U.S. Department of State
Vol. X, Part 1, FRUS, 1958-60: E. Europe Region; Soviet Union; Cyprus
Office of the Historian
[Section 10 of 19]
JULY - AUGUST 1959: VISIT TO THE SOVIET UNION OF RICHARD M. NIXON
92. Editorial Note
Vice President Richard M. Nixon made an unofficial visit to the Soviet Union July 23 - August 2. The main purpose of his visit was to open the American National Exhibition in Sokolniki Park in Moscow on July 25. Yuri Zhukov, Chairman of the Soviet State Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, invited Vice President Nixon on December 5, 1958, to open the exhibition. A memorandum of that conversation is in Part 2, Document 7.
Nixon later recalled that Abbott Washburn, Deputy Director of the U.S. Information Agency, who was then working on the cultural exchange program with the Soviet Union, first suggested to Nixon the idea of his visit to the Soviet Union. (Six Crises, page 255) No further record of their discussion on this matter has been found, but when Nixon brought up the possibility of opening the American National Exhibition in Moscow with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and Under Secretary of State Christian A. Herter, both of whom supported the idea, Herter also noted that USIA endorsed the proposed trip. (Telegram 1626 to Moscow, April 8; Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/4 - 859)
When the views of Ambassador Llewellyn E. Thompson were solicited, he responded that Deputy Foreign Minister Valerian Aleksandrovich Zorin had just referred on his own initiative to Mikoyan's conversation with Nixon in January in which Mikoyan had received the impression that the Vice President might be interested in visiting the Soviet Union, possibly in connection with the opening of the Exhibition in Sokolniki Park, and he wondered whether the Soviet Government should extend an invitation. Thompson, who had been present at this Mikoyan - Nixon conversation, told Zorin that he was sure that Nixon would like to visit the Soviet Union but advised against a formal invitation. He emphasized instead that whenever the Vice President decided on the visit, he was sure the appropriate arrangements could be made without difficulty. Thompson advised the Department of State that he favored Nixon's visit, opposed a formal Soviet invitation, and suggested that the United States try to obtain a commitment from the Soviet Government for a broadcast of a speech by Nixon nationwide to the Soviet people either at the opening of the Exhibition or on some separate occasion. (Telegram 2025 from Moscow, April 9; ibid., 711.12/4 - 959) The memorandum of Nixon's January 6 conversation with Mikoyan is printed as Document 61.
In a memorandum to the President, April 9, Acting Secretary Herter forwarded Thompson's response in telegram 2025 along with his own and Secretary Dulles' recommendation that they favored the idea of Nixon's visit and, if the President approved, recommended that George V. Allen, Director of the U.S. Information Agency, make the announcement as soon as possible in order to dissociate the proposed visit from a possible summit conference. A handwritten notation by Goodpaster on this memorandum reads: "President indicated he strongly approved. State notified."
A memorandum from Foy D. Kohler, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, to Livingston T. Merchant, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, April 13, attached to telegram 2025, noted that Abbott Washburn argued that USIA was refraining from publicity concerning the Exhibition to avoid giving it a propaganda aspect and much preferred that the announcement of Nixon's visit come from James C. Hagerty, the President's Press Secretary. For text of the press release issued by the White House in Augusta, Georgia, on April 17, which announced Nixon's forthcoming trip to the Soviet Union, see Department of State Bulletin, May 18, 1959, pages 698 - 699.
When Vice President Nixon asked Secretary Dulles for suggestions in connection with a possible meeting with Khrushchev during his trip, Dulles responded, as summarized in a memorandum from Joseph N. Greene, Jr., Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, to the Executive Secretariat, April 20:
"Secretary Dulles told Mr. Herter today that the Vice President had asked him whether he had any suggestion as to the line which he, the Vice President, might take with Khrushchev during his visit to Moscow. Secretary Dulles said he had suggested that the Vice President task Khrushchev with the crisis he has artificially created with respect to West Berlin along the lines that Khrushchev and the Soviet leaders profess their desire for peaceful coexistence and peaceful competition. West Berlin is geographically, ideologically and economically a test case of these professions; if they were sincere, it is hard to see how the Soviet leaders could insist on allied withdrawal from West Berlin and the consequent destruction of all or most that the West has helped the West Berliners to accomplish. West Berlin is in fact no threat to the Soviet empire and, in the situation which has been created, there could be a living example of both peaceful coexistence and peaceful competition. The Soviet demands for West withdrawal strongly suggests that the Soviets do not in fact want either." (Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/4 - 2059)
In the ensuing weeks, Ambassador Thompson had numerous conversations with representatives of the Soviet Foreign Ministry concerning Nixon's expected arrival, length of stay, itinerary, the number and names of members of his party as well as accompanying journalists, Nixon's special requests on places he might wish to see, and other arrangements. Telegrams to and from Moscow on these details from late April to late July 1959 are ibid., 033.1100 - NI. Nixon requested, among other things, the Soviet Government's permission to leave the Soviet Union on his plane via Siberia on his way to visit Alaska, which had recently attained statehood. (Telegram 2222 from Moscow, May 7, and telegram 1855 to Moscow, May 7; both ibid., 033.1100 - NI/5 - 759) The Soviet Government, however, claiming that the Siberian aviation route was "not suitable for flights of foreign planes," denied Nixon's request. (Telegram 2482 from Moscow, June 8; ibid., 033.1100 - NI/6 - 859) More positively, the Soviet Government indicated that Nixon's address at the opening of the American National Exhibition as well as a later speech during his visit would be broadcast nationwide on radio and television. (Telegram 2163 to Moscow, June 22; ibid., 033.1100 - NI/6 - 859)
Because Frol Kozlov, First Deputy Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers, had expressed personal satisfaction for the treatment he received during his visit to the United States and had told Nixon that "all doors in Soviet Union open to you," Nixon renewed his request to visit Siberia in U.S. aircraft and to exit eastward to Alaska. (Telegram 27 to Moscow, July 2; ibid., 033.1100 - NI/7 - 259) The Soviets denied these requests, and Nixon regretfully accepted the use of Soviet aircraft for his visit to Siberian cities. (Telegram 69 to Moscow, July 8; ibid., 033.1100 - NI/7 - 859)
Nixon also asked to visit a Soviet missile launching site, saying he had personally arranged for Kozlov to visit a U.S. missile launching site, although Kozlov declined the invitation, as well as a production line of Soviet intermediate-range ballistic missiles, comparable to the Thor missile line, which Andrei Nikolaevich Tupolev, Soviet aircraft designer and member of the Kozlov party, visited in California. (Telegram 98 to Moscow, July 10; ibid., 033.1100 - NI/7 - 1059) The Soviets did not respond to these requests (telegram 267 from Moscow, July 22; ibid., 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2259), and Nixon did not visit a missile factory or launching site during his trip.
As late as July 2, Nixon had no plans to visit any other nation en route to or from the Soviet Union. (Telegram 37 to Vienna, July 3; ibid., 033.1100 - NI/7 - 259) However, once the Soviet Government denied his request to leave from Siberia, he began to explore short visits to other nations during his return to the United States. He finally accepted a longstanding invitation from Poland to visit that country following his departure from Moscow. (Telegram 59 to Warsaw, July 17; ibid., 033.1100 - NI/7 - 1759) Regarding the background of the Polish invitation, see Part 2, Document 73.
President Eisenhower's letters of greeting and of introduction of Nixon to Chairman Nikita Khrushchev and to Kliment Efremovich Voroshilov, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, both dated July 20, are printed in Toward Better Understanding, pages 1 - 2. The memorandum of a July 22 conversation between Eisenhower and Nixon on the Vice President's impending trip is printed as Document 93. A detailed itinerary of Nixon's visit to the Soviet Union and Poland, July 22 - August 5, is attached to a memorandum prepared by John A. Armitage (EUR/SOV) on October 16 on the administrative aspects of his trip. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/10 - 1659) Also attached is a list of the people accompanying Nixon. These included his wife Pat, the President's brother Milton S. Eisenhower, Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, Foy D. Kohler, George V. Allen, and Herbert G. Klein, the Vice President's Press Secretary.
Briefing books prepared for the Vice President's trip are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1413 and 1414. CF 1415 is a miscellaneous file on the trip. CF 1416 contains a detailed chronology, including copies of memoranda of conversation between Nixon and Soviet officials.
Nixon left Friendship Airport in Baltimore on July 22 at about 9 p.m. and arrived at Vnukova Airport in Moscow on July 23 at about 3 p.m. For text of his arrival statement, see Department of State Bulletin, August 17, 1959, pages 227 - 228, and Toward Better Understanding, pages 2 - 4. He then drove to Spaso House where he resided during most of his stay in Moscow.
On the next morning, July 24 at about 9:30 a.m., he met with Voroshilov; see Document 94. He then met with Khrushchev; see Document 95. Nixon and Khrushchev then went to Sokolniki Park for a preview of the American National Exhibition. A transcript of Khrushchev's remarks at the American exhibit at a model television studio, which featured a new type of color television tape, is in Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2559. For some unexplained reason, Nixon's remarks during this exchange with Khrushchev were omitted from the transcript. The videotape of this exchange including Nixon's remarks, was broadcast in the United States by the American television networks on the late evening news on July 25. Nixon and Khrushchev had agreed during this exchange that the tape and kinescope of their conversation would be released simultaneously in the United States and the Soviet Union after the translations had been checked, but the networks aired the exchange before Nixon had given his approval. Documentation on the agreement, the networks' actions, and the repercussions of these broadcasts on Soviet- American relations is ibid., 033.1100 - NI.
During their tour of the American exhibit, Nixon and Khrushchev came to a model American home where they stopped in the kitchen. Here ensued the "kitchen debate" where they conducted a wide-ranging argument on the relative merits of the capitalist and Communist systems. This debate was not carried on television but was observed by many reporters and reported in the press. A reconstruction of their informal exchanges at the model television studio and model American home is printed in The New York Times, July 25, 1959. Nixon's account of these exchanges is in Six Crises, pages 272 - 279. For Khrushchev's recollections, see Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament, pages 364 - 367. Nixon's message to the President and Acting Secretary of State C. Douglas Dillon, July 24, on his activities that day is printed as Document 96.
Early that same evening, Nixon and Khrushchev returned to Sokolniki Park for the formal opening of the American National Exhibition. For texts of Khrushchev's remarks, Eisenhower's letter of greeting, which Nixon read, and Nixon's own address on this occasion, see Toward Better Understanding, pages 4 - 15. Eisenhower's letter and Nixon's address are also printed in Department of State Bulletin, August 17, 1959, pp. 228 - 232.
The next morning, July 25, Nixon met separately with Anastas Mikoyan and Frol Kozlov; see Documents 97 and 98. That evening, Nixon departed Spaso House for the Soviet Government guest house, a dacha about 30 miles from Moscow.
Early the next afternoon, July 26, Khrushchev, Mikoyan, Kozlov, and their wives arrived, and they and the Nixons took a boat trip on the Moscow River. After their return, at a late afternoon picnic, there was a lengthy conversation between Khrushchev and Nixon; see Document 99. Nixon's message to Eisenhower, July 26, on this conversation is Document 100.
On July 27, Nixon and his party left for Leningrad where they toured a factory and shipyard, and had a boat and automobile sightseeing tour. On July 28, Nixon left for Novosibirsk. After a tour of the Ural Hydroelectric Plant and a boat cruise on the nearby lake on July 29, he flew to Sverdlovsk where he inspected a factory. The next morning, July 30, he went by car to Pervouralsk where he toured a steel rolling mill factory and a copper mine. On July 31, he saw a nuclear power plant before returning to Moscow by plane. His message to the President, July 31, reporting on his 5-day tour is printed as Document 103.
On August 1, Nixon spent the day preparing his speech which he delivered over radio and television that evening. For text of his address, see Toward Better Understanding, pages 16 - 24, and Department of State Bulletin, August 17, 1959, pages 232 - 236. He also wrote Khrushchev three letters, all dated August 1. One is printed as Document 104. Regarding his letter inquiring about the fate of the missing crewmen from the crash of the C - 130 plane in the Soviet Union on September 2, 1958, see Document 55. For text of Nixon's thank-you letter to Khrushchev, along with Khrushchev's reply of August 6, see Toward Better Understanding, pages 32 - 33. Before leaving Moscow, Nixon received letters from Khrushchev and Voroshilov to Eisenhower, both dated August 1959, which were replies to Eisenhower's July 20 letters to them. Nixon delivered these letters to the President upon his return to the United States. For texts, see Toward Better Understanding, pages 33 - 35.
At 10 a.m. on August 2, Nixon held a press conference. For the transcript, see ibid., pages 24 - 31. An hour later he briefed the French and Canadian Ambassadors and the German and British charges on his visit. This briefing was summarized in telegram 421 from Moscow, August 3. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/8 - 359)
Documentation on Nixon's visit to Poland August 2 - 5 is in Part 2, Documents 73 - 78.
For texts of the exchange of greetings between Acting Secretary of State Dillon and the Vice President upon the latter's return to Washington on August 5, see Department of State Bulletin, August 24, 1959, pages 272 - 273.
Ambassador Thompson's evaluation of Nixon's visit to the Soviet Union was transmitted in telegram 428 from Moscow, Document 105. A memorandum of the Vice President's conference with the President, August 5, is printed as Document 106. Allen Dulles' evaluation of the visit given to the National Security Council on August 6 is printed as Document 107.
Nixon published his recollections of his trip to the Soviet Union and Poland in Six Crises, pages 253 - 314.
Additional documentation on Nixon's visit to the Soviet Union is in Department of State, Central Files 033.1100 - NI and Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1413 - 1416.
93. Memorandum of Conference With President Eisenhower
Washington, July 22, 1959, 11:45 a.m.
Vice President Nixon
The President opened by giving the Vice President a piece of correspondence from Prime Minister Macmillan containing advice on how to deal with the Soviet personalities in his forthcoming trip./1/ To place his view in perspective, the President quoted a question he had received in Press Conference this morning asking what the President would like Mr. Nixon to ask Khrushchev./2/ The President had pointed out that the Vice President constitutionally has a position of his own and goes on such missions only at the request and as a representative of the President. He is not a normal part of the negotiating machinery. With regard to his exact schedule, the Vice President confirmed that he plans to visit Poland on the way back from Moscow and has no plans to go to Paris.
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries. Top Secret. Prepared by Major Eisenhower and initialed by Goodpaster.
/1/Macmillan's July 22 letter to Eisenhower contained Macmillan's "general reflections" for the Vice President on how to deal with Khrushchev. He stressed Khrushchev's apparent abandonment of direct aggression and his emphasis on "competitive co-existence," his interest in developing the Soviet economy, his desire for respectability, his intense suspicion of the West, and his resentment at plain speaking. (Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204)
/3/For the transcript of the President's July 22 press conference, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959, pp. 536 - 546.
[Here follows discussion on the possibility of Nixon stopping in Paris to see President de Gaulle after his visit to Poland and on the Foreign Ministers Meeting in Geneva. This part of the memorandum is printed in volume VIII, Document 466.]
As to tactics in dealing with the Russians, the President recommended a cordial, almost light, atmosphere, on the basis that once the Soviets get us worried they act tough. He said the Vice President can probably expect to be filled up with the same old line. To this, Mr. Nixon expressed his intention of debating with Khrushchev and countering his points. He feels he has an excellent chance to probe and cause some blurting out of Khrushchev's real feelings. He also said he hoped to lay to rest some of Khrushchev's misconceptions about America, particularly with regard to the familiar line that the American people want peace but their leaders do not. He would point out that the reason that our Parties are unified in foreign policy is that our people believe the way our leaders do.
