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Intelligence Matters. Top Secret. Prepared by Goodpaster.
Washington, July 8, 1959.
Secretary Herter Mr. Allen Dulles Mr. Bissell General Goodpaster
The President said he had asked for the meeting because he wanted to hear Mr. Herter's views about a proposal for a reconnaissance flight. He expressed his own concern over the possibility of getting involved in something costly and harmful.
Mr. Herter said that the intelligence objective in his view outweighs the danger of getting trapped. He noted that a single operation was being proposed. He recognized that there is always the chance of loss of the plane, but our experience has been very good. He had been much interested in the idea of a flight straight through, but understood that this was not practicable. Mr. Dulles confirmed this, commenting that the proposed flight will enter through one country and leave through another.
It was agreed that, in case of protest, we would defend ourselves with an absolute disavowal and denial on the matter.
Mr. Bissell said that the Soviets have a fighter which could probably zoom to the altitude of this plane.
The President then said that Khrushchev seems almost to be looking for excuses to be belligerent. By doing nothing he can put us in a terrible hole in Berlin. Holding the cards he does, he could very readily say that such an event as this marks the end of serious negotiations. There remains in the President's mind the question whether we are getting to the point where we must decide if we are trying to prepare to fight a war, or to prevent one.
After all the discussion, the President indicated that in view of the unanimous recommendation of the officials having the operating responsibility, he would assent to the operation being conducted.
Brigadier General, USA
83. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Herter
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, White House Telephone Conversations. Secret; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Herter.
Washington, July 8, 1959, 11:15 a.m.
The President telephoned to say he got a rather tough question in his press conference about what Khrushchev was supposed to have told the Governors yesterday to the effect that he wanted to come and see the United States and that nothing would be better for the world than President Eisenhower going to see Khrushchev./1/ The President said he had not known of this statement by Khrushchev but that it raised a lot of press query. The President said he had sort of stumbled around; that he didn't know exactly what to say. However, in this connection, the President said this was what he believed: he felt that if we are ever going to break the log jam, people like the Secretary and himself and Mr. Murphy and Mr. Dillon will have to give serious thought as to whether this might be a good move. The President said if he did this, he would rather go to Russia than have Khrushchev here, but, in any event, he wanted to point out that this question raised a lot of interest. The President said, after giving careful consideration to a question of a meeting between himself and Khrushchev, if we don't reach any answer we have got to have a good excuse for not doing it. The President said he has talked about misunderstandings with our Allies, the Satellites, etc., and that the people will wonder why he won't try to resolve misunderstandings with Russia.
/1/Regarding the visit of the U.S. governors to the Soviet Union, see footnote 8, Document 79. For the transcript of the President's press conference, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959, pp. 506 - 507.
/2/The newspaper accounts of the governors' meeting with Khrushchev printed in The Washington Post on July 8 were based only on the introductory remarks before their long private conversation and did not mention an exchange of visits. A full report of the interview, including the visit proposal, was published in The Washington Post on July 9.
The Secretary said Mr. Murphy has always felt the President should have a meeting with Khrushchev, but the business of how to bring it about is a difficult problem. The President said the only person who couldn't say anything is Macmillan since he saw Khrushchev himself./3/ The Secretary said it may well be that the outcome of the Geneva talks will be not a Summit, but a talk between the President and Khrushchev. The Secretary referred to the President's reference to Quebec as a possible site for a Summit meeting,/4/ and said should this work out, it might be difficult with Khrushchev so near, not to invite him to the U.S. The President said if he did this he would want to take him to Camp David where the visit would involve a minimum of protocol and their talks could be relaxed and informal.
/3/See footnote 10, Document 80.
/4/Not further identified.
The President asked that the Secretary give thought to this idea, and asked that for the moment the matter be kept within a very limited group in the State Department. The Secretary said he would hope to discuss this further with the President after NSC tomorrow./5/
/5/A memorandum of Herter's July 9 conference with President Eisenhower is printed in vol. VIII, Document 429.
84. Memorandum From Dorothy S. de Borchgrave to the Under Secretary of State (Dillon)
//Source: Department of State, Secretary's Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. No classification marking.
Washington, July 9, 1959.
Clarence Randall called and told me the following on the phone:
Yesterday in Chicago Inland Steel entertained Kozlov at luncheon. Kozlov turned to Mr. Block,/1/ the Chairman, and said "I want to buy steel. That is why I came to you today. I want to buy rolled sheets and I will pay you in gold". Mr. Block was caught unprepared with this question and said "I would have to have the clearance of the State Department". At this Mr. Kozlov blew his top and quite angrily said, "We are just getting a run around. Mr. Herter tells us to talk to the businessmen and you people just say you have to talk to the State Department".
/1/Joseph L. Block.
Mr. Randall would be glad to have your reactions and/or suggestions you may have for people in the steel industry who may get similar inquiries.
/2/Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials. Attached to the source text is a memorandum from Raymond L. Perkins (S/S - RO) to Edward T. Long (EUR) and Craig M. Stark (E), which identified "DB" as Dillon's secretary. Dorothy S. de Borchgrave was the only person with these initials serving in Dillon's office at this time.
85. Editorial Note
On July 10, President Eisenhower decided to extend an invitation to Chairman Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev for an exchange of visits between the two leaders. Memoranda of conferences between the President and Secretary of State Christian A. Herter on July 9 and 10, at which this decision was made, are printed in volume VIII, Documents 429 and 431.
The idea of inviting Khrushchev to visit the United States had occasionally been discussed by Department of State officials before 1959, usually in connection with a return visit by Eisenhower to the Soviet Union. Moreover, Soviet officials had hinted at their interest in an exchange of visits, and Eisenhower was frequently queried at his press conferences on the idea. Eisenhower consistently stated that he would go anywhere at any time if he felt it would serve the cause of peace. He did not commit himself any further, however, and the prospect of a Khrushchev visit did not make much progress until the summer of 1959.
In the first months of 1959, Eisenhower was constrained from pushing forward with an invitation in part because John Foster Dulles, in his last days as Secretary of State, continued to oppose a Khrushchev visit. Dulles spoke with the President on March 14 about the latter's idea of inviting Khrushchev to the United States. No record of their conversation has been found, but on the following day Dulles told Under Secretary of State Christian A. Herter and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Livingston T. Merchant, as recounted in a memorandum for the record by Joseph H. Greene, Jr., Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, that "he thought the effects of such an invitation would be to enhance the prestige of Khrushchev and of the Soviet Government and dangerously to undermine the NATO Alliance. Moreover, the Secretary could not imagine any issue on which Khrushchev would make a reliable agreement with us, and he thought that, even if we were to accept the Soviet idea of a bilateral deal to `divide up the world' and settle all its problems, the Soviets would only use this as a spring board for the further expansion of International Communism, not as an end to their aspirations."
Dulles added that since his conversation with the President it had also occurred to him that an invitation to Khrushchev would undermine Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's efforts to develop a personal relationship for himself, presumably to cater to proponents of detente at home, and he did not think "we should be sticky about letting Macmillan get whatever kudos he can by using the forms of `leadership', as long as we control the substance, because Macmillan's defeat in the British elections, and the advent of a Labor Government, would confront us with even greater problems than we now have." (Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers)
Nevertheless, support in the United States for a Khrushchev visit continued to mount. Following his talks with Khrushchev in Moscow in June 1959, Averell Harriman stated that he believed that Khrushchev was profoundly ignorant of the United States and that a visit to this country might help somewhat in correcting his misconceptions of the United States. (Life, July 13, 1959) Moreover, Kozlov's visit to the United States June 28 - July 13 took place without unpleasant incidents and seemed helpful in opening more meaningful discussion on contentious issues between the two countries. Vice President Richard M. Nixon's impending visit to the Soviet Union in late July further nourished speculation on an invitation to Khrushchev to visit the United States.
The initiative finally came from President Eisenhower, who asked the Department of State to look into the matter; see Document 83. Eisenhower's interest in the matter prompted his conferences with Herter on July 9 and 10 (cited above). At these meetings, Eisenhower proposed that Khrushchev visit him at Camp David prior to a meeting of the four heads of government in Quebec, which would be contingent upon progress in negotiations between the Foreign Ministers in Geneva. The result, the President thought, was supposed to be a qualified invitation to Khrushchev, which Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Robert D. Murphy delivered to Kozlov shortly before the latter's departure from the United States. See Documents 87 - 89.
The President had intended to impose the same conditions for a personal meeting with Khrushchev as for a four-power summit meeting, but Murphy and Under Secretary of State Dillon believed that the invitation conveyed through Kozlov to Khrushchev had been unqualified. A memorandum of the President's conference with Dillon and Murphy, July 22, on this misunderstanding is printed in volume VIII, Document 466. The President's recollection of this misunderstanding is printed in Waging Peace, pages 406 - 407.
86. Memorandum of Conversation
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/7 - 1259. Confidential. Drafted by Isham on July 22. The meeting was held at Harriman's residence at 16 East 81st Street. A typed notation on the source text reads: "Note: At this informal, private meeting arranged at Kozlov's request, notetaking by a Department officer seemed inappropriate. The following is based on notes made immediately after the conversation and a separate interview with Harriman."
New York, July 12, 1959.