The President agreed to this and pointed out how we have changed our view of the Soviet people over the last three years. In 1956 we pictured them as sullen and discouraged. Now we have discovered that, despite their governmental system, which is abhorrent to us, they are able to maintain a high morale.
Mr. Nixon expects that the Poles will announce the fact that he is visiting their country. The trip to Poland, he feels, will be very helpful, particularly since he will have the unusual privilege of talking with Gomulka. In Russia, he feels an important matter will be his opportunity to see the icebreaker Lenin. For this purpose he is taking Admiral Rickover along./3/ [3-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] The Vice President pointed out that in the missile field this is not the case. He hopes to see a missile assembly line similar to the Thor assembly line we showed Tupolev. [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]
/3/A memorandum prepared by McSweeney on July 15 on Kozlov's tour of the nuclear reactor at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, on July 11, which was under the personal direction of Admiral Rickover, noted that Rickover called McSweeney on July 13 to say, among other things, that Kozlov had assured Rickover that he would be welcome to visit Soviet atomic power installations at any time. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/7 - 1159)
Finally, the President advised Mr. Nixon not to be afraid to talk substantive matters and to be positive with the Soviets in his conversations with Khrushchev.
John S. D. Eisenhower
94. Memorandum of Conversation
Moscow, July 24, 1959.
Vice President's conversation with Mr. Voroshilov
United States--Vice President Nixon, Ambassador Thompson, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, Mr. Alexander Akalovsky (interpreting)
USSR--Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Klimenti Voroshilov
Mr. M.P. Georgadze, Secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR
Mr. V.V. Kuznetsov, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
Mr. S.R. Striganov, Deputy Chief of the American Countries Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
Mr. Lepanov (interpreting)
The conversation took place in the Kremlin, Moscow, USSR.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2459. Secret. Drafted by Akalovsky and approved by Kohler on August 31.
Mr. Voroshilov opened the conversation by saying that he wanted to greet the Vice President as a dear guest of the Soviet Union and to wish him health and success on his trip, which would be an extensive and interesting one. He said that the Vice President would not only open the American Exhibit in Moscow but also tour the USSR, and expressed the hope that the Vice President would like the country although, of course, people have different tastes.
Mr. Voroshilov also said that he wanted to greet Dr. Eisenhower.
The Vice President expressed his appreciation for the invitation to visit the Soviet Union and for the honor of being received by Chairman Voroshilov. He said that, although it was not his habit to get up very early, this morning he had got up around 6 a.m., because of the change in time between Washington and Moscow, and had visited a farmers' market./1/ That visit had touched him because of the friendly attitude of the farmers selling their products as well as of the customers. Referring to Chairman Voroshilov's remark regarding the fact that tastes differ, the Vice President said that some farmers had given him an apple and a pear to taste; the fruit tasted very good and it appeared that apples and pears had the same taste all over the world.
/1/For Nixon's account of this visit, see Six Crises, pp. 267 - 269.
Mr. Voroshilov, using a Biblical term, replied that the Soviet people are a "man-loving people", and they particularly respect high foreign officials such as Mr. Nixon, because any visit by such an official should bring about a rapprochement and better understanding between nations. In this instance, rapprochement would be particularly welcome because it would occur between two nations with different social systems. In turn, any rapprochement consolidates peace throughout the world.
The Vice President agreed with Chairman Voroshilov's remarks and said that several workers and farmers he had met this morning had said to him that peace was their primary interest; he had assured the people there that the United States is for peace throughout the world. The Vice President also noted that he had been particularly interested in meeting several World War II veterans and that they also expressed their dedication to peace. This was only natural, because anyone who had gone through a war hates war. This is also characteristic of our President, whom Dr. Eisenhower knows, of course, much better, but whom the Vice President has observed at conferences and meetings similar to this one over six and a half years. The President, who knows war better than anybody else in the world is wholeheartedly dedicated to peace.
Chairman Voroshilov observed that there are many war veterans in the USSR who lost their limbs in past wars and that all of them are dedicated to the cause of peace. The trouble with both the United States and the USSR is that they cannot come to agreement that there should be no new war. If only the United States and the USSR, as well as other countries, such as France and the United Kingdom, could get together and decide that there should be no new war, any disagreements could be resolved at a conference table. (At this point, Mr. Kuznetsov interjected that Adenauer would also have to join in such a decision.) Such discussions, Chairman Voroshilov remarked in jest, would not necessarily have to take place with champagne but they would be better with it. The main prerequisite for them is the will on the part of all parties concerned to bring about agreement. He asserted that it was mostly up to the United States and the USSR to bring about a better atmosphere in the world because if these two countries established friendship between them other countries would join them. If the USSR and the United States decided that there should be no war, then there would be no more wars.
The Vice President again referred to President Voroshilov's remark concerning the fact that tastes may differ and stated that he believed that we must realize that it has always been this way in the world: peoples have also had different systems of government and different approaches to problems. In the past, this resulted in war, and although war is always a terrible thing, past wars did not bring about complete disaster as a war would do today. However, we must realize that there are differences and that there will be vigorous presentation of different points of view. What is important is that we must not allow these differences to bring us to the point where one side would have to fight or surrender. In other words, today, as opposed to the situation prevailing even thirty years ago, the policy of ultimatum is completely outdated.
Chairman Voroshilov recalled the fact that the United States and the USSR were friends during the war and stated that there is no reason for them to fight, particularly in view of the fact that, in historical perspective, only seconds have passed since the time of great friendship between the two countries.
The Vice President emphasized that in order to bring about a situation where such things would not occur, it is important that neither side push the other. We must realize that it is possible to be friends and argue at the same time, but arguing must be done with words rather than fists.
At this point Chairman Voroshilov said that he realized that the Vice President was to go to another meeting and therefore he did not want to detain him. Before leaving, the Vice President delivered to Chairman Voroshilov a personal letter from the President./2/ After an exchange of customary pleasantries, the meeting ended at 10:00 a.m.
/2/Regarding Eisenhower's July 20 letter to Voroshilov, see Document 92.
95. Memorandum of Conversation
Moscow, July 24, 1959.
Vice President's Kremlin Conversation with Khrushchev
United States--Vice President Nixon, Ambassador Thompson, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, Mr. Alexander Akalovsky (interpreting)
USSR--Mr. Khrushchev, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR
V.V. Kuznetsov, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
S.R. Striganov, Deputy Chief, American Countries Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
Mr. Troyanovski (interpreting)
The conversation took place in the Kremlin, Moscow, USSR.
At the outset of the conversation, the Vice President stated that he wanted to deliver a personal letter from the President to Mr. Khrushchev./1/ Mr. Khrushchev expressed his thanks for the letter.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2459. Confidential. Drafted by Akalovsky and approved by Kohler on August 31. For Nixon's account of this conversation, see Six Crises, pp. 269 - 272.
/1/Regarding Eisenhower's July 20 letter to Khrushchev, see Document 92.
There followed an exchange between Mr. Khrushchev and Dr. Eisenhower in the course of which Mr. Khrushchev, noting that Dr. Eisenhower is a smoker, said that President Eisenhower does not smoke and that apparently only his younger brother still has that bad habit.
Dr. Eisenhower replied that it is all right to have bad habits in small things and to excel in big things.
Mr. Khrushchev then said that the weather in Moscow is very good now and that he hoped that the Vice President and his party will have a pleasant stay in the USSR.
The Vice President agreed that the weather in Moscow this time of the year is better than in Washington and then referred to his morning visit to a farmers' market which had reminded him of his younger days when he used to get up so early in order to buy the produce for his father's grocery store. He said that all the people and, in particular, the veterans he had met at the market had expressed great friendship for the people of the United States.
Mr. Khrushchev confirmed that the Soviet people have a great respect for the United States and particularly appreciate the joint efforts of the two countries in the war against Hitler. The United States has always been at the pinnacles of industrial development, economic progress, and standard of living; therefore, competition with such a country is a pleasant undertaking.
The Vice President said that he wanted to state that, in spite of what the Prime Minister might have heard to the contrary, there had been very favorable comment in the United States with regard to Mr. Khru-shchev's vitality and keen sense of humor, as well as to his statements concerning competition with our country. The Vice President, recalling his speech,/2/ at least a part of which had received favorable comment by Mr. Khrushchev, stated that the United States had nothing against this kind of competition. He also observed, in a jocular comment, that Mr. Khrushchev during his visit in Poland, where he had covered a lot of ground and visited many factories, had outdone many an American politician, as far as vigorousness and vitality were concerned.
/2/Reference may be to Nixon's speech before the English Speaking Union in London on November 26, 1958. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, January 5, 1959, pp. 14 - 17. In his conversation with Nixon on January 6, Mikoyan noted that Soviet leaders including Khrushchev, had been favorably impressed by the London speech; see Document 61.
Mr. Khrushchev replied that these are individual qualities which do no harm to anybody. Recalling his comments on the Vice President's speech, he said at that time he had wondered whether that speech had indeed been made by Mr. Nixon, because it had sounded so different from what he had been accustomed to hearing from Mr. Nixon. Of course, the end of the speech had been much better than the beginning. He said that he believed that if the United States and the USSR ended their arguments and polemics the way the Vice President had ended his speech, that would mean that the two sides would have at last appraised the situation correctly. However, actions such as the so-called Resolution on Captive Nations/3/ indicate that the chances for such a correct appraisal on the part of the United States are rather slim.
/3/On July 17, Congress passed a joint resolution which authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the third week in July "Captive Nations Week" and to issue a similar proclamation each year until the peoples of Soviet-dominated nations attained their freedom and independence. (73 Stat. 212) For text of the President's July 17 proclamation, which responded to this joint resolution, see Department of State Bulletin, August 10, 1959, p. 200. Regarding the origin and timing of the resolution, see Document 20.
Vice President Nixon said that Mr. Khrushchev's words only confirmed the old proverb that "the devil is not as red as he is painted". Referring to Mr. Khrushchev's remarks regarding the Resolution on Captive Nations, the Vice President said that there is one thing that he personally and the American people respect in Mr. Khrushchev and that is his frankness. Therefore, he appreciated Mr. Khrushchev's comments, but at the same time he wanted to point out that this resolution does not represent a new position of Congress, but rather the fact, which cannot be overlooked, that in our country there are citizens with a national background from Europe and Eastern Europe. These people, of course, make their views known, and Mr. Khrushchev may disagree with those views, but actions of Congress reflect public opinion in our country. The Vice President also pointed out that the President had specifically excluded from his proclamation the language referring to the territories now forming a part of the USSR, which was contained in the resolution of Congress. The resolution points up an aspect of the American system, an aspect which might be difficult to understand, that actions of this type cannot be controlled as far as their timing is concerned, even by the President, because, when Congress moves, that is its prerogative. Neither the President nor he personally, the Vice President continued, would have chosen deliberately to have a resolution of this type when he and the President's brother were planning on visiting the USSR. Nevertheless, the resolution expresses substantial views of the people in our country. The Vice President once again stated that the resolution is not a new tack, but rather a reiteration of a position repeatedly expressed in the past.
Mr. Khrushchev stated that any action by an authoritative body such as Congress must have a purpose and expressed his bewilderment as to the purpose of this particular action. He pointed out that the proclamation in question cannot change anything in the USSR or for that matter in any other country. It would be naive to believe that it could. Emphasizing that he always speaks frankly, Mr. Khrushchev recalled US intervention at the time of the birth of the Soviet regime and pointed out that if US troops could not change anything and were thrown out of the country, it is obvious that a proclamation cannot bring about any change whatsoever. He said that the Soviet Government had regarded the Vice President's visit as a contact serving the purpose of rapprochement between the US and the USSR. However, the "ticket" issued to the Vice President by Congress for his visit here will make his situation in the USSR more difficult than if it had not been for that; now there is suspicion toward the Vice President and although the Vice President will not encounter anything offensive, he can be sure that he will encounter questions and straightforward talk on the part of the Soviet people regarding this resolution wherever he goes.
The Vice President observed that that might do some good, since straightforward talk is useful.
Mr. Khrushchev observed that the press might play up catcalls if they should occur, to which the Vice President remarked that he had already had some experience as far as catcalls are concerned. However, Mr. Khrushchev continued, the Soviet Government does not want any repetition of the Vice President's past experiences in that regard and is sure that it will not occur.
The Vice President assured Mr. Khrushchev that he was not concerned about his safety in the USSR.
Mr. Khrushchev emphasized that the Vice President is absolutely safe in the USSR and pointed out that in spite of the fact that his own person is of some interest to the enemies of the USSR he walks about freely, and has no apprehensions as far as his physical security is concerned. The attitude of the Soviet people is such as to make him very proud. He assured the Vice President that the Vice President could go any place without any fear for his safety; of course the Soviet Union also has thieves and hooligans among its population. In addition to that there may be some crackpots, both quiet and violent, so that as far as these categories of people are concerned some precaution should be taken.
The Vice President noted that sometimes the main task of security is to protect high officials from overfriendly crowds who in their enthusiasm might injure them. Mr. Khrushchev agreed and recalled an experience of this type he had had during his visit to India./4/
/4/Khrushchev visited India November 18 - 30, 1955.
The Vice President stated that he wanted to make one additional point. He said that we have to realize that in this era of peaceful competition, and the US trusts that we are entering and are going to stay in that era, we must expect that each side will vigorously express its views regarding the best methods for achieving progress. For example, Mr. Kozlov, during his visit in the United States, expressed the thought, which is not new, that his system is superior. On the other hand we will also defend vigorously our ideas, but always in peaceful rather than belligerent or provocative terms. This is all to the good because progress in the world has always resulted from competition of words and ideas rather than of peoples against one another.
Mr. Khrushchev fully agreed with this statement and again observed that he could not recognize the Vice President, because these words were so different from what he had heard the Vice President say in the past.
The Vice President said that the resolution of Congress to which Mr. Khrushchev had been referring is an example of this expression of ideas. The proclamation by the President is of the same nature and issued with full authority, although of course Mr. Khrushchev may think differently.
Mr. Khrushchev replied that he did not dispute the prerogatives of the President and the fact that he has full confidence of the elective body. He welcomed the Vice President's remark that any expression of ideas should not be belligerent or provocative and referred in this connection to the fact that the Soviet Union has a law against propaganda for war. Propaganda for war is an abnormal form of human conduct; it should be prosecuted and those guilty of such actions should be either imprisoned or placed in an asylum. The Soviet Union wanted nothing other than peaceful competition.
The Vice President said that the United States does not object to Mr. Khrushchev's remarks in which he expresses his belief that our children will live under socialism or when he says that his system should prevail in that part of the world that is not socialist today. In this competition of ideas each side will indicate its belief that its own system will prevail. If Mr. Khrushchev regards the proclamation referred to as being provocative, although it does not make any reference to the use of force or any such thing, then, by the same token, some of his statements could be regarded as provocative. The point is that we must realize that there are differences between our two countries and that differences lead to debates. We must assume that in such debates each side will try to present its views as vigorously and effectively as it can, but again we believe that they should be presented in peaceful, rather than belligerent, terms.