Kozlov Visit: Interview with Averell Harriman
First Deputy Premier Kozlov Ambassador Menshikov Viktor Sukhodrev, Interpreter Mr. Harriman Admiral Kirk Heyward Isham, Department of State
1. Impressions of US
In response to Mr. Harriman's question, Kozlov said that his trip had been "very useful". The Gary works of the U.S. Steel and the Indiana Harbor works of Inland Steel represented "the last word in technology"; the Homestead District plant of U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, however, was obsolescent, having frightful dust and deplorable lighting./1/ In the USSR older plants like Homestead were scheduled for reconstruction. Harriman conceded that Homestead was of course one of the oldest steel plants in the US and inquired whether it was due for remodeling. Kozlov said he did not know but had the impression it was not, since he doubted that such an investment would be considered profitable by the company.
/1/Kozlov toured the Indiana Harbor Works of Inland Steel Co. in East Chicago, llinois, and the Gary Steel Works and Tube Mill of U.S. Steel Co. in Gary, Indiana, on July 8, and the Homestead Works of U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh on July 10.
Kozlov went on that he had not neglected light industry, having visited a toy plant near New York (the Ideal Toy Corporation, Jamaica)./2/ He had been interested to observe the large number of women employed at this factory. This observation led to a rather pointless debate, in which the Admiral joined, about the prevalence of female labor in the US as compared with the USSR. Kozlov first asserted it was about the same as in this country, but upon being challenged by Harriman, he admitted this might not be so, but in any case he had not meant to imply that there was anything wrong with a large female labor force.
/2/See footnote 6, Document 79.
/3/Admiral Alan G. Kirk, Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1949 to 1951.
Kozlov continued that earlier that day he had visited the Empire State Building, the subway, and the UN building. The subway, Harriman commented, was much inferior to the Moscow metro, and the ventilation was bad. Kozlov nodded that this was indeed so, and the ventilation was worthless. Kozlov added that when at his press conference this noon he had been asked if he believed, with Khrushchev, that our grandchildren would live under Communism, he had replied "Yes, as Communists we do believe that, although this is of course an internal matter for the United States"./4/ Harriman retorted, "You think our system has within it the seeds of its own destruction, and we think the same of your system. Let us then wait and see who is right. Let us agree to disagree". Kozlov expressed bland readiness to do so.
/4/ozlov's press conference is summarized in The New York Times, July 13, 1959.
At a later point in the talk, after the Berlin and disarmament questions had been discussed, Harriman ironically inquired whether on his trip Kozlov had met any of the ruling clique of capitalists; if he had, would he name them, since he (Harriman) would be very interested to know who they were. We could read in the Soviet press the names of the rulers of the Soviet Union, but it was a mystery who the US businessmen were who allegedly ran this country. "Why", exclaimed Kozlov, leaning over to lay a hand on Harriman's forearm, "should we look farther afield? Here we have a Harriman sitting right in front of us"! He and Menshikov roared with laughter at Harriman's discomfiture. The latter stoutly maintained that neither he, nor Mr. Rockefeller for that matter, wanted war. But Kozlov obviously considered he had come out ahead in that exchange, and returning in the car I overheard from the from [front?] seat (where I was sitting with Sukhodrev) much boisterous laughter between Kozlov and Menshikov over the sally.
Harriman recalled that when Eisenhower and Zhukov appeared together at a soccer match in the Dynamo stadium in 1945 and put their arms around each other, the entire stadium had erupted into a roar of approval./5/ Kozlov said this incident illustrated the friendship of the Soviet people for the Americans. Similarly, he said, he had been tremendously moved by the spontaneous, standing ovation given the Russian singers and dancers in Madison Square Garden./6/
/5/For the recollections of an eyewitness to this incident, see John R. Deane, The Strange Alliance: The Story of Our Efforts at Wartime Cooperation With Russia (New York: Viking Press, 1947), p. 217.
/6/Reference is to the performance of the Soviet Musical Festival which Kozlov attended on the evening of July 11.
As Kozlov was preparing to leave, Harriman expressed the hope that the Soviet leader was leaving this country with the same warm feelings as Harriman had done on departing the USSR. Kozlov replied that he was convinced that the American people wanted peace, and that he was leaving with the very best feelings in his heart.
2. Eisenhower - Khrushchev meeting
Harriman noted that he and other Americans had recently been suggesting that it would be very useful if Khrushchev were to visit this country. What did Kozlov think of this idea? Kozlov replied that this was a very good idea and that it would without question facilitate a Summit meeting. At this point Admiral Kirk broke in to demand, "What kind of a Summit? If only the US and USSR leaders met, the other powers would be highly disturbed and distrustful". Kozlov pointed out that Macmillan's visit had not been misunderstood by the others and that it had been generally recognized that the visit had resulted in some useful proposals. Harriman made clear that he had meant only talks with the President in the course of a Khrushchev visit here, not a special meeting that could be interpreted as a US-USSR Summit. Kirk affirmed that this was the distinction he had tried to get across. Kozlov said that there has never been any confusion in his mind between the two things, and that of course, the distinction was clear. Harriman added that it was Khru-shchev's turn to travel since two American presidents had gone to the Soviet Union (Roosevelt and Eisenhower--though before he became President) but that no Soviet Premier had ever visited this country. Kozlov said he thought Khrushchev would support this opinion (and returning in the car expressed to Menshikov his amusement that Harriman had included General Eisenhower in his Summit arithmetic).
Harriman recalled that he had told Khrushchev in Moscow that there was united bipartisan support of our Berlin position and that we were very serious about our obligations to the 2 million West Berliners./7/ Kozlov replied that he remembered these words of Harriman's very well, since he had been present during this part of the conversation, and that he also recalled Khrushchev's emphasis in reply that the USSR would faithfully adhere to the principle of peaceful coexistence. However, it had been surprising to read in the press that Khrushchev had adopted a threatening tone in these talks, because from personal recollection he knew that they had proceeded in a friendly and pleasant atmosphere. Harriman replied that he had not authorized these reports and that he stood behind only those articles he himself wrote (for Life and the New York Times)./8/ But, Harriman pursued, what did Kozlov think about the prospects for agreement at Geneva on the Berlin question? Kozlov answered that he took an optimistic view regarding the possibilities for agreement. He had the feeling that the US side was now looking upon the Soviet proposals "more positively". The mixed East-West German commission could have 18 months to work out a solution. Harriman observed that this might be acceptable if there were no alteration of US rights in Berlin in the meantime. Kozlov in an offhand manner said that this was a "technical question" which the Ministers could decide. Harriman pressed him further: this proposal might be agreeable if the Soviets were not in a hurry, but in Berlin they gave the impression that they were. Kozlov denied this, pointing out that 18 months was a not inconsiderable period. Harriman added, "We are ready to wait, and if you think time is on your side, why don't you wait too, while the seeds ripen"? Kozlov: "We are not in a hurry". Harriman: "I gather you want more recognition for the East German regime". Kozlov: "The question is not so much recognition, since the East German regime is already recognized by a number of other states, as it is the establishment of security within the GDR and eliminating the provocations stemming from West Berlin". (Harriman later told the reporting officer that he discounted Kozlov's statement on GDR recognition.)
/7/The record of Harriman's June 23 conversation with Khrushchev was transmitted in telegram 2653 from Moscow, June 25, printed in vol. VIII, Document 417.
/8/See Document 74.
This topic had been referred to in passing at an early stage in the conversation when Harriman reminded Kozlov of his remark to Khru-shchev that if the Democrats were elected in 1960 they would not be satisfied with a national growth rate of only 2%, nor would they be so concerned with balancing the budget; they would spend more to keep up with Soviet missile production./9/ After making this statement, Harriman added, he had the impression Khrushchev was considerably less keen on the Democratic Party. Kozlov merely said something about wasting money over missiles and pointed out that Khrushchev had insisted to Harriman that they liked the Democrats, nevertheless.
/9/For the record of Harriman's conversation with Khrushchev, see Document 75.
In response to Harriman's question, Kozlov said that he thought the disarmament question seemed to be "on better rails" than other questions at issue. Harriman agreed. Confirming a point made by Admiral Kirk, Kozlov said that prohibition of nuclear weapons testing was the first step to the reduction of other types of armaments. Harriman said that there would be more progress in this if the President and Khru- shchev got together than if the scientists tried to agree, since scientists were basically inventors and they invented new reasons why previous proposals must be considered unsound. Kozlov said he fully shared this opinion.
5. Harriman's subsequent comments
After accompanying Kozlov to 680 Park Avenue,/10/ I returned to check impressions of the meeting with Harriman. He expressed the opinion that Kozlov, in comparison with Stalin and Khrushchev, was "soft". During the talks with Khrushchev Kozlov had stayed very much in the background, as befitted a man 15 years junior to Khrushchev and Mikoyan. Harriman added that Khrushchev chided him for seeking to interview Kirichenko, demanding "Why do you bet on Kirichenko as my successor? He would be very tough on you. If you bet on Kirichenko, you will lose your money.'" Later Khrushchev said that on one thing he and Mikoyan agreed: Kozlov would succeed him (presumably in the Premiership, though Harriman evidently did not gain clarification on this point).
/10/Address of the Soviet Mission to the United Nations.
87. Memorandum of Conversation
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/7 - 1359. Top Secret. Drafted by Murphy. Attached to the source text is a July 13 transmittal memorandum from Acting Secretary Dillon to President Eisenhower.
New York, July 12, 1959.