Mr. Khrushchev inquired which of his statements had been provocative. The Vice President replied that, when he had said provocative, he had primarily had in mind the interpretation of some statements by people who did not hear the tone and the exact context in which the statement had been made. He emphasized that we must not regard criticism as being something provocative, since criticism is always a useful factor in human progress. He also said that he did not regard Mr. Khru-shchev's statement that our children would live under socialism as provocative; however, what is provocative is any reference to the use of force, and for this reason everyone, and particularly our two great nations, must show great restraint in that respect. The Vice President noted that the President, as well as himself, has no doubt regarding Mr. Khru-shchev's devotion to peace and had great admiration for the work done by him for his country. Recalling his morning stroll, the Vice President said that he was impressed by the people he had seen hurrying to work and apparently experiencing great satisfaction in what they were doing. Undoubtedly Mr. Khrushchev's inspiration has contributed to a considerable extent to this situation. While he disagrees with much of what is done in this country, the Vice President remarked, he does agree with certain things that are done here. The Vice President expressed confidence that Mr. Khrushchev, as a thinker, will realize that in the United States there is a free press and that individual citizens can and do express their own views at any time they wish. There may be times when views of individual citizens do not represent the views of the President, a person of great restraint and great responsibility with statements regarding foreign affairs. There are even some individuals who make statements which can be characterized as saber rattling. Therefore, in analyzing the situation it is important that a distinction be made between official policy and individual views.
Mr. Khrushchev rejoined by saying that his own point of view on this subject, with which the Vice President may not agree, is that words such as free press, equal opportunities for everyone, etc., are an old story which is learned by children in school. The fact is that, for example, the opportunities of an unemployed person to use the press for expressing his views cannot be compared with the opportunities of such a person as, for instance, Mr. Hearst,/5/ since Mr. Hearst controls some 15 newspapers and would never allow the publication of any statement directed against him. This in effect is capitalist censorship. Apparently trying to avoid further conversation on this subject, Mr. Khrushchev said that he would not object to a continued debate, if the Vice President insisted, but suggested that there was no point in arguing since both sides would not change their views anyway. Mr. Khrushchev then stated that the Soviet people believed that capitalism was a progressive system at one stage of human development; it brought about great industrial progress, particularly in the United States, where new production methods such as assembly lines, etc., were introduced under that system. However, they do believe that capitalism is on the downgrade and that it should be replaced with a new, socialist system. Mr. Khrushchev pointed out that he was not trying to convert the Vice President since the time was too short and since he did not believe that he could succeed in doing that anyhow. Reverting again to the Congressional resolution, Mr. Khrushchev stated that the Soviet Government regards this action very seriously since it is a clear case of interference in internal affairs of the countries referred to in the document. Raising somewhat his voice, Mr. Khrushchev emphasized that those nations do not live by the mercy of the United States and reiterated that the United States cannot bring about any change, unless it wants to start a war. However, the Soviet Union had won wars in which attempts had been made to change the course of history, and this should be remembered. The Soviet Government could not escape the conclusion that some people in the United States want the cold war and continued international tension. Actions such as the proclamation on captive nations incite peoples against their governments as well as against the Soviet Government and the Soviet people. The fact that Congress had passed such a resolution, Mr. Khrushchev observed, is a frightening thing; it is frightening not because of the fact itself that this "stupid" decision had been passed but rather because it indicates the attitude prevailing in Congress, although of course it does not reflect the attitude of the American people. This means that Congress can do just about anything, and can take just about any action, including starting a war. In the past the Soviet Government believed Congress could never adopt a decision to start a war, but now it appears that although Mr. McCarthy, Joseph R. McCarthy,/6/ with whom the Vice President had sympathized to a certain extent, is only dead physically, but his spirit is still alive. For this reason the Soviet Union has to keep its powder dry. Mr. Khrushchev reiterated that the Soviet Government and the Soviet people regard the resolution as a provocation and again warned the Vice President that he might have difficulties and some serious discussions on this score during his visit. Apologizing for the strong peasant language he was going to use, Mr. Khrushchev quoted a Russian peasant proverb to emphasize his point. The action of the Congress and the Presidential proclamation at the time when the Vice President was coming to the Soviet Union amounted exactly to provocation and can harm only the Vice President. The Soviet Union has no fears--it cannot be frightened because it has strength to defend itself. Actions such as this outright provocation are dangerous, particularly in view of the fact that the United States is the strongest among the Western powers.
/5/William Randolph Hearst, Jr., editor in chief of the Hearst newspapers.
/6/Republican Senator from Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957.
The Vice President replied that if the concept of peaceful competition, which Mr. Khrushchev always supports so eloquently, is to prevail, both sides have to resign themselves to this sort of thing. He also noted that the same criticism could be applied to certain statements made by Soviet leaders regarding our system and that he could not understand why two different yardsticks should be used.
Mr. Khrushchev stated that the Soviet Union had never taken any action similar to that taken by Congress. There has never been a decision by the Supreme Soviet which could be considered as offensive, and the Supreme Soviet had refrained from taking such actions even after ill- considered actions by the other side. Distinction must be made between individual statements and pronouncements by legislative bodies. Actions by legislative bodies cannot be taken lightly and since it was the US legislature that had adopted this resolution, the question arises what the next step will be--a war?
The Vice President emphasized that his analysis of the President's proclamation is that it represents a peaceful exposition of a point of view rather than any mention of action. This is precisely what peaceful competition is.
Mr. Khrushchev retorted that such arguments were naive and could not convince him. He observed that the Vice President had practiced as a lawyer while he himself had worked as a miner and that even by the standards of a miner's ethics the proclamation is a provocation.
The Vice President stated that the United States believes that any statement by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR carries full authority not only of the legislature but also of the entire nation. In view of that fact the question arises whether Mr. Khrushchev believes that he should desist from statements that governments should be changed. The Vice President pointed out that this was not a criticism but rather an effort to expose the inconsistency in Mr. Khrushchev's attitude.
Mr. Khrushchev remarked that apparently the Vice President does not follow his speeches as closely as he follows the Vice President's. If the Vice President did, he would have noted that Mr. Khrushchev's speeches never call for changes in government and that the Soviet policy is that this is an internal matter. On the other hand the Congressional resolution is a clear case of interference in internal affairs. Mr. Khru-shchev said that without wanting to be offensive, he could not resist remarking that even intelligent people can have difficulty in defending stupid actions.
The Vice President replied that he believed that this is simply a case of differences of opinion or perhaps differences of approach. He jokingly remarked that Mr. Khrushchev with his eloquence could also make a good lawyer. But it appeared to him that Mr. Khrushchev was putting more emphasis on this resolution, on its importance, and on its meaning than it has in Washington. The Vice President pointed out that the President and himself, while they may be misguided occasionally, are not stupid and would not have passed a resolution of this kind at this time. The President believes that the Geneva Conference is in its critical stage and he wants such meetings to take place in the best possible atmosphere for negotiation. For this reason neither the President nor himself would have sat down to pass such a resolution at this time. The United States is not trying to make the Soviet leaders angry; what it is trying for is frank talks in good humor. The Vice President recalled the fact that whenever there is a lengthy discussion of some subject which seems to be getting nowhere, the President always says: "We have beaten this horse to death; let's change to another". The Vice President suggested that this saying should also apply to the topic under discussion.
Mr. Khrushchev pointed out that the Soviet leaders have always held the President in very high esteem, they have always believed that he is a person with extremely high moral standards and a very frank and sincere human being. Referring to the Vice President's remark that neither the President nor he himself is stupid, Mr. Khrushchev said that this brings up the question of what, in such a case, the Vice President's opinion of Congress is. Commenting on the Vice President's observation that Mr. Khrushchev appears to attach too great an importance to the resolution, Mr. Khrushchev again apologized for using strong words, and in obscene language objected to the resolution. It is fresh in everybody's minds, Khrushchev said, and this is why the Soviet people have such strong feelings about it. When the atmosphere clears he will proceed with other problems. He agreed with the President's saying that "We should not beat one horse too much".
The Vice President stated that before leaving he wanted to discuss one point with Mr. Khrushchev, which was necessary for his own and Dr. Milton Eisenhower's guidance in the future. The point is that many members of the press are going to follow the Vice President's group and will want to know what was discussed in these meetings. The Vice President noted that he had visited some 52 foreign countries, had met the heads of state and government in all of those countries, and that he has a standing rule which he always observes, namely, to disclose such conversations only to the President. Therefore, Mr. Khrushchev will have no experience with him as he had with some other visitors.
Mr. Khrushchev agreed to this procedure and stated that the Soviet Government will not abuse the Vice President's confidence either.
The Vice President replied that he had no doubts about Mr. Khru-shchev's confidence and that he only wanted to assure him that these talks would be kept in strictest confidence. He also expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome accorded Mrs. Nixon, himself, Dr. Eisenhower, and the other members of the group in Moscow as well as for the opportunity to talk with Mr. Khrushchev.
Mr. Khrushchev replied that the Soviet people always believed that they should treat their visitors so that they would not feel ashamed when they met again.
The meeting ended at 11:55 a.m., and the United States and the Soviet group left for a preview of the American Exhibition at Sokolniki Park.
96. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State
Moscow, July 24, 1959, 6 p.m.
291. For President and Acting Secretary from Vice President. My conversation with Voroshilov today was friendly but uneventful./1/ With Khrushchev I had sharp and prolonged exchange on question of Captive Nations proclamation but discussion was carried out in friendly manner on both sides./2/ Will report in full in due course. You will have seen from press my exchanges with Khrushchev in public at Exhibition./3/ Khrushchev's lunch which followed was most cordial. I assured Khrushchev I would reveal our private conversation only to President./4/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2459. Secret; Limit Distribution.
/1/See Document 94.
/2/See Document 95.
/3/See Document 92.
/4/In a July 24 message to Nixon, Acting Secretary Dillon responded as follows: "Thank you for your message. It certainly seems as if you are having an interesting time, and we look forward to learning additional details at your convenience. Incidentally, you may wish to pass on your telegrams where appropriate to Chris on an `eyes only' basis." (Transmitted in telegram 286 to Moscow, July 24; Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2459)
97. Memorandum of Conversation
Moscow, July 25, 1959.
Vice President's Kremlin Conversation with Mikoyan
United States--Vice President Nixon, Ambassador Thompson, Mr. Boeschenstein, President, Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corp. Mr. Akalovsky (interpreting)
USSR--Mr. Anastas Mikoyan, First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR
Mr. V.V. Kuznetsov, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
Mr. Striganov, Deputy Chief of the American Countries Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
Mr. Lepanov (interpreting)
The conversation took place in the Kremlin, Moscow, USSR.
The Vice President expressed his gratification at being able to talk again to the Deputy Chairman who had left in the United States many friends who admire him for his stamina and agility in expressing his views. The Vice President noted that during his conversation with Mr. Mikoyan in Washington he had discussed the possibility of his own trip to the Soviet Union only in general terms and at that time had not thought that his visit would materialize so soon. He also said that he had always felt that Mr. Mikoyan's visit to the US had broken the ice not only officially but also privately, regarding the respective points of view of the two countries.
The Vice President also expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome he and his party had received in Moscow.
Mr. Mikoyan recalled that he told the Vice President that the Soviet people would match American hospitality. He returned the Vice President's compliments in kind and added that the Vice President is a great debater who never leaves anyone in his debt.
The Vice President said that he had visited 52 foreign countries and that the hospitality here in the Soviet Union has been as warm as in any of those countries. He again expressed his thanks both to Mr. Mikoyan personally as well as to his colleagues.
Mr. Mikoyan inquired whether the Vice President had been surprised by his words at the dinner party given for him by the late Mr. Dulles,/1/ when he had said that in the Soviet Union visitors were not greeted with rocks and eggs.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2559. Confidential. Drafted by Akalovsky and approved by Kohler on August 31.
/1/Reference may be to the January 16 dinner party attended by Mikoyan, Dulles, and Nixon; see footnote 4, Document 64.
The Vice President implied that he remembered how Mr. Mikoyan, in relating his unpleasant experience in Pakistan,/2/ an experience which he had taken in good grace, had told him that people in Pakistan were too poor to buy eggs for this kind of use.
Mr. Mikoyan then referred to the Congressional resolution on captive nations/3/ and expressed his regret that this declaration, directed against the Soviet state and the Soviet people, had preceded the Vice President's trip because this could spoil his stay in the USSR. He said that he did not believe that this action was the most brilliant product of US Government efforts and expressed his bewilderment as to why it was taken before the Vice President's visit and the opening of the American exhibition, rather than, say, one month later. Recalling a remark made by one of the correspondents at a recent press conference of the President, Mr. Mikoyan said that the declaration was a mine laid in order to worsen the Vice President's reception in the USSR./4/
/2/Not further identified.
/3/See footnote 3, Document 95.
/4/Reference is presumably to the query made by Marvin L. Arrowsmith, Associated Press, at the President's press conference on July 22: "In Warsaw yesterday Premier Khrushchev professed to be puzzled about why Vice President Nixon is going to Russia and he apparently linked this puzzlement with criticism of your proclamation on the captive nations. Do you see this attitude as a sort of strike against the Nixon visit even before it starts?" (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959, p. 536)
The Vice President said that he wanted to point out to Mr. Mikoyan that the timing of such a resolution cannot be controlled even by the President, as powerful as he is. Although Congress, as the Executive Branch sometimes believes, can occasionally move slowly, it can also take quick action at any time it wishes. Congress is a representative body, and Mr. Mikoyan knows from his trip, there are in our population elements, whether Mr. Mikoyan believes they are wrong or not, who feel that governments in their former homelands should be changed. Our Congress often passes resolutions representing the views of those elements, who include such nationalities as Polish, Hungarian, etc. The resolution, and particularly the proclamation of the President, had made a point that it was only an expression of the opinion of American people and the American Government and that they are not attempting to engage in so-called subversive activities. The Vice President pointed out that these documents represent a call for prayer and, making a jocular remark, said that in view of the opinion of the Soviet Government that prayer has no value behind it he could not understand why this action is viewed so seriously.
Mr. Mikoyan replied that he understood the Vice President's difficult position of defending an inconsiderate action. He said that he was not going to force the Vice President to adopt his own point of view and suggested that both sides retain their own opinion. He said that he was an Armenian, and that although he is not active in the Government of Armenia proper, he knows some 30 Supreme Soviet Deputies of that Republic and all of them have been wondering who gave the American Government the authority to act in their behalf and why the American Government is not doing something for the liberation of really oppressed peoples, such as the Armenian minority in Turkey.
The Vice President stated that there had been many statements by Mr. Khrushchev who has more unrestrained power than President Eisenhower, calling for liberation of people from so-called imperialists and colonialists. If prayers are not peaceful then Mr. Khrushchev's statements are even more belligerent.
Mr. Mikoyan replied that the Soviet Union is very proud of its being a champion of the liberation of oppressed peoples, whereas the US seems to be against such liberation because the peoples in question are oppressed by its friends and allies. However, Mr. Mikoyan said, he believed that this question of the resolution of the declaration had been discussed sufficiently and that he would prefer to drop the subject.
The Vice President expressed appreciation for the frankness with which Messrs. Khrushchev and Kozlov expressed their views, but emphasized that we do disagree with their estimate of the situation. One cannot say that calling for liberation in one part of the world is a move for peace whereas calling for liberation of peoples in another part of the world is a move against peace.