Deputy Prime Minister Frol R. Kozlov, U.S.S.R. Ambassador Mikhail A. Menshikov, Embassy of the U.S.S.R. Mr. Viktor M. Sukhodrev, Interpreter Deputy Under Secretary Robert Murphy Mr. Foy Kohler
In accordance with the President's instructions,/1/ accompanied by Mr. Foy Kohler, I proceeded to New York on the evening of July 12. We met with Deputy Prime Minister Kozlov, Ambassador Menshikov and an interpreter at the Soviet Mission Headquarters, 68th and Park Avenue, New York City. After an exchange of comments regarding Mr. Kozlov's tour in the United States, with which he expressed great satisfaction and appreciation (asking that the President be so informed), I informed him that at the President's request, I was asking whether he would be kind enough to take with him to Moscow a sealed envelope addressed to Prime Minister Khrushchev by the President./2/ He agreed with alacrity. I handed him the sealed envelope and then said in addition I wished to convey to him an oral message from the President following the notes which I had in my hand. Then reading from the talking paper,/3/ I conveyed to him the verbatim text of that paper. This was taken down by the interpreter in English and translated to Kozlov and Menshikov. They expressed the greatest interest. Mr. Kozlov said that his decision to leave the United States on the evening of July 12 rather than July 13 is due to his desire to see Prime Minister Khrushchev in Moscow immediately after his arrival there and prior to Mr. Khrushchev's departure for Poland./4/ He promised to immediately deliver the President's written message and to convey to Mr. Khrushchev the oral message.
/1/At a meeting with Secretary Herter and other Department of State officials on July 10, the President directed the Department of State to revise a draft letter from the President to Khrushchev and a talking paper which Murphy would use in this meeting with Kozlov. These documents related to the President's invitation to Khrushchev for an exchange of visits between the two leaders. A memorandum of this conference with the President on July 10 is printed in vol. VIII, Document 431.
/2/A draft of the letter is printed as Document 89.
/4/Khrushchev visited Poland July 14 - 23.
I informed Mr. Kozlov that this matter was being maintained by us in strictest confidence and hoped that they would treat it in the same manner. He agreed readily, emphasizing that there would be no publicity.
We explained to Mr. Kozlov that it had been our intention to see him off at Idlewild but that when he shifted his departure to 4 a.m., we thought that he would understand our inability to be at the airport. He said he fully understood and that our visit to him at the Soviet Mission took care of all the amenities and protocol.
It was agreed with Mr. Kozlov that if questioned by the press we would say that we had come to New York to bid him farewell as a matter of protocol, and if asked he would confirm it that way. Fortunately, as we visited Mr. Kozlov at 8:15 p.m. in the Mission Headquarters after the press had departed, as far as we know, we were not observed by any newspaper people on arrival or departure. We went immediately into the Mission Headquarters and by private elevator to the office on the upper floor. The meeting was limited to the above indicated. It seemed clear that the Russians themselves desired to keep the matter strictly confidential and had arranged our reception accordingly. 88. Paper Prepared in the Department of State
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File. Top Secret. Regarding the drafting and presentation of this paper, see Document 87.
President Eisenhower, in his desire to promote peaceful solutions of international problems, has received reports of statements made by Prime Minister Nikita S. Khrushchev on various international problems which are of interest to the United States Government. At times the point of view attributed to Mr. Khrushchev would seem to imply a certain misunderstanding of the facts as known to President Eisenhower. Having this in mind for some time past, the President would like First Deputy Prime Minister Frol R. Kozlov, since the latter is just now departing from the United States and going directly to Moscow, to convey to Prime Minister Khrushchev a personal and confidential message from President Eisenhower.
It might lead to a better understanding of our problems if there could be a personal meeting between Prime Minister Khrushchev and President Eisenhower on an informal basis under arrangements which would facilitate a friendly exchange of views on topics of mutual concern and in a relaxed atmosphere. What is contemplated is not a negotiation but merely a discussion for the purpose of improving the understanding of both parties regarding the problems which concern them.
President Eisenhower is hopeful, as he is sure Prime Minister Khru- shchev must be, that the Foreign Ministers who resume their Geneva meeting on July 13 will make such progress as would justify a meeting of the four Heads of State./1/ Should this prove to be the case, President Eisenhower would support the idea of a Four Power meeting at a place such as Quebec, Canada. There are considerations of a practical nature which make Quebec attractive to President Eisenhower as a place for the meeting. First of all, of course, the Canadians have urged its use. As concerns the American side, the President of the United States has constitutional obligations which make extended absence at a greater distance very inconvenient. Congress will undoubtedly be in session throughout most of the summer which requires the President's presence except for very brief periods. If that should be agreeable to Prime Minister Khru-shchev, President Eisenhower would like to arrange for the informal meeting above mentioned between Prime Minister Khrushchev and himself at Camp David near Washington at a moment which would be mutually suitable, prior to the Quebec meeting. In the event that Prime Minister Khrushchev would be interested in visiting points of interest in the United States incident to a meeting at Camp David, President Eisenhower would be pleased to make the necessary arrangements. President Eisenhower understands that Prime Minister Khrushchev has a very heavy schedule this summer with visits to Poland and Scandinavia,/2/ etc., and this may pose for him a practical problem, even assuming that the above outline might be of interest to him. Therefore the question of the exact timing would be a matter on which the views of Mr. Khru-shchev would be necessary.