Mr. Mikoyan pointed out that the Supreme Soviet had never passed declarations of this kind and he again suggested that the subject be dropped. He recalled then his pleasant and useful discussions with the President, the Vice President and the late Mr. Dulles during his visit in the US. It had been Mr. Dulles who had advised him to see Mr. Dillon and, as the Vice President probably knew, after these talks he had stated to the press that his conversations with the President, the Vice President and Mr. Dulles had been useful. On the contrary, as far as his talks with Mr. Dillon were concerned he could not say anything other than that the US Government still wants the "cold war" in foreign trade./5/ He said that at the time he had thought that he might have gone too far in that statement, but that now upon reflection, he can see that the State Department is systematically conducting cold war in trade. For instance, Senator Fulbright had asked the State Department to provide him with answers to 22 questions regarding the Khrushchev - Eisenhower exchange of letters on foreign trade, and it was only four- and-a-half months later that the State Department had given a reply to these questions./6/ It was suggested that the Vice President read those replies and see for himself how unreasonable and politically harmful they were. As an example he referred to the answer concerning the question of credit in which the State Department had stated that the US Government does not favor credits to a potential enemy. He emphasized that the main point was not trade and credits but rather the fact that the Soviet Union is called a potential enemy of the United States. If this is the basis of the United States policy then what is the purpose of exhibits, contacts and other exchanges? If that is the basis of US policy then the Soviet Union must prepare itself for war. He said he wondered whether the Soviet Union should believe the pronouncements by the President or the Vice President or whether it should regard this statement by the State Department as a direct expression of American policy.
/5/See Document 65.
/6/Neither the letter of Senator J. William Fulbright, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, containing the 22 questions nor the reply of the Department of State has been found, but Fulbright's letter sent in February and the Department's response released on July 4 were summarized in The New York Times, July 5, 1959.
He said he did not know whether Mr. Dillon had disclosed his conversation with him to the Vice President, but one of the points Mr. Dillon had made was that, provided the lend-lease problem is settled, the United States Government would offer the Soviet Union extensive credits. He noted that he had never made public his confidential talks although those talks contained a great deal of material that could be used for propaganda purposes. Mr. Mikoyan said that he could not agree to the proposition by Mr. Dillon because the latter had connected it with the settlement of such issues as Berlin, Taiwan, etc., and that he simply suggested that both sides should wait for better times. He also observed that he did not know whether the Soviet Union had been regarded by the State Department as a potential enemy at the time of his talks with Mr. Dillon or whether it had been labeled that only lately. He recalled that he had suggested to Mr. Dillon that the United States and the USSR should restore their 1937 - 1941 trade relations, to which Mr. Dillon had replied that the USSR wants trade on its own terms.
He also recalled the visits by Deputy Foreign Trade Minister Kuzmin and other Soviet trade representatives to New York and other American cities in connection with the Soviet exhibition and stated that the Soviet officials were very pleased with their talks with American businessmen./7/ However, whenever there was a chance for concluding a deal the American businessmen seemed to back away, saying that we should wait for better times. This leads the Soviet Union to believe that the United States could not do without the "cold war" because the "cold war" apparently keeps its allies in line, prevents a breakdown of military pacts and makes it possible to have high taxes for the production of armaments. Mr. Mikoyan stressed that this was his frank exposition of the situation as he saw it.
/7/Kuzmin, who headed a Soviet trade mission to the United States, had talks with Secretary of the Treasury Robert B. Anderson and Henry Kearns, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs, on July 1 and 2 and attended a meeting with 250 American businessmen. Kuzmin's news conference on July 9 revealing these contacts was summarized ibid., July 10, 1959.
At this point Ambassador Thompson, with the Vice President's permission, corrected Mr. Mikoyan's statement regarding Mr. Dillon's offer of extensive credits. The Ambassador said that he had been present at that meeting and that Mr. Dillon had said that there were many obstacles blocking the road toward the development of trade with the Soviet Union, one of which was the problem of lend-lease settlements.
Mr. Mikoyan disputed this correction and offered to produce a transcript of the conversation. He also said that he had told Mr. Dillon that if the United States wanted all the dollars obtained by the USSR in the United States to go back to the United States, the Soviet Union could not accept such a proposition and in that case it would do without credit.
The Vice President expressed his appreciation for the frankness displayed by Mr. Mikoyan in his statement and, recalling his similar remarks in Washington, stated that the President is convinced that trade is one of the means towards consolidating peace throughout the world. However, just as a child must learn to crawl before he can learn how to walk, progress in this area must be made step by step.
Mr. Mikoyan replied that the President had instructed the Department of State to work out measures for the development of foreign trade./8/ In view of the actions taken by the State Department it appears that the President wants one thing and the Department of State another.
/8/In his letter to Khrushchev, July 14, 1958, Eisenhower said that he was asking the Department of State to examine the specific proposals on trade contained in Khrushchev's letter to Eisenhower, June 2, 1958. (Department of State Bulletin, August 4, 1958, p. 200)
The Vice President rejected this interpretation by Mr. Mikoyan and said that the latter had not touched upon the main problem, namely that of what we should trade. After the Soviet Union in 1948 took actions which changed the manganese situation and after the United States has developed means for getting manganese from other sources, this question has become of particular relevance and points up the fact that credits are needed. However, as far as credits are concerned, Mr. Mikoyan should realize that the President, with all the power vested in his office, could not give even one penny of credit without appropriate actions by Congress. This in turn puts the question in the political arena because Congress will never approve credits unless it is completely convinced that they serve the best interests of the United States. So, in general terms, what is particularly needed for trade is a better political climate.
The Vice President referred to Mr. Mikoyan's statement that it was the United States that is waging "cold war" and pointed out that the United States Congress is firmly convinced that the USSR is the one that is waging that war. Nevertheless, if the Soviet Union and the United States continue to discuss foreign trade in an objective and reasonable way, and along with political issues, then foreign trade might become possible. The United States businessmen are very much impressed by Mr. Mikoyan and his ability and they obviously want to sell their products any place they can. At this point Mr. Mikoyan interjected that it is the State Department who interferes constantly, in spite of the words inscribed over the entrance to the Department of Commerce which say that foreign trade brings people together. This inscription had been shown to Mr. Mikoyan by former Secretary of Commerce Lewis Strauss./9/
/9/See Document 66.
The Vice President expressed full agreement with these words but said the question was what should come first, the chicken or the egg. As far as the attitude of American businessmen was concerned, businessmen want to trade where favorable climate prevails. The Soviet Union could help improve that climate. Mr. Mikoyan said that the Soviet Union has been striving to do that, to which the Vice President inquired whether the Soviet Union was willing to improve the situation with regard to the protection of patent rights. Mr. Mikoyan replied in the affirmative, but again complained about United States Government restrictions with regard to the issuance for export licenses, specifically referring to the problem of sheet steel exports to the Soviet Union. The Vice President pointed out that just recently licenses for the export of sheet steel had been issued./10/ He agreed with Mr. Mikoyan that trade is desirable but said that where credits were concerned the political climate must be improved. As far as other aspects of foreign trade are concerned, individual cases must be discussed as they come up, and some progress has already been made even since Mr. Mikoyan's visit. The Vice President stated that upon his return to the United States he would work on the problem of trade, but that one must realize that difficulties cannot be resolved by a stroke of pen.
/10/On July 29, the Soviet commercial counselor in Washington called the Department of Commerce to say that the Nixon party had indicated in Moscow that the United States had approved the application of two U.S. companies to purchase several thousand metric tons of sheet steel. The Department of Commerce informed the Soviet Embassy that no action had been taken on either of the applications because of the present steel strike. The Department of State informed the Embassy in Moscow that it was unlikely the United States would approve either one since both involved barter in items that would hurt exports of friendly suppliers. (Telegram 347 to Moscow, July 29; Department of State, Central Files, 411.6141/7 - 2959) Thompson reported that Nixon, in his conversation with Mikoyan, had indicated some slight improvement in trade between the two nations and had mentioned sheet steel as an example but had not referred to any specific applications. He had been unaware of the barter nature of the transaction and merely informed Mikoyan he would look into the matter. (Telegram 392 from Moscow, July 31; ibid., 411.6141/7 - 3159
Mr. Mikoyan referred to a speech, made in May by Acting Secretary of Commerce Mr. Mueller and reproduced in a chemical magazine,/11/ in which Mr. Mueller had said that any exporter of chemical processes or products whose exports should get into the hands of the USSR would be imprisoned for one year or fined $10,000.
/11/Mueller's speech has not been further identified.
Mr. Boeschenstein stated at this point that credits and trade in the United States are generally carried by private business rather than government and that credit is predicated on trust. As far as licenses are concerned, they are issued quite freely except on a limited number of items. He expressed his belief that the USSR should develop its relations with the United States but that trust must precede and foreign trade will follow.
Mr. Mikoyan said he did not want to argue with Mr. Boeschenstein because he understood that the latter wanted to support his Vice President and show full agreement with him. He then said that he wanted to ask one question--he said that while in New York he had met Governor Rockefeller/12/ at Mr. Harriman's dinner and that he was favorably impressed by him. He said that Governor Harriman [Rockefeller] had asked him to convey to the Soviet Government that the Rockefeller family is not a war-mongering family and it is as peaceful as any other American family. However, Mr. Mikoyan continued, he could not understand why Governor Rockefeller, after having made such a statement, had not visited the Soviet exhibition in New York, whereas the President and the Vice President had done so. The Vice President replied that he was not aware of this situation, but that he knew that on the opening day of the exhibition Governor Rockefeller had had a speaking engagement and had been out of town. He said that he was sure that had Governor Rockefeller been in town on the day of the President's visit, he would have come with the President.
/12/Nelson A. Rockefeller, Governor of New York.
Mr. Mikoyan said he enjoyed the talk but that he realized that it was late and that he, therefore, did not want to detain his guests.
The Vice President said that he could predict that the trade situation would get better, perhaps slowly at first but it could improve more rapidly if the political situation improves and develops faster. He said that he could not agree that trade agreements must precede political settlements.
The meeting ended at 10:15 a.m.
98. Memorandum of Conversation
Moscow, July 25, 1959.
Vice President's Kremlin Conversation with Kozlov
United States--Vice President Nixon, Ambassador Thompson, Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, USN; Mr. Akalovsky (interpreting)
USSR--Mr. Frol Kozlov, First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR
Mr. V.V. Kuznetsov, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
Mr. S.R. Striganov, Deputy Chief of the American Countries Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
Mr. Lepanov (interpreting)
The conversation took place in the Kremlin, Moscow, USSR.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2559. Confidential. Drafted by Akalovsky and approved by Kohler on August 31.
After an exchange of greetings Mr. Kozlov expressed his regret that the Vice President and his party would stay only one day in Mr. Kozlov's home city of Leningrad. The Vice President began by explaining why he had invited Admiral Rickover to accompany him on this trip. He pointed out that Mr. Kozlov and the Admiral had had a delightful day together in Shippingport and that the Admiral is a top US leader in the field of atomic energy. The Vice President expressed his appreciation for the opportunity that would be given him to visit the Soviet icebreaker Lenin and stated that both the President and he strongly believe that atomic energy should be utilized for peaceful purposes. He said that he wanted to explore with Mr. Kozlov in what specific areas exchanges of information on atomic energy or on peaceful uses of atomic energy could be arranged. For this reason Admiral Rickover had been asked to explore as representative of the President and the Vice President, what might be done in this area that had not yet been done.
Mr. Kozlov replied that Admiral Rickover could get in touch with Glavatom, the Soviet atomic energy agency, and discuss the subject. However, he said, he wanted to observe that Admiral Rickover's activities are not in the area of peaceful uses but rather are in that of submarines.
The Vice President replied that he knew that Admiral Rickover had an effective answer to this remark. However, he wanted to say that we know the destructive power of atomic energy and that this is why we want to develop its peaceful uses. This development would reduce international tension.
Mr. Kozlov agreed that peaceful uses of atomic energy should be developed and stated that the Soviet people have been working in that direction. Cooperation in that field is a very desirable thing since work in isolation might lead to such curious situations as the one which he had encountered during his visit to the University of California laboratory in Berkeley. Mr. McMillan,/1/ who had received him there, had told him about the laboratory's plans for building an accelerator. As it happens, Veksler,/2/ a Soviet nuclear scientist, who had visited the United States, had been working on the same problem. The solutions Veksler had reached turned out to be the same as those of American scientists. This incident points up the need for and the usefulness of exchanges in this area.
/1/Edwin M. McMillan, Director of the Radiation Laboratory, University of California.
/2/Vladimir Iosefovich Veksler, head of the High Energy Laboratory, Dubna Joint Nuclear Research Institute.
The Vice President said that he wanted to emphasize that it was important, in addition to just talking, to lay a basis for action. For this reason he was asking Admiral Rickover to say what, on the basis of his authority, could be done in that area. The Vice President pointed out again that the Admiral had authority from the United States Government. He pointed out that the occasion of Admiral Rickover's presence in the USSR offered a rare opportunity where a technical expert was available for detailed discussions.
Admiral Rickover said that he wanted first to note that the work done by him was not limited to nuclear submarines and surface ships but that it also included peaceful uses of atomic energy. For example, he had been responsible for the design of the Shippingport reactor which was entirely devoted to peaceful uses. He recalled his meeting with Mr. Kozlov at the nuclear power station at Shippingport and his statement to Mr. Kozlov that the United States was prepared to release all the information on that installation for a suitable exchange./3/
/3/An extensive summary of Admiral Rickover's meeting with Kozlov at Shippingport on July 11, including quotations from their conversation, was published in The New York Times, July 12, 1959. This account notes only that Rickover told Kozlov that all the information at the atomic power plant would be made available to Kozlov, and he gave him a packet of books on the construction, operation, and operating history of the plant.
Mr. Kozlov replied that information on the Soviet nuclear power station near Moscow had also been made public. He said that if the Admiral was interested, he would be welcome to go there and visit it. However, he said, he agreed with the statement made by the Admiral at Shippingport that electric power from nuclear reactors is too expensive now and that much work should be done to develop this source of energy in order to make it as cheap as hydroelectric and thermal power stations.
Admiral Rickover stated that he was authorized to make arrangements for exchanges on all reactors including those for use in aircraft. The United States would be willing to exchange information on reactors in return for similar or other information from the Soviet Union.
Mr. Kozlov said that this was a very interesting proposition and that it could be considered by the Soviet Government.
Admiral Rickover stated that the United States has plutonium-producing reactors at Hanford and the Savannah River plants. The United States would be willing to exchange information on all types of reactors so that the Soviet Union could see for itself that the United States is willing to turn to peaceful utilization of atomic energy. The United States would like to have quick results in the matters of such exchanges and it is offering them in a spirit of true sincerity. Also, the Admiral continued, the United States is developing at Hanford a dual purpose reactor for the production of plutonium and electric power. The Soviet Union seems to be also designing such a reactor and the United States would be prepared to exchange information on all reactors, including the one just mentioned. The United States would be prepared to open the information and technology on all reactors located on land.
Mr. Kozlov replied that the Soviet Government would consider this proposition and inform the United States of its views.
Admiral Rickover observed that it would be very helpful if at least tentative exchange arrangements could be made before the Vice President's departure. He said that it would be desirable if the Soviet Government designated a person to deal with him without authority to act but only to develop an outline which would then be referred to the principals for decision. Admiral Rickover also expressed willingness to change his itinerary if this should become necessary in connection with his suggestion.
Mr. Kozlov said that it would be difficult to act so fast. Firstly because the Soviet Government must consider the US suggestion and secondly because he believed that our two countries must work primarily on creating confidence between them. He reiterated, however, that the Soviet Government would consider the American suggestion.
The Vice President said that the difficulty was to find a way to develop trust and confidence which, as Mr. Kozlov himself had said, is so necessary. The US had thought that the area suggested by Admiral Rickover was one where a very good start could be made. The Vice President emphasized that he was not suggesting that classified projects should be disclosed to the US but rather that discussions on these exchanges be held at a high level so that the confidence desired by both sides could be created.
Mr. Kozlov replied that the atmosphere during his visit to the United States had been better than it is now. He said that the Congressional resolution on captive nations has introduced an element of deterioration in the relations between the US and the USSR. This resolution is resented by the Soviet people and it cannot contribute to the lessening of tension.
The Vice President observed that Mr. Kozlov was probably aware of the fact that this subject had been discussed at length with Mr. Khrushchev yesterday./4/ Therefore he felt that no useful purpose would be served in discussing it at length again.
/4/See Document 95.
Mr. Kozlov agreed but said that the resolution included such states as the Ukraine, Turkestan, Kazakhstan, etc., and said that the United States could not treat the peoples of the Soviet Union in this manner. The peoples of the Soviet Union are not captive, they are freely building a new life. Actions such as this resolution put the Soviet Union on guard.
The Vice President pointed out that the President's proclamation did not specifically include any areas forming a part of the USSR and that under the American system the final act is the President's act. The Vice President said that he had no illusion regarding what the Soviet Government terms a revolution in the USSR; furthermore, he wanted to say that he had received a friendly reception by people he had met in the Soviet Union and he was very much impressed by their pride in their work, their love for their country and their friendship for him and his group.
Referring to Mr. Kozlov's remark that this resolution had worsened the situation, the Vice President said that this was all the more reason for concrete action in the field of exchanges as proposed by Admiral Rickover, so that a feeling of confidence could be created. The Vice President recalled his statement during his meeting with Mr. Kozlov in Washington to the effect that both sides should realize that both of them are strong, will have to deal with each other, and will be around for a long time.
Mr. Kozlov commented on the friendly reception he had had in the US on the part of the common people in factories, research centers, and scientific establishments. Therefore no such action as this resolution should have been taken after his trip because it harms US-USSR relations and does not contribute to a lessening of tension. As far as exchanges are concerned, Mr. Kozlov continued, he felt that exchanges of parliamentary and medical delegations, as suggested by the USSR, should be carried out. Such exchanges would be a very proper step after Mr. Mikoyan's and his own visit to the US. Such exchanges are greatly favored by the Soviet Government because it believes that they contribute to a lessening of tension rather than worsening the situation. On the other hand actions like the resolution in question, which are contrary to what the Vice President and the President have often said, lead only to estrangement between our two countries.
Then Vice President inquired why Mr. Kozlov seemed to object to the exchanges proposed by Admiral Rickover.
Mr. Kozlov replied that he did not object but that he had simply said that the question would have to be studied and a reply would be given.
The Vice President observed that both the US and the USSR, as every big country, have a great deal of red tape, which is an element of bigness, but which should be cut where important and far reaching decisions are to be made. The purpose of high level diplomacy is precisely to cut red tape.
Mr. Kozlov agreed that both the US and the USSR have a great deal of red tape but recalled that the USSR had proposed an exchange of parliamentary delegations as far back as in 1955 and a friendship pact in 1956./5/ These were very good proposals from the Soviet point of view, but the Soviet Government has yet to receive an answer from the US. The Soviet Union could not understand why these two steps, which would greatly contribute to the establishment of friendly relations between the two great nations and would also improve the climate throughout the world, had been left unanswered by the US for several years. Apparently American bureaucracy stands still.
/5/At the Foreign Ministers conference in Geneva on October 31, 1955, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov referred to the invitation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which resulted in visits to the Soviet Union by parliamentary delegations from several nations, not including the United States. (The Geneva Meeting of Foreign Ministers, October 27 - November 16, 1955 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1955), p. 237) This invitation has not been further identified.
For texts of Bulganin's letter to Eisenhower, January 23, 1956, proposing a treaty of friendship and cooperation between the two nations; a Soviet draft treaty on the subject enclosed with this letter; and Eisenhower's responses to Bulganin of January 28 and March 1, 1956, see Department of State Bulletin, February 6, 1956, pp. 191 - 195, and March 14, 1956, pp. 514 - 515.
The Vice President rejoined by saying that Mr. Kozlov, being a frank, reasonable man, would realize that the US could also list several proposals of its own, proposals which the US considers to be reasonable and useful, that had not been answered by the Soviet Union. The Vice President again suggested that the way to make progress in diplomacy is to take positive actions and cited as an example the exchange of exhibits. He also said that he wanted to point out that what the US had suggested today was extremely important from the point of view of world public opinion and that such an action would not only contribute to the knowledge of our two respective peoples but also show to the world that the two great atomic powers are willing to embark upon the road to peaceful cooperation in the field of atomic energy.
Mr. Kozlov said that he agreed that the Soviet exhibition in New York and the American exhibition in Moscow had no doubt a positive effect on the situation. As to the suggestion made by the US today, it would be studied.
Before leaving, the Vice President suggested that Admiral Rickover meet with a top level Soviet official so that a general layout rather than detailed arrangements could be done while the Admiral is in the Soviet Union.
Mr. Kozlov again repeated that this question would be taken under advisement.
The meeting ended at 11:15 a.m.
99. Memorandum of Conversation
Ogorevo, July 26, 1959, 3:30 p.m.
Vice President Nixon Dr. Milton Eisenhower Ambassador Thompson Mr. Foy Kohler Mr. Alexander Akalovsky
Chairman Khrushchev First Deputy Chairman Mikoyan First Deputy Chairman Kozlov Mr. V.V. Kuznetsov Mr. S.R. Striganov Mr. Yuri Zhukov Mr. Troyanovsky Mr. Lepanov
The open air luncheon at the Soviet Government dacha began at 3:30 p.m. and continued until 8:45 p.m. Mrs. Nixon and the wives of the three top Soviet leaders were present throughout.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2659. Confidential; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Kohler and Akalovsky and approved by Kohler on August 31. The meeting was held at the Soviet Government summer house at Ogorevo near Moscow. Attached to the source text is a short summary of passages excised or paraphrased from Khrushchev's conversations with Nixon. These passages contained Khru- shchev's apologies for his use of "strong peasant language" and Nixon's use of similar vulgar language in response. For Nixon's account of this conversation, see Six Crises, pp. 284 - 293.
After about one-half hour of casual table talk Khrushchev launched the serious phase of the conversation with a discourse on Soviet rocket and atomic prowess. He said that he had had a long session yesterday with Soviet scientists who had presented plans to him for launching rockets into the earth's orbit with a payload of 100 tons. This, he said, was sufficient for all kinds of instrumentation; it was also sufficient to carry man and equipment for his return to earth. This project was only in the planning stage at present, but solidly based and clearly realizable without difficulty. He then referred to the accuracy of modern missiles, citing a Soviet ICBM launching about a week ago over a 7000 kilometer course with a final deviation off target of 1.7 kilometers in distance and less than 1.4 kilometers to the right. However, he continued, accidents were always possible. In this connection, he wanted to divulge a secret: a month ago the Soviet Government had been very worried when an ICBM of the same type (Mikoyan contradicted him at this point and said that this was a different missile) had a malfunction in the engine cutoff system and had overshot its intended course by 2000 kilometers. The Soviet Government had feared it might land in Alaska but fortunately it fell into the Ocean. While this missile had carried no warhead, its accidental landing in Alaska, he realized, could have created a grave incident. Khrushchev said that he supposed that we had monitored these shots. In fact, he said, he knew that we did and confirmed that the Soviets do too. The Vice President pointed out that in this field it was very difficult for great nations to do things that are not known to the other side, to which Khrushchev agreed. The Vice President said that this was the reason why the U.S. had been happy to show Mr. Tupolev our missile production--the U.S. felt that no secrets had been revealed.
Khrushchev stated that Tupolev had told him upon his return from the U.S. that he had not been able to see much there--all he had been shown was the cigar-shaped final product, from which one could not tell anything, and he had not been shown the actual rockets.
The Vice President replied that Mr. Kozlov had been invited to observe missile launchings at the Vandenberg and Cape Canaveral launching sites, but had not availed himself of that opportunity.
Khrushchev said that he knew about that, but the USSR felt that the time was not yet ripe for such things. The proper time for such visits would come after the U.S. bases had been liquidated--then the USSR would show the U.S. its launching sites and missiles. The reason for this was a simple one: U.S. bases are some 300 kilometers from the borders of the USSR, while the USSR is several thousand kilometers away from the U.S.
The Vice President observed that this situation was a two-way street and then referred to Khrushchev's statement to Mr. Harriman to the effect that the USSR had given China missiles to shell Quemoy./1/
/1/Regarding Khrushchev's statement, see Document 75.
Khrushchev denied this and asserted that all he had said was that the USSR would supply China with missiles if it were attacked by the U.S. He also said that in view of the insignificant distance of 70 kilometers between the Chinese mainland and Formosa, the USSR could, if necessary, supply China with a large number of missiles capable of covering that distance, but again asserted that at the present time the USSR was not furnishing missiles to anyone.
The Vice President then referred to the high cost of missiles, stating that it was unfortunate that so much money had to be spent for building missiles, when the money needed to build one missile could buy 153,000 TV sets, or endow several universities, or buy shoes for several million children.
Khrushchev expressed surprise at these figures and said that the U.S. missile production was too expensive and that it was much cheaper in the USSR. He went on to say that, as he had told Mr. Harriman, the USSR was in possession of "U.S. operational plans," the authenticity of which, of course, was not certain in view of possible U.S. counterintelligence operations, and that it was possible that the U.S. had Soviet operational plans too. Soviet specialists, he said, had told him that to paralyze vital centers in the U.S. as well as in Europe, Asia, i.e., the U.S. bases on these two continents, rockets costing a total of 30 billion rubles were needed. This figure was based on the Soviet missile production costs, and it had been reported accurately by Mr. Harriman. He added that this figure included the cost of both ICBMs, which were the most expensive, and IRBMs as well.
The Vice President inquired whether Mr. Khrushchev was referring to what the Soviet Union had or what it needed.
Khrushchev replied that this was what the USSR had. (However there was at this point considerable discussion between Soviet leaders and interpreters. Consensus of Russian-speaking Americans present was that Khrushchev was talking in terms of present Soviet capabilities rather than of actual stocks of missiles already on hand.)
The Vice President then remarked that this meant that the USSR had 3 billion dollars worth of missiles to knock out vital centers of the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Khrushchev replied that ICBMs would be used only against the U.S., while the U.K., Germany, and even Spain could be hit with IRBMs, i.e., missiles with a range of 2000 kilometers; the next higher range of ballistic missiles, he added, was 4000 kilometers.
The Vice President then commented that, as far as the U.S. was concerned, the main cost was involved in launching sites rather than in missiles proper, and inquired whether this was also true in the USSR.
Khrushchev replied in the negative, saying that launching pads were cheap and that the USSR was building mobile launching pads so that they could change positions.
The Vice President asked Mr. Khrushchev whether mobile launching platforms were built for use in the air or on land. Khrushchev replied that they were not intended for use in the air.
The Vice President then wondered why the Soviet Union continued to build bombers when ICBMs were available.
At this point Mr. Khrushchev interrupted the substantive conversation in order to toast the health of the President of the U.S., Mrs. Nixon and the Vice President, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, and all American guests present, as well as friendship between the Soviet and American people.
The Vice President replied in kind and also raised his glass to the day when the U.S. might receive Mr. Khrushchev.
Reverting to the substance of the conversation, Mr. Khrushchev replied to the Vice President that the Soviet Union had almost stopped the production of bombers. Bombers and fighter aircraft were being built only in numbers sufficient to maintain the training of Soviet air personnel so that this investment would not be lost. He said that perhaps these bombers could be useful for some limited purpose, but it was not likely. Missiles were much more accurate and not subject to human failure or human emotion. He said that humans were frequently incapable of dropping bombs on assigned targets because of emotional revulsion, a factor not present in missiles. He cited an incident in World War II when Russian bomber crews had claimed to have hit an advanced target, but when the territory in question was recovered the target was found intact because the personnel involved had simply jettisoned their bombs harmlessly without even reaching the target area. Khrushchev went on to say that he felt really sorry for the Navy, it being an obsolete element in arms, which could only provide "fodder for sharks." In view of their slow speed, cruisers and aircraft carriers were completely useless, "sitting ducks," and the USSR had stopped building them.
The Vice President observed that Khrushchev apparently did not include submarines in his analysis of modern naval capabilities, since the Soviets had been reported to be building submarines in quantities.
Khrushchev confirmed the Soviets were building as many submarines as they could. However, Mikoyan intervened at this point and said "as many as needed."
The Vice President commented that submarines were highly useful for launching missiles and that they would be particularly useful when solid fuel had been developed.
Khrushchev agreed but said that the Soviets believed that launching from land was much better than from the sea.
The Vice President observed that this depended on the strategic situation of the nation involved.
Mr. Khrushchev then said that he wanted to reveal another secret-- submarines would be used by the USSR for destroying ports, suburban areas [sic]/2/ and the Navy of the enemy. Destruction of the enemy's Navy would paralyze his sea communications, a factor which would be of great importance, since the Soviet Union's potential enemy would be highly dependent on sea communications. He said that Soviet submarines would carry ballistic missiles and anti-vessel rockets, the range of which was now 600 kilometers, but would be increased to 1000 kilometers in the future. The latter range, according to Soviet scientists, would be entirely sufficient.
/2/Brackets in the source text.
The Vice President then pointed out that the main problem in missiles was fuel and said that the USSR had been reported as having made good progress in this field, which was evidenced by the thrusts it had attained. It was obvious that the future called for the development of solid fuels, which were easier to store and maintain in readiness. Solid fuel would particularly answer the problem of submarine-carried missiles.
Khrushchev confirmed that the Soviet Union had attained success in the development of rocket fuels, saying that without that its achievement in rocketry would not have been possible. However, he declined to discuss the question of solid fuels, saying that this was a technical subject which he, being a politician rather than a technician, was not qualified to discuss.
At this point Mrs. Nixon intervened to express surprise there was a subject Khrushchev was not prepared to discuss. To her Khrushchev was "one-man government" seemed to know everything and to have everything firmly in own hands. To this Mikoyan observed that even Khrushchev did not have enough hands to handle everything and therefore needed others to help him.
The Vice President then referred to Mr. Khrushchev's statements in Albania, in which he had said that it was better to station intermediate range rockets in Albania than in the USSR./3/ Since press reports may be interpreted in different ways, the Vice President said, it would be interesting to know what Mr. Khrushchev actually had in mind.
/3/During an official visit to Albania May 25 - June 4, Khrushchev made several speeches assailing the establishment of U.S. missile bases in Italy and warning that if Greece allowed such bases, the Soviet Union might erect bases in Albania. For the condensed text of two of his speeches at Tirana, see Current Digest of the Soviet Press, June 24, 1959, pp. 12 - 13, and July 1, 1959, pp. 3 - 5. Regarding Khrushchev's trip to Albania, see Part 2, Documents 35 and 36.