/1/Documentation on the meeting of Foreign Ministers in Geneva May 11 - August 5 is in volume VIII.
/2/ On July 20, the Soviet Government announced that Khrushchev had postponed his scheduled trip in August to Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark because of alleged increased hostile activities against the Soviet Union by several organizations and organs of the press in these countries. Khrushchev later conceded that these Scandinavian activities provided an excuse for postponing his visit to Scandinavia so that he could visit the United States instead. (Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament, p. 370)
Should the foregoing appeal to Prime Minister Khrushchev as a possibility, President Eisenhower adds that if this is agreeable he might find it possible to visit the Soviet Union later this year, perhaps in October, should that prove convenient to the Soviet authorities.
89. Draft Letter From President Eisenhower to Chairman Khrushchev
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File. Top Secret. Attached to the source text is a July 11 covering memorandum from Acting Secretary Dillon to the President, indicating that the attached draft letter to Khrushchev was for his signature. Also attached to Dillon's memorandum is a copy of Document 88. Dillon's memorandum bears the President's initials. Regarding the drafting and presentation of this letter to Khrushchev, see Document 87.
DEAR MR. PRIME MINISTER: For some time past, it has seemed to me that it would be mutually profitable for us to have an informal exchange of views about problems which interest both of us. This thought has been reinforced by a suggestion attributed to you at the time of the recent visit of the American Governors to the Soviet Union./1/
/1/See Document 83.
Accordingly, I have asked Mr. Robert Murphy to communicate to First Deputy Prime Minister Frol R. Kozlov, who is departing from the United States this Sunday evening, some ideas for your consideration./2/ Perhaps when you have had time to consider my suggestions, you would be kind enough to communicate your reaction via your Ambassador in Washington, Mr. Menshikov. I am sure that you will agree with me regarding the importance of keeping this matter confidential for the present.
/2/See Documents 87 and 88.
Hoping that this method of communication may be satisfactory to you, believe me
/3/Printed from an unsigned copy.
90. Report Prepared in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/7 - 1359. Confidential. Drafted and initialed by McSweeney and Isham on July 16. The source text is incorrectly dated July 13.
Washington, July 16, 1959.
Kozlov Visit: Evaluation
1. Kozlov's Impact in US
On the whole Kozlov probably made a favorable personal impression on most Americans he met during his fortnight's visit. His appearance, for one thing, was disarmingly non-revolutionary. Conservatively dressed in Western-style dark serge, white shirt and a banker's tie, flashing a ready smile, and speaking in moderate rather than declaratory tones, he displayed qualities of persuasion that caused San Francisco clothing store magnate Cyril Magnin to exclaim (albeit fatuously) "I'd like to have him working for me as a salesman".
Whether Kozlov's message, or the variations of it he delivered on various occasions, made an impression of comparable plausibility seemed open to question. The principal catechism--peace, friendship, coexistence--was already familiar, if not trite; and Kozlov added no specifics to the formula which would have added verisimilitude. His central point was that if good relations between the two major powers can be secured, world peace would become a certainty. He was at pains to make clear to Americans that, given the existence of opposing social systems, a certain amount of friction and disagreement was inevitable and should not occasion undue anxiety. At the same time, he urged, efforts should be made to hold these irritations to a controllable minimum, without aggravating them by the indiscriminate use of pejorative terms like Communist and Imperialist. Above all, renunciation of force and dedication to the solution of disputes through negotiations is paramount. For its part, Kozlov argued, the USSR was a dependable partner whose word, contrary to some assertions, could be trusted; it had honored the wartime alliance and the armistice agreements in Korea and Viet-Nam. In any event, the US side was not free from the onus of breaking agreements, he charged, referring specifically to Germany.
Kozlov was obviously concerned to reduce suspicion of Soviet intentions; the program to catch up with and surpass the US in per capita output should not be taken as a threat, but as testimony that the US is considered the most worthy rival in an enterprise of raising living standards to which no American should in fairness take exception.