Khrushchev said that the U.S. had made arrangements for stationing missiles in Italy, arrangements which were directed against the USSR rather than, say, Africa. The USSR has to paralyze these missiles and he believed that the best place for stationing Soviet missiles would be Albania. The distance between Albania and Italy is only 300 kilometers and thus the Soviet Union would not have to expend its longer-range missiles or endanger neutral territory. When the Vice President interjected, "or without danger to yourselves from fallout," Khrushchev dismissed this as another question. Italy and Greece could be hit best from Albania and Bulgaria, while Turkey could be hit from the territory of the USSR and Bulgaria. It was this that he had had in mind, although he had not mentioned Turkey in the statement referred to by the Vice President. However, he added, at present the Soviet Union had no bases in these two countries. They would be established in Albania when U.S. bases were established in Italy and in Bulgaria when U.S. bases were established in Greece.
The Vice President then asked whether the Soviets made a distinction between collective security arrangements such as NATO and the individual nations belonging to NATO.
Khrushchev said yes, but the individual members of such arrangements had to make a decision about bases if they wanted to avoid becoming missile targets. If some individual country decided not to accept rockets, the Soviet Union would not hit it with its own missiles.
The Vice President observed that Khrushchev frequently made public statements on the subject of missiles, including the question of their delivery to China. When people in the West read some such statements it was possible that they got an impression which Khrushchev did not intend. He said that today Mr. Khrushchev was apparently simply relating his estimate of the strength the USSR possesses and how this strength would resist any attack or how the USSR would counterattack. However, when such talk is published throughout the world it frequently creates the impression of a deliberate attempt to threaten other countries. Taking into account the attitude toward peace of the people of the U.S. as well as of other nations, these statements could be misunderstood. The Vice President said that he did not know the strength of the U.S. as well as the President, who was highly competent in the military field and could discuss these matters at length. Mr. Khrushchev, of course, also knows the strength of the USSR very well. However, the U.S. has, as Khrushchev knows, considerable power but it does not want to have to use it. No war, regardless of who starts it, can be prevented from causing disaster to the entire world, because even a sudden blow could not eliminate the retaliatory power of the other side. As to the U.S. and the USSR, their respective advantages could not be decisive, i.e., they both must recognize that they are both strong, that they have the necessary will, and that their peoples are strong. Neither of the two countries should look down upon the other; and if there is mutual respect then the two countries can create a basis for the negotiations necessary for reducing existing world problems and for bringing about a reduction in armed forces, which is desired by both sides. The Vice President continued by saying that in his statements to the press as well as in his public statements he would make no reference to the balance of power between the U.S. and the USSR, but would rather emphasize that both nations are powerful and that they have to see to it that the future is that of peace rather than of war. The Vice President emphasized that he was not saying that a settlement of differences would be easy, but still both sides must exert every effort toward this end.
Mr. Khrushchev expressed full agreement as to the Vice President's estimate of the correlation of forces as between the two powers. He denied that Soviet leaders had ever made statements to the effect that the Soviet Union could destroy the United States without suffering losses itself. Yet some American generals had said that the U.S. could wipe out the Soviet Union in no time. (The Vice President indicated dissent, but Khrushchev held the floor.) He then continued to say that he would reveal another secret. The Vice President was undoubtedly familiar with Marshal Vershinin's famous interview about a year ago on Soviet capabilities of destruction. It was he, Khrushchev, who had dictated that interview. He had been on vacation at that time and had summoned the Marshal and a secretary in order to dictate that interview. The Soviet Government could not let pass in silence certain statements by U.S. generals and the Presidium had carefully considered at what level their reply should be issued. Finally it chose Vershinin, Chief of the Soviet Air Force, to equate with the sources of U.S. threats. A statement by one of the Ministers or by the Chief of Staff would not have been appropriate because it could have been misunderstood by the other side. The Soviet Government as such had never made statements comparable to statements by some U.S. generals. Such statements were irresponsible because the other side might misunderstand them. [The Vershinin statement referred to appears to be a four-column interview with the Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Air Forces by a Pravda correspondent published in the Pravda of Sunday, Sept. 8, 1957, summarized as follows by Embassy Moscow at that time:
"Primary emphasis on (1) annihilative nature of another general war; (2) U.S. `stupidity' evidenced by Generals and Admirals who say Soviet Union could be destroyed in several hours (specific reference to General Norstad, Admiral Burke and Field Marshal Montgomery); (3) rocket warfare nature of next war, Soviet superior offensive ability with such weapons, and charge that there is no defense against rockets; (4) ulterior motives, particularly adverse to U.S. military partners, of U.S. plan for world supremacy; (5) ulterior motives of U.S. monopolies and military leaders for continuation of arms race; (6) necessity follow Soviet standard disarmament proposals."]/4/
/4/Brackets in the source text. The quoted paragraph is from telegram 507 from Moscow, September 9, 1957. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5/9 - 957)
Khrushchev then said that it would be very easy for the USSR to destroy Europe and also mentioned that there would be no need for pinpoint missile accuracy, since accuracy with a 100 kilometer tolerance would be entirely adequate. He then cited a joke he understood to be current in England about pessimists and optimists. The pessimists said only 6 atomic bombs would be needed to wipe out the U.K., while the optimists said 9 or 10 would be required. Referring again to Turkey, Khrushchev said that, while being a poor, hungry country of beggars, it was a U.S. base. The USSR held no naval forces in the Black Sea because Turkish territory as well as the entire sea could be covered with missiles and missile carriers. This was why the Soviet Union could not understand why the U.S. held to its bases. Perhaps the purpose was to divert the Soviet Union's nuclear power to the countries where U.S. bases are maintained. Mikoyan interjected that the purpose of U.S. bases was "political domination." Khrushchev said, "If you intend to make war on us, I understand; if not, why do you keep them?"
Khrushchev then said that he would reveal another, internal secret of the Soviet Union. He said that the Austrian State Treaty had been concluded at his own initiative. He had summoned Molotov and asked him why no peace treaty with Austria was being concluded. Molotov had replied that this was impossible. Khrushchev had said to Molotov, "If you want war, then all right, we should keep our positions in the West; however, if we want no war, then why not sign a peace treaty with Austria?" The question had been discussed at length within the Soviet Government and finally the decision to sign a peace treaty with Austria had been approved by every member except Molotov. Khrushchev went on to say that the Soviet Union had gained by this; it has the best possible relations with Austria, even better than with Finland, which are also very good, and all this in spite of the fact that both countries have bourgeois regimes. He recalled in this connection that when he had charged Chancellor Raab/5/ with being a capitalist, Raab had replied that he was only a "small capitalist." Khrushchev went on to say that, without wanting to brag, he wanted to point out that it was again he who had proposed that the Soviet Union liquidate its Porkalla base in Finland./6/ His reasoning had been that if the Soviet Union did not want to seize Finland then why direct guns against the Finns. Again there were many discussions and finally the decision had been reached to withdraw. Khru-shchev said that if the U.S. were to do the same thing with respect to its bases, world tensions would be relaxed. "I put to you the same question that I put to Molotov," he said, "Do you want to attack us?"
/5/Julius Raab, Chancellor of Austria 1953 - 1961.
/6/Regarding the Soviet Union's relinquishment of this base, see footnote 6, Document 80.
Dr. Milton Eisenhower interjected that under no circumstances would the U.S. do that, and the Vice President also replied in the negative.
Khrushchev then claimed that the U.S. wanted to install new bases in Iran. Ambassador Thompson said this was not true.
Khrushchev rejoined by saying that although the U.S.-Iranian agreement was secret he still had read it and could even give the Vice President a true copy of that agreement./7/ It was true that it had no provision for bases, yet it did provide for U.S. assistance to Iran in the event of "indirect aggression." This meant, he said, that the U.S. wanted to act as gendarmes against the Iranian people when they rose against their government.
The Vice President said he hoped Khrushchev did not think the Soviets could hold a meeting of Communists from 51 countries in Moscow/8/ without the U.S. knowing what they were up to and what instructions they were getting with regard to subversive activities. Also Khrushchev had openly declared during his recent visit to Poland that the USSR would support revolution everywhere in the world./9/
/7/Reference is presumably to the agreement of cooperation between the United States and Iran signed at Ankara on March 5 and entered into force on the same day. (10 UST 314) This treaty was not secret and contained no secret provisions.
/8/Reference may be to a meeting held in Moscow November 14 - 16, 1957, of repres-entatives from 12, not 51, Communist nations.
/9/Not further identified.
Khrushchev observed that the U.S. should not pay its intelligence agents because they were no good. He claimed that only 12 nations rather than 51 had met and that nothing had come out of that meeting that had not been published in the press. He said that the U.S. did not understand Communist ideas--Communists were against subversion and terror. The U.S. was still talking about conspiratorial parties like the anarchists and Nihilists in the old czarist Russia, but even then Marxists disagreed with such an approach. In response to the Vice President's remark, "unless necessary," Khrushchev specified that Marxists had always been against "individual terror." He said that such terror served no useful purpose and recalled in this connection the assassination of Czar Alexander II, when the Czar was killed but the system still remained. Yet mass uprisings where the bourgeoisie does not surrender its power peacefully are a different thing and are favored by Marxists.
Dr. Milton Eisenhower inquired whether this was not interference in the internal affairs of other countries, while the Vice President wondered whether this meant that the peoples in bourgeois countries were captives whose liberation was justified.
Khrushchev replied that this was too vulgar a term, not a scientific term. He said that if the Soviet Union wanted subversion it would have organized the strongest possible Communist party in the U.S.A. and the whole course of history would be different. He denied that the Soviet Union was supporting violence.
The Vice President inquired how the uprising in Northern Iraq last week/10/ fitted into Khrushchev's theories. (This resulted in considerable exchange among the Soviets with confusion between last week's uprising and last year's revolution.)
/10/On July 14, fighting erupted between Turcomans and Kurds in Kirkuk, Iraq. Kurdish soldiers, led by Communists, disobeyed orders and began to massacre Turcomans. Army reinforcements, which were sent in from Baghdad, did not restore order until July 18.
Khrushchev finally replied that he knew of nothing going on in Iraq and therefore could not comment.
The Vice President then cited the case of Czechoslovakia.
Khrushchev said this was an interesting example worth examining. He said the Communist party in Czechoslovakia had been the only party in the country which had not surrendered to the Germans. For that reason the prestige of the Communist party had been much greater than its influence in the post-war government of Czechoslovakia, and so the Communist party presented demands on behalf of the people and the government capitulated. There was not one Soviet soldier in the country at that time and the Czech revolution was like the U.S. revolution. There was a complete parallel between the two situations. It was not King George III who had given the Americans their independence--American independence had been won as a result of the American revolution and the sympathies of the Russian people had been on the American side at that time.
The Vice President commented that, of course, everyone can give his interpretation of history. He then referred to the question of individual terror and recalled the Soviet incitement through the press and radio calling for terrorism against Mrs. Nixon and himself when they had been visiting Latin America./11/ Mobs had tried to kill them and the Soviet press and radio had expressed approval of those actions. The Vice President said he wondered how Mr. Khrushchev could reconcile this with his statement.
/11/Nixon made a good will tour of eight South American countries April 27 - May 15, 1958.
Khrushchev replied that he never evaded acute problems and quoted the Russian saying, "You are my guest but truth is my mother." He admitted that the sympathy of the people of the USSR had been with the people who had been against the Vice President. The Vice President had been the target of the righteous indignation of the people, indignation which had been directed not against him personally but rather against the policy of the U.S. The Soviet Union had regarded the Vice President's trip as demonstrating failure of the U.S. policy. Khrushchev said he thought that if the Vice President had visited the countries in question as a tourist no one would have paid attention to him, and repeated that all violence had been directed against American policy rather than the personality of the Vice President.
The Vice President said he accepted Khrushchev's right to his opinion and to his sympathy for such acts. However, he pointed out, what had happened in Venezuela might happen in the world between countries of great power. When military power like that of the Soviet Union was coupled with such revolutionary policies there was a grave danger of matters getting out of control. In comparison, the 2000 kilometers mistake on the ICBM was a relatively small error. Therefore men like President Eisenhower and Mr. Khrushchev who are reasonable, tough, not soft or frightened, must approach these problems on the basis of give and take. Mr. Khrushchev was one of the most effective exponents of his own views, but he adhered to one single theme--the U.S. was always wrong, the Soviets never. It was impossible to find a settlement between two strong nations on that basis. Geneva was an example of that. Secretary Herter, representing the President, had made several concessions to meet the Soviet point of view. But a point can be reached where one side can go no further--therefore, both sides must give.
Khrushchev, referring to the events in Venezuela, said that the Vice President's remarks in that connection smacked of imperialism and tried to justify interference in internal affairs. This was the Eisenhower - Dulles policy, which wanted to control Venezuela's decisions because the U.S. believed that that country was of strategic importance. Such policies would result in hatred for the U.S. everywhere; even in Taiwan last year there had been anti-American riots. The U.S. wanted to determine itself where it could intervene, and this was an imperialist approach. The peoples of the countries concerned would not tolerate that.
The Vice President interrupted Khrushchev and asked him what he could say about the events in Hungary, Poland and East Germany.
Khrushchev dismissed this question, saying that this was an entirely different matter.
Khrushchev then referred to the Vice President's remarks regarding concessions and said that when peace was at stake no surrender, but only advance was possible. Soviet proposals were formulated on a global basis to appeal to the entire world, not just the U.S. Soviet proposals were well thought out and were supported by the entire world, because they were for peace. As for Geneva, this was a tea party and made little or no sense.
[Here follows discussion of the Foreign Ministers Meeting in Geneva and the Berlin question, printed in volume VIII, Document 481.]
At this point the Vice President invited Dr. Eisenhower to speak. Dr. Eisenhower said that he spoke as a private citizen and educator, with only limited experience in foreign affairs, and for whom it was a privilege to attend this historic meeting, a meeting that offered hope. He said that he wanted to emphasize that never in history had the people of the U.S. started a war. The people of the U.S. wished most passionately that peoples of the world could live in peace, choose their own governments, and select methods for progress. He observed that in another year and a half President Eisenhower would have completed 50 years of service to his country. Dr. Eisenhower expressed the hope that by some miracle within that time, before President Eisenhower's Administration ends, something would be done to ensure that no war should happen.
The Vice President remarked that Dr. Eisenhower had pointed up a possibility which should not be overlooked. The decisions made within the next year or so could determine the course of history for the next 50 years. The architects of those decisions would be the President, the Soviet Prime Minister himself, and other leaders of nations, but the key people would be the President and Mr. Khrushchev.
Mr. Khrushchev agreed and said that this was logical because the USSR and the United States are the two most powerful nations. He then invited his Deputies to speak and show that he was not alone in presenting the views of the Soviet Government. Both were First Deputies. He would give priority to Mikoyan because of age but in contest would not exclude possibility Kozlov first.
Mikoyan said that all the words uttered by Khrushchev were so reasonable, logical and persuasive that he had nothing to add. He observed that when he had visited the U.S. he had found there a desire to understand the Soviet Union and that he had reported this to the Government. He concluded his remarks by saying that Mr. Khrushchev in his statements today had reflected the attitude of the Soviet people, which the Vice President had been able to observe earlier at "our Moscow River rallies." He proposed that policies of dictates and ultimata be replaced by policies of peace and friendship.
Mr. Kozlov joined Mikoyan in supporting Khrushchev's remarks and said that he also had found a desire for peace in the U.S. He would emphasize that the entire Soviet Government and all the Soviet people support the position set forth by Mr. Khrushchev.
Khrushchev concluded the conversation by saying that what he had said was not his own policy but rather the policy of the Government and of the Party. There was no divergence of views within the Government or the Central Committee of the Party. The people of the Soviet Union also understand the problems in this matter and are brought up in that spirit. They desire only peace.
After an exchange of pleasantries the group rose from the luncheon table at 8:50 p.m.
In taking leave of Ambassador Thompson following the luncheon, Khrushchev half-apologized for his attack on the Ambassador during the conversation, saying that he had not meant to give offense./12/ Thompson replied that he had not meant to make a threat.
/12/The exchange between Thompson and Khrushchev took place during the discussion of Berlin, printed in vol. VIII, Document 481.
Following the luncheon, the Vice President walked to the dacha with Khrushchev accompanied only by Soviet interpreter Lepanov and Mr. Kohler. During the private exchange the Vice President mentioned the correspondence which had taken place between the President and Prime Minister with respect to an exchange of visits between the two./13/ In this connection, he again referred to the necessity that if such meetings were to be profitable, they must take place in an atmosphere from which the element of crisis had been removed. In replying Khrushchev referred to a report which he had just received from Soviet Ambassador Menshikov along similar lines, which he said he considered as reflecting the President's instructions to Mr. Murphy./14/ He added rather cryptically, that "instructions had been sent to Gromyko" at Geneva. The Vice President then said that the nature of the luncheon conversation had been such that he had not felt the occasion opportune to mention a few bilateral matters, which caused us concern and were a subject of public interest, relating particularly to the status of individual Americans. He said that if the Prime Minister were agreeable he would like to write him letters on these matters. Khrushchev indicated that this course was agreeable to him and promised to do what he could in connection with these questions. (In pursuance of this private exchange the Vice President sent two letters to the Prime Minister, one dealing with the C - 130 case and the other with the issuance of Soviet exit visas to a selected list of American citizens and relatives of American citizens residing in the Soviet Union.)/15/
/13/See Documents 89 and 91.
/14/See Document 87.
/15/Regarding Nixon's August 1 letter to Khrushchev on the C - 130 case, see Document 55. Nixon's August 1 letter on exit visas is printed as Document 104.
100. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State
Moscow, July 26, 1959, midnight.
320. For the President from the Vice President. Geneva eyes only for Secretary of State. I met for eight hours with Khrushchev today in what can only be described as an extraordinary experience. Mikoyan and Kozlov were present with all three wives, plus Acting FonOff Kuznets-ov, Chief of Cultural Relations Zhukov, Acting Chief American Section FonOff Striganov, Soviet interpreters Troyanovsky and Lepanov. I had Pat, Milton, Ambassador Thompson, Kohler and Akalovsky.
The first two and one-half hours were spent cruising the Moscow River in motor boats, stopping eight times to gather bathers along shore for series of eight "political rallies". Despite Khrushchev needling me (several times publicly) to effect "here are your captive peoples," crowds were strikingly friendly and consensus my party applause for Pat, Milton and me even more vigorous than for Khrushchev himself.
Excursion was followed by lunch lasting from 3:30 to 9:00 pm with serious discussion throughout after first half hour./1/ On whole, Khru- shchev stuck by substantive positions, especially on Berlin and Germany, but tone was not hostile. Presence of ladies throughout, as well as my refusal be drawn into details on negotiating position, induced some restraint and kept conversation general in nature. Point I repeatedly emphasized was that element of crisis, for which he was responsible, must be removed from picture by Geneva if there were to be fruitful further negotiations. He seemed to back away some from previously stated positions. Especially strictly bilateral postscript to long luncheon conversations, in which your recent correspondence brought up, he referred to Murphy conversation with Ambassador Menshikov which he said he considered as reflecting your instructions. In this connection, he said rather cryptically, "instructions sent to Gromyko" at Geneva. In view this, Ambassador Thompson and entire party agree with me in strong recommendation we probe Gromyko at Geneva for a further period before you send reply to Khrushchev on possible bilateral meeting.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2659. Secret; Limit Distribution; Presidential Handling. Repeated to Geneva.
/1/See Document 99.
At dinner last night Embassy here, Khrushchev was obviously very tired. By this noon he had recovered but his ebullience faded during long afternoon and he was clearly tired again as we parted. He indicated he is leaving soon for vacation and rest.
Yesterday, in addition Ambassador Thompson dinner for Khrushchev attended by same party as today plus other Ministers, I had long talks with Mikoyan and Kozlov/2/ and visited Soviet Exhibition, hosted by Agriculture Minister Matskevitch. Nothing momentous. Tomorrow morning proceed Leningrad. Pressure of schedule has been such paper work is behind. For this reason, I am leaving Kohler and Akalovsky in Moscow to prepare telegrams for you giving full summaries of meetings, especially discussion with Khrushchev today, pending return and submission full report and evaluation.
As you will have learned, full text my speech at Exhibit opening published Pravda yesterday, which old hands here consider phenomenal and of major importance as respects long-term struggle. Exhibit itself is one of which we may be proud. McClellan was elated to receive your letter./3/
/2/See Documents 97 and 98.
/3/Eisenhower's letter to Harold C. McClellan, general manager of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, July 21, which Nixon handcarried to Moscow, congratulated McClellan for his central role "in transforming this Exhibition from an idea to a reality." (Eisenhower Library, White House Central Files)
On July 27, Eisenhower replied to Nixon's message as follows:
"Dear Dick: From all the reports I have received about your journey to the USSR, it is clear that you have so conducted yourself as to gain the respect and admiration of almost all Americans. I recognize many of the difficulties which you have to meet and I am grateful to you for the manner in which you are doing it.
"It is my understanding that the State Department has been providing you with current information and so I have no additional suggestions to make.
"Please give my warm greetings to Pat, Milton and to the rest of the party, and, of course, all the best to yourself.
"As ever, DE." (Transmitted in telegram 321 to Moscow, July 27; Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 2759)
101. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Herter, at Geneva
Washington, July 29, 1959, 8:59 p.m.
Tocah 201. [Here follow introductory paragraphs indicating the letter was handed to Ambassador Menshikov at 5 p.m.]/1/
"July 29, 1959.
Dear Mr. Chairman:
As I informed Ambassador Menshikov, I am grateful for your courteous and thoughtful reply that you so promptly made to my letter carried to you by your First Deputy Premier Mr. Kozlov./2/
//Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1459. Top Secret. Repeated to Moscow.
/1/A memorandum of Murphy's conversation with Menshikov on July 29, during which he handed the letter to Menshikov is ibid.
/2/See Documents 89 and 91.
I am glad that the exchange of visits which I suggested appeals to you and I hope that this exchange will in fact lead to a much better understanding between us on our many problems. I can understand that you might prefer to come to the United States in the cooler weather and suggest that we mutually consider some date in September which would permit us informally to exchange views in or near Washington for a period of two or three days and also enable you to spend ten days or so traveling in our country. For my part, if it were convenient for you I would plan to return the visit later in the fall. If you concur, Mr. Robert Murphy will be available to discuss with Ambassador Menshikov the matter of dates and more detailed planning, including that of public announcement.
I believe you will agree that your visit to the United States as well as my later visit to the Soviet Union should take place in an atmosphere conducive to fruitful results and improved relations between our two countries.
I can assure you that as far as the American people are concerned I cannot emphasize too strongly how great an improvement there would be in public opinion if our meeting could take place in an improved environment resulting from progress at Geneva.
As I have repeatedly said, and I earnestly hope you understand, I have no other purpose than to help bring about agreements, in which we can have mutual confidence, designed to promote better understandings, greater tolerance, and peaceful development among the world's peoples including the USSR and the US. There is no greater achievement to which the world's leaders can aspire.
You will correctly deduce from what I have just said that progress at Geneva so far has been disappointing to me and not sufficient to justify holding a summit conference of the four powers engaged in that conference. From such a summit conference I believe great good could come and I by no means despair of achieving the progress which would justify it. My suggestion specifically would be that the Foreign Ministers in Geneva make as rapid progress as may be possible in the next few days and if they do not reach agreement they plan to come together again with a view to accomplishing such interim and preparatory work as would justify us in holding a summit meeting of the four Heads of Government this autumn.
With best wishes for your continued good health,
Sincerely, Dwight D. Eisenhower"
102. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Herter, at Geneva
Washington, August 1, 1959, 7:32 p.m.
Tocah 222. No Distribution--Moscow for Ambassador only. Following FYI is text of letter to President from Khrushchev,/1/ in reply President's letter to him of July 29:
"July 31, 1959. Dear Mr. President, It is with great pleasure that I note the agreement, which was so quickly reached between us concerning the exchange of visits/2/--about my visit to the USA in September 1959 and about your visit to the USSR later, in the autumn of this year.
//Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1459. Top Secret; Niact; Presidential Handling. Repeated to Moscow.
/1/No information on the delivery of this letter has been found, although Menshikov probably handed it to Department of State officials late on July 31 or August 1. Tocah 215 to Geneva, July 31 at 8:16 p.m., reads in part: "We have just seen Menshikov again this evening. It was obvious that he is expecting momentarily some indication from Moscow as to the exact date preferred by Khrushchev for the personal visit." (Ibid., Central Files, 761.11/7 - 3159)
/2/See Document 101.
The USSR Ambassador in Washington has been given the necessary directions for coming to agreement with persons authorized by you on concrete dates and detailed plans on the organization of the visit and also on the texts of appropriate announcements for publication in the press.
Concerning concrete dates of your visit to the USSR, it goes without saying that we will be happy to receive you at any time convenient to you and would like you to stay a little longer in our country. There can be no doubt, Mr. President, that the people and Government of the USSR will give you a worthy welcome and that you will have full opportunity for acquainting yourself with all sides of life in our country, in which you develop an interest. Conditions will also be created for an exchange of opinions between you and the leading figures of the Soviet Union in an atmosphere of sincerity and good will.
We fully understand, Mr. President, the opinions expressed by you on the desirability of making progress in the work of the Conference of Foreign Ministers in Geneva. We note with pleasure that the positions of the two sides in Geneva on several questions have come somewhat closer. The Soviet Government in the future will do its best to bring about conditions in which the Conference of Foreign Ministers can be more fruitful.
However, it is impossible to overlook the fact that the possibilities of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs are limited, and that in view of the complexity of contemporary international conditions, the questions before them can prove too much for them to resolve. But this should not arouse pessimism among us concerning the expediency of convening a meeting at the summit. On the contrary, under these conditions the necessity of convening a Conference of the Heads of Governments not only does not diminish, but becomes even more urgent.
I and my colleagues deeply believe that if the Heads of Governments, guided by the principles of peaceful coexistence, will make a genuine effort to reach agreement on a number of problems, that the meeting will yield positive results and will be an important step in the matter of improving the international atmosphere and consolidating peace. It is just this, as is well known, that the peoples of all countries expect of the Heads of Governments.
From my heart I wish you good health. Until our approaching meeting.
With sincere regards, N. Khrushchev"
103. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State
Moscow, July 31, 1959, 7 p.m.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/7 - 3159. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Geneva.
390. For President from Vice President. Geneva eyes only for Secretary Herter. I have just returned to Moscow from a strenuous five-day trip through the Russian provinces, with roughly a day in Leningrad, the old Czarist capital; another in Novosibirsk, the rapidly developing capital of the Siberian frontier; over two in Sverdlovsk, the Ural industrial center, and neighboring cities; plus a lot of travel via TU 104 jets. Kozlov accompanied us to Leningrad, since then we have been in the hands of Yuri Zhukov, head of their "cultural relations" organization. Both American and Soviet press have been present throughout. Practically all activities and discussions have been public and I assume have been fully reported at home, so I shall not go into details. Despite the number of Soviet journalists and photographers along, reports in the local press have been sketchy, highly selected and slanted, with emphasis on what has been said to me and little or no report or mention of my responses.
Everywhere the feature of the trip has been a series of what I have come to call "foothill conferences." At every stop, I have had meetings and discussions with the local officials or plant directors. These have generally been strictly party line affairs, with the same record being played over and over again, from the "captive nations" gambit to "foreign bases." The best feature has been the crowds of ordinary citizens. During the week I have been in contact with tens of thousands of them and have personally greeted many hundreds. At every opportunity I have brought them your best wishes and presented Milton, with enormously enthusiastic response to the name Eisenhower. Some of the crowds of factory workers had obviously been given advance preparation, were clearly under discipline and had a sprinkling of planted "provocateurs" to heckle me. But even in such gatherings there was great curiosity and friendly interest, which in the case of the crowds along the city streets and in country villages were unboundedly enthusiastic. Ambassador Thompson and the other senior officers with me are greatly encouraged by this favorable popular reaction. They consider it demonstrates the really fervent desire of the Soviet people for peace; the counter-productive effect of Moscow's constant pounding of the line that the USA is the target to emulate--"to overtake and surpass"--; and the people's readiness to discount the unending propaganda against the American government and leaders. These tendencies will be stimulated when the hundreds who actually heard what I said here and there--and the additional thousands who will learn of this via the "grapevine" which flourishes in this system of controlled information-- compare what they know with the expurgated accounts they read in their own papers.
It is clear that the Soviets have been trying with their needling and planted hecklers to provoke me into some angry and ill-considered reactions. I have resisted the temptation to hit back violently, popular as that might be at home, for the sake of the weighty considerations involved at Geneva and between you and Khrushchev. Even Zhukov, who is probably primarily responsible for the needling effort, yesterday expressed admiration for my patience and restraint.
I let myself go only once, and that deliberately, by telling off a militiaman who tried to stop crowd's applause and cheers as I came out of the Sverdlovsk City Hall yesterday. The crowd obviously approved my action and renewed its demonstration. Now Khrushchev, in his speech at Dnepropetrovsk of which I learned last night,/1/ is following the same provocative line on a broader scale. This gives me a problem in connection with my radio-television address Saturday. While I shall deal with his major points, I propose to follow the same restrained tactics and avoid any detailed debate. It is clear that the Soviets have been most sensitive to my emphasis on free exchange and competition of information and ideas. Khrushchev seems in his speech to raise a possibility of not publishing my Saturday television speech and conceivably even of finding an excuse for canceling the broadcast altogether. (On the other hand, this would be a drastic departure from strict adherence to reciprocity in all respects so far.)
/1/For the condensed text of this July 28 speech, see Current Digest of the Soviet Press, August 26, 1959, pp. 13 - 16.
On substantive matters, the only thing which merits reporting--for what it is worth--is Zhukov's comment on Geneva. Yesterday he said to me privately that: "I think your meeting with the Prime Minister last Sunday/2/ will have a positive effect on breaking the bottleneck at Geneva." Talking earlier with Ambassador Thompson he made a similar statement but modified its meaning by referring also to the Soviet all- German committee proposal./3/ We have been unable to evaluate these remarks, since we have had only fragmentary and insecure communications on this trip and consequently no current reports from Secretary Herter at Geneva.
/2/See Document 99.
/3/Gromyko made this proposal at the June 10 plenary session of the Geneva Foreign Ministers Meeting; see vol. VIII, Document 381.
One message which did get through by telephone from the Embassy in Moscow Thursday night, was your note to me,/4/ which I greatly appreciate. Pat, Milton, and the rest of our party join in sending you our best.
/4/See footnote 3, Document 100.
104. Letter From Vice President Nixon to Chairman Khrushchev
Moscow, August 1, 1959.
DEAR MR. KHRUSHCHEV: In the course of our talks last Sunday/1/ I had occasion to speak of certain persons, American citizens and relatives of American citizens, who desire to be reunited with their families in the United States, and said I would write you on the subject before my departure. In pursuance of this talk, I enclose the names and latest known addresses in the Soviet Union of a number of those persons whose situation I believe merits the compassionate attention of both our Governments./2/
//Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1416. No classification marking.