Finally, instead of looking backward, the two countries should look forward. In resources, technological achievements, and national character the two countries, he stressed, had much in common. Expanded cultural relations had already proved their value; trade was next on the agenda, although in this respect Kozlov rather defensively added that the USSR was not in the position of a supplicant, since it had demonstrated its ability to survive economic blockade. Further, he maintained, the USSR had, in superabundance, all of the resources required to meet the goals of its economic plans. Trade, therefore, is a desirable thing rather than an economic necessity. And the main obstacle to trade was not US businessmen who had in concrete terms indicated their readiness to do business (e.g., the recent proposed sale of an entire chemical plant to the USSR),/1/ but the US Government and in particular the State Department.
/1/Not further identified.
We estimate that a characteristic reaction to all these fair words was one of polite attention and approval in principle, strongly tempered by skepticism as to how Soviet verbal reasonableness would be translated into action. Kozlov made no serious effort to defend the Berlin proposals in public, and similarly he avoided discussing the East European situation. Rather he became involved in discussion of thorny problems only when prodded fairly strongly by his American interlocutors. His very silence on immediate and specific issues diluted the effectiveness of his sales campaign.
2. Impact of Trip on Kozlov
Kozlov's stated estimate of the trip was unequivocally positive: to Harriman he said that the visit had been "very useful" and that he was leaving the country with the warmest feelings in his heart./2/ Before his departure he told both State Department representatives/3/ who had accompanied him that he was completely satisfied with all the arrangements that had been made, was grateful for all the help given him, and had no adverse comments of any kind. He also told Harriman that he had been deeply touched by the spontaneous applause given the Soviet singing and dancing ensemble in Madison Square Garden. He regarded this warm reception as further testimony of the basically friendly feelings between the two peoples. There seems to be no ground for doubting that these comments were accurate reflections of Kozlov's response to the cordial attention and sincere welcome given him in this country.
/2/See Document 86.
/3/McSweeney and Isham.
As a Party careerist who had never been outside of the Sino-Soviet bloc (except for Finland), Kozlov could have been expected to come to this country with many deeply rooted prejudices; and he undoubtedly departed with the fundamental tenets of ultimate Communist victory unshaken. He remarked to his concluding press conference that he agreed with Khrushchev that our grandchildren will live in a "socialist" America, although he of course disclaimed any Soviet intention of interfering in US domestic affairs./4/ Moreover, as a Presidium member, Kozlov presumably has access to considerable information about this country; and either for that reason or because he is an experienced and self- composed official, he betrayed no astonishment at finding no visible evidence of unemployment and, on the contrary, high morale among the many workers with whom he talked on factory visits.
/4/Kozlov's press conference on July 12 was summarized in The New York Times, July 13, 1959.
Kozlov deliberately avoided acquainting himself with certain aspects of American life, notably labor unions and working class housing. He declined an invitation to meet with James Carey on the grounds that he was a labor bureaucrat (reflecting Kozlov's often expressed contempt for bureaucrats as well as constituting a useful pretext to avoid a sharp cross questioning such as administered to Mikoyan)./5/ Nor did Kozlov seem displeased when visits to housing redevelopment areas had to be cancelled because of schedule changes caused by his earlier return to Moscow. He did not take advantage of a Levittown, L.I., worker's invitation to visit his home on the Sunday before his departure.
/5/Regarding Mikoyan's meeting with James Carey, see footnote 8, Document 61.
Given Kozlov's indoctrination, character, and caution lest he be impaled a la Mikoyan, there are limits on the impact any such brief visit could have made on him. It would, therefore, be extremely difficult to draw any conclusions as to the estimate he may have made of political and social conditions in the US.
Nevertheless, Kozlov is intelligent, observant, practical-minded, and experienced in dealing with men and affairs. Given these qualities, and considering his comments and questions during the trip, we believe he was particularly impressed by technological advances, the abundance and variety of goods and services, the excellence of transportation facilities, the lack of disproportions in the nation's economic development, and, on the intangible side, by the unmistakable sincerity and integrity of his American hosts and acquaintances. At the same time, Kozlov's pride in Soviet technological and scientific achievements was doubtless reaffirmed by his probable estimate that in certain phases of economic development (e.g., the harnessing of nuclear power, steel rolling mill equipment) we were either not significantly ahead of the Soviet Union or were even in some respects behind her.
The bogey of the American businessman profiteering on armaments, if it ever was a real bogey to Kozlov, must have been largely dissipated, although he would not admit this when Harriman attempted to needle him on this score. Kozlov may also have gained a more balanced insight into the relationship between public opinion and the press, for notwithstanding sharply worded editorials in Detroit, for example, his reception by individual Detroit businessmen was entirely courteous. (Kozlov had his staff make full reports to him on all press comments throughout the trip.)
Representing the new apparatchik in the USSR, Kozlov will be heard with particular respect by his Presidium colleagues. His views, while they probably correspond in most respects with those of Mikoyan, may in the end count for more with Khrushchev and the Central Committee.
At least one of Kozlov's misconceptions was known to be demolished--the tale that during the 1921 - 23 famine the USSR had to take gold from the churches in order to pay the US for food. When faced down by the Vice President and the Secretary of State over this, and presented with the personal recollections of Mr. Hoover, Kozlov had to admit he was mistaken./6/
/6/Regarding Kozlov's assertion, see Document 79. No record of Vice President Nixon's or Secretary Herter's statements to Kozlov nor former President Hoover's personal recollections on this issue have been found.
On the one hand, therefore, Kozlov in our opinion did not exert any impact of consequence upon the unity of national purpose over current international questions, or stir up appreciable new pressures for trade. On the other hand, we believe that Kozlov was not insensible to the massive evidence of capitalist vigor and individual enterprise to which he was exposed. The net result of the Kozlov trip, therefore, appears to be a clear gain for US interests, particularly in that it carried forward the process of extending a realistic knowledge of this country to the younger policy-making group within the Soviet hierarchy.
91. Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Eisenhower
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles - Herter Series. Top Secret. A handwritten note by the President at the top of the source text reads: "State is working on draft--it will be cabled first to Herter. DE"
On July 21 at 6:45 p.m., Ambassador Menshikov called on the President and gave him the Russian text of this letter and an oral translation. Eisenhower expressed his thanks for Khrushchev's prompt and courteous response and added that the United States had never specified what progress in negotiations should be made before a summit meeting. The important thing was to be able to point to progress as men of good will and to the maintenance of U.S. rights in Berlin. He believed that the visits and informal talks would be helpful to U.S.-Soviet relations. (Memorandum of conversation; Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1459) The source text does not indicate who prepared the translation of the letter printed here.
July 21, 1959./1/
/1/The source text gives no place of origin; perhaps because Khrushchev was in Poland July 14 - 23.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have received your letter and the confidential verbal message transmitted by Mr. Robert Murphy through my First Deputy, F.R. Kozlov./2/
/2/See Documents 87 - 89.
I have studied your considerations with great attention and deem it necessary to inform you of the following:
As you know, in the past I have more than once spoken of the desirability of your visiting our country and of the possibility of my visiting the USA. This subject was also touched upon in my recent conversation with the Governors from the USA,/3/ to which you are referring. For this reason, I have learned with pleasure from your message that you are expressing the desire to visit the Soviet Union at the end of this year, approximately in October. I can assure you, Mr. President, that you will be a welcome guest of ours and that you will be received in the Soviet Union with all the hospitality which is inherent in our people.
/3/See footnote 8, Document 79, and Document 83.
You have also communicated that you would like to have us agree with regard to an informal meeting between us in the USA as early as this summer. I agree with you on the usefulness of a friendly exchange of opinion between us on questions of mutual interest and I readily accept your suggestion for such a meeting.
People who know say that the weather in America is very hot in August and that for a man who is not used to your climate this time of the year is not suitable for a visit. They believe that September would be a more favorable time for my visit. Therefore, I could come to your country in September, but I should like to know what your opinion is. If this time is agreeable to you we could agree on a specific date.
I attach no particularly great significance to the form of an exchange of opinion between us, i.e. whether it will be in the form of negotiations or an informal discussion. It appears that at this stage it is better to have a discussion on an informal basis, as you have proposed. But the main thing, of course, is to find a common language and common understanding of the problems we are to resolve.
I also accept with great pleasure your kind suggestion that I make a tour of your country, and I could allocate for that purpose from 10 to 15 days. I shall instruct our Ambassador to deliberate a program for my stay in the USA and I should like to ask you, Mr. President, to instruct, at your discretion, someone to give us recommendations as to how this period of time can be spent more productively and with greater benefit, so as to learn better about life in America and the activities of the American people.
It appears that we should agree as to the basis on which your visit to the Soviet Union and my visit to the USA would take place.
In your message, you, Mr. President, make the convening of a meeting at the highest level contingent upon positive results of the Conference of Foreign Ministers at Geneva. Our views on this subject are apparently known to you. Just as you do, we wish to hope that progress will be made at the negotiations at Geneva, and we are doing everything in our power to achieve this goal, although efforts by our country alone are not sufficient for success.
However, we believe that a meeting at the highest level is necessary irrespective of whether our Ministers of Foreign Affairs will be able to move forward at Geneva or not. Moreover, it is our opinion that a meeting of heads of state and heads of government will be particularly necessary if no progress is made at the Geneva negotiations. We believe that our Governments must not halt when confronted with difficulties-- they must do everything possible to normalize the situation, to lessen international tension, and to ensure solid and lasting peace.
As to your considerations with regard to the holding in the near future, of a meeting at the highest level at Quebec, we have no grounds for objecting to having such a meeting take place at Quebec.
I express the hope that the considerations which I have set forth will meet with favorable attitude on your part.
/4/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
[End of Section 9]