/1/See Document 99.
/2/The list has not been found, but a list of names of Soviet residents and names and addresses of their relatives in the United States who wanted them to come to America is in the briefing book on Nixon's visit. (Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1416)
The United States stands ready to admit these persons under our immigration laws. I hope the Soviet Government will also find it possible, for its part, to facilitate their departure.
In the interests of a continuing improvement in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, I believe that matters such as this, involving principles of non-separation of families which we both support, should not persist as irritants to larger solutions. In this regard, I can state that the United States Government does not stand in the way of persons including its own citizens who desire to depart from the United States to take up residence in the U.S.S.R.
The only case which I know to be of concern to the Soviet Government is, as I mentioned to you, that of the Kusmin children now pending in our courts;/3/ and I desire to report to you the intention of the United States Government to facilitate a solution of this matter.
I very much appreciated your receptive and sympathetic attitude when we talked about this question and I shall be grateful for your attention.
/3/According to a briefing paper prepared on July 8 in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs, there were four Kusmin (spelled Kozmin in the briefing paper) children, three of whom were Soviet citizens and the fourth, having been born in the United States, an American citizen. These children were wards of the Chicago Family Court of Cook County since July 1953 when their parents were placed in mental institutions. Since their release the following year, the parents, Soviet displaced persons unable to adjust to life in the United States, tried to regain custody of their children. The Soviet Embassy in Washington entered the case in June 1956, and the parents left the United States a year later without their children. The case went to court in the State of Illinois, and in response to a request from the Attorney General of that state, the Department of State sent a letter to Governor Stratton on June 26, 1959, reiterating Department of State policy not to impede the voluntary repatriation of citizens to their own country and to facilitate the reuniting of families. (Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1413) On August 19, the Family Court of Cook County rendered a decision giving custody to Mr. and Mrs. Kusmin of their four children, and the children left the United States by airplane on August 27 to be reunited with their parents in the Soviet Union. Additional documentation on the Kusmin case is ibid., Central File 211.6122.
/4/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
105. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State
Moscow, August 3, 1959, 6 p.m.
428. I believe that from United States standpoint Vice President's visit was highly successful. He was able in his discussions with top leaders to convince them of United States desire for peace while at same time impressing upon them our determination to resist pressure. While visit was to some extent hampered by Captive Nations Proclamation and deliberate heckling which was patently ordered by Soviet Government, Vice President was also able to impress Soviet people with our desire for peace and friendship. More importantly by his two speeches/1/ and the widespread publicity they received he was able to confirm suspicions which Soviet people already held that there are two sides to great international issues. Soviet concern at impact visit had was shown in many ways including Kozlov's remarks at airport on his departure./2/ On other hand many courtesies shown him by Soviet officialdom particularly after Sunday lunch with Khrushchev indicated visit was, as they would put it, "positive". Vice President's experience and skill as result his many foreign visits stood him in good stead in striking balance between getting our story across and at same time not upsetting bigger game we are playing by provocative statements. While to American ears his TV- radio speech may have seemed soft it was in my opinion extremely effective with Soviet audience and this is confirmed by experienced foreign observers here.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.1100 - NI/8 - 359. Secret; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Geneva.
/1/Regarding Nixon's speeches at the opening of the American National Exhibition on Jul 24 and on radio and television on August 1, see Document 92.
/2/For the transcript of Kozlov's speech at the airport, see The New York Times, August 3, 1959.
106. Memorandum of Conference With President Eisenhower
Washington, August 5, 1959, 4:45 p.m.
Vice President Nixon Secretary Dillon Dr. Milton Eisenhower General Persons Mr. Hagerty Mr. Morgan Mr. Harlow Mr. Kendall Mr. Stephens Major Eisenhower
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries. Secret. Drafted by Major Eisenhower and initialed by Goodpaster.
The Vice President opened by offering advice for the President's forthcoming trip./1/ He warned of the Russian policy of trying to physically wear out all visitors. He advised against going to Siberia, since facilities there are not sufficient to handle the press corps. Two or three days is enough in Moscow, and the President should get out of the city where the reception is warmer. The Vice President favors Leningrad and Kiev. He mentioned the great impact of the President's announcement of the exchange of visits, and the salutary effect of this announcement on his own trip. He feels that a delay in the President's plans will be good politically, since it will keep Khrushchev on good behavior for the interim.
/1/At his news conference on August 3, President Eisenhower read a statement indicating that Khrushchev had accepted his invitation to visit the United States in September, and he had accepted Khrushchev's invitation to visit the Soviet Union later that fall. For text of this statement, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959, pp. 560 - 564.
The President said he plans to visit the Soviet Union for a short time only, since these trips are now becoming commonplace. He fears that the opportunity to learn much would be remote. He favors going to Kiev, Murmansk, Stalingrad or Kuybyshev. He said he may delay his trip almost to winter.
The Vice President went on to describe Khrushchev as a man with a closed mind, who will not be impressed with what he sees in America. The only approach which will be useful will be to give him a subtle feeling of the power and the will of America. He looks at everything through Communist glasses and believes what he says. Dr. Eisenhower said he thought the speech at Dnepropetrovsk was the softest, in which Khrushchev admitted the Soviet Union could be destroyed in a general war./2/ He has a quick mind, and is good at polemics. He has a primitive approach, and is ignorant of everything outside the Soviet Bloc, although he does not recognize his ignorance. During the 6-1/2 hour luncheon, he repeated a determination that the wartime occupation as such of Berlin should be terminated. He recognizes the need to maintain Western dominance in West Berlin and might even place the corridors under West Germany. He is doggedly determined that East Berlin should stay in the Communist camp.
/2/See footnote 1, Document 103.
The Vice President said the only long-range answer to the Russian problem is a gradual opening of the door through contacts. People are hungry for news of the outside world. For example, the Vice President's own listening audience in Moscow was tremendous. Eight out of ten people in Moscow saw his speech by community use of television receivers. This speech he had, incidentally, made mild in order to permit future repetition. The President said that when he had the space, the invitation to accept 10,000 students from the USSR would have been the best idea in a long time./3/ He asked Mr. Hagerty to check with our network heads, such as Sarnoff and Paley,/4/ to see if they would back him if he were able to make a deal with Khrushchev. This deal would allow exchanges of one-half hour programs, in which each side, using its own interpreter, would broadcast to the other. These one-half hour programs might be shown in each country once a month (by use of film), on one TV and one radio network at a time. The Vice President advised giving Khrushchev maximum coverage to set the stage for insisting on reciprocity.
/3/See Part 2, Document 1.
/4/Robert W. Sarnoff, Chairman of the Board of the National Broadcasting Company, and William S. Paley, Chairman of the Board of the Columbia Broadcasting System.
The discussion then turned to the forthcoming presentation which the Vice President would make to the nation on TV. It will be conducted early next week and will consist of a commentary on pictures taken by the press on the trip. The Vice President does not wish to get into issues and feels the trip has already been covered well. He plans no press conference.
[Here follows discussion of Poland; for text, see Part 2, Document 75.]
The President asked if the party had seen any missile sites. The Vice President said they had not. [1 line of source text not declassified] Khrushchev refused to show missile sites, saying that reduction of tensions must come first. Mr. Dillon added that Khrushchev has refused in advance to see any U.S. missile sites. He claims he is coming for peaceful purposes.
In response to the President's question, the Vice President said he had asked by letter about the missing personnel on the C - 130 crash of last September./5/
/5/See Document 55.
The President asked if any members of the party had returned to the exhibition on their second stop in Moscow. Dr. Eisenhower had, and found that about 65,000 people per day were going through. The dust problem had been solved by the laying of a blacktop surface. Some discussion followed on the Governors' comments on the exhibition./6/ Governor Collins had said the exhibition failed to show a cross section of the U.S. All agreed that such would be impossible. Mr. Dillon said that the view of Governor Collins was not shared by all the others. Dr. Eisenhower said he thought the exhibition was good, but was a little neglectful of agriculture, religion and education. The cyclorama and the seven-screen exhibit showing our daily life were his favorites.
/6/On July 31, from 11:28 a.m. to 12:13 p.m., President Eisenhower received Governors Clyde, Collins, Davis, Hodges, McNichols, Meyner, Smylie, Stratton, and Underwood, who had recently returned from a visit to the Soviet Union. (Eisenhower Library, President's Appointment Book) No further record of their conversation has been found.
The President said the Governors had complained that we stress nail polish and cosmetics too much. The Vice President disagreed, saying the Governors must realize the drabness of life in the Soviet Union. Dr. Eisenhower said the result of their first day's voting, in which we had utilized a voting machine as part of the exhibit, indicated 340 thought the exhibition excellent, 300 thought it good, 300 thought it fair, and very few thought it poor.
The Vice President then went back to the personality of Khrushchev and described his penchant for lighthearted needling, even in making toasts. In contrast, however, he never raised his voice for 6-1/2 hours at his luncheon. He did, however, speak in deadly earnest. The ladies were ignored. The President said he himself would not engage in public debate; rather, he would go on TV before Khrushchev leaves, if Khru- shchev, by objectionable statements, makes this necessary.
The conversation then turned to the procedures for handling Khrushchev's visit. The Vice President said normal handling for distinguished visitors will not work when Khrushchev visits the U.S. Khrushchev will have a great entourage. His trip should be managed by someone experienced in running political campaigns. Khrushchev had complained that Mikoyan and Kozlov had spent too much time with industrialists. The President said we should keep him away from the sponsorship of the Henry Fords, even if it may be necessary for the Federal Government to pay the expenses of the entire trip.
The Vice President recommended, in view of the risk inherent in sending Khrushchev to New York, that he come to Washington as a first stop, landing at either Friendship or National Airport. The President said it had been suggested that Abilene be one of the stops of Khrushchev's trip so that he can see where the President actually worked. In this case he could land at Smoky Hill Air Base, and use a helicopter to view the farms of the region on the way. The President noted this trip would be just before the corn harvest. He also mentioned the possibility of Khrushchev's visiting Yankton, South Dakota, which has been called the typical American town, and has the advantage of a mayor anxious to show it off. If such were done, it probably would take the place of Abilene. The Vice President thought it would be worthwhile for Khrushchev to see these farm areas and to see labor leaders, such as Walter Reuther. He also suggested a trip to Los Angeles in order to give Khrushchev a chance to fly over in a helicopter and to see vast numbers of houses such as portrayed in the Moscow exhibit. The Vice President placed emphasis on factories and power. The President mentioned Levittown, Pennsylvania, which is built strictly for the workers.
The President then asked Mr. Dillon how he planned to organize Khrushchev's trip. He realized that Mr. Murphy would be overseeing this visit from the political side, but is uncertain as to who would run the logistics. He had in mind particularly advance men such as ran his 1952 Presidential campaign. He thought that Dr. Eisenhower might be useful as a guide. Mr. Dillon said he is aware of no one in State who is capable of running a big show. Mr. Stephens/7/ said he can call on any one of five men at any time. General Persons/8/ mentioned Len Hall./9/
/7/Thomas E. Stephens, Secretary to the President.
/8/General Wilton B. Persons, Assistant to the President.
/9/Leonard Wood Hall, lawyer and former chairman of the Republican National Committee 1953 - 1957.
Dr. Eisenhower then recommended that Camp David be utilized on the Khrushchev visit. He said that someone had already mentioned Camp David to Khrushchev, and he likes the idea. Dr. Eisenhower called attention to Khrushchev's penchant for his own dacha. The Vice President backed up Dr. Eisenhower on the idea of Camp David. He warned that the President must figure on one discussion spanning a full day, at least three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening. He recommended maximum discussion with Khrushchev on the part of the other people prior to his discussion with the President, in order to ferret out his main points in advance. He reiterated his warning that Khrushchev would try to wear anyone down who talks to him. As to social matters, the Vice President recommended stag events in business suits since Khrushchev, by principle, eschews tuxedoes. The women are accustomed to being entertained separately.
Dr. Eisenhower noted the museums, the university and the comic opera which he had seen in Moscow. He recommended consideration of an exhibit in the U.S. based on the Moscow permanent exhibit of all the republics of the USSR. He recommended that the President see this site when he visits Moscow.
The President said that in Washington, Khrushchev might be shown a few sites, such as the Lincoln Memorial, and on the first evening, be given a stag dinner. He could be taken to Camp David in a helicopter and shown housing areas on Route 240. Apparently he will have to see our fleets of automobiles in order to believe them. The Vice President said to expect Kozlov and Mikoyan to accompany Khrushchev. He uses them to spell him in long debates. He recommends Akalovski as U.S. interpreter.
The President instructed that Mr. Murphy put together a group to plan this trip. It should be worked out in great detail, recognizing that the U.S. Government may have to pay for the entire thing. He considers this unlikely, however, since many mayors and governors have invited Khrushchev to visit them. The Vice President recommended keeping the schedule light and warned that Khrushchev is rarely bound by the schedule. He felt it would be improper to act himself as host since he had not done so with any other Head of State. He reiterated his recommendation to give Khrushchev the greatest exposure possible and said it would hurt him in the long run. He observed that the Russians often attack in our long suits and make issues of subjects damaging to themselves, such as the captive nations.
Dr. Eisenhower recommended that the President see Khrushchev at the end of his trip. This will serve to keep him on good behavior while he is traveling through the country.
[1 paragraph (3 lines of source text) not declassified]
The Vice President finished his presentation by making two points:
1. It will save the President time and energy if he will avoid Khrushchev's effort to philosophize, to discuss military strength, and to compare economic systems. If the President sticks to business, Khrushchev will, in the long run, like it.
2. As to Khrushchev's health, he is not a sick man. He has been driving himself unmercifully, and when in Poland, "ran out of gas." He lacks the stamina he once had, and for this reason, may desire to get down to cases while discussing issues with the President.
The President concluded by requesting the Vice President to report to the Cabinet on his trip./10/
John S.D. Eisenhower
/10/The Vice President's comments to the Cabinet meeting on August 7 on his recent trip to the Soviet Union were briefly summarized in the minutes of that meeting. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Cabinet Series)
107. Memorandum of Discussion at the 416th Meeting of the National Security Council
Washington, August 6, 1959.
[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by Boggs.
Mr. Allen Dulles said that foreign reaction on both sides of the Iron Curtain to the announcement of the exchange of visits between President Eisenhower and Premier Khrushchev had been favorable but not uniform./1/ In the U.K. both parties had approved the exchange of visits with the Conservatives saying that the exchange justified their position regarding a Summit Meeting. The President asked whether the Conservatives think we are now going to have a Summit Meeting. Mr. Dulles said the exchange of visits was not exactly what Mr. Macmillan had proposed, but was along the lines of his proposal. The Labor Party in the U.K. was also favorable to the exchange of visits, but was not quite as enthusiastic about it as the Conservative Party. The reaction in Rome and Paris had been more reserved, while West Germany had welcomed the exchange and expressed the hope that Khrushchev's visit to the U.S. would bring home to Khrushchev the power and the desire for peace of the U.S. Yugoslavia had welcomed the announcement of the exchange of visits, but had looked back on the abortive Tito visit and wondered whether Tito might some day visit the U.S. The Chinese Communist reaction had been turgid. The Chinese Communists were saying that the exchange of visits might help to mitigate the cold war, but had added that most of the credit was due to the USSR and to peace-loving peoples throughout the world, and that some dark forces in the U.S. and West Germany were still uneasy, so that the forces of world peace would still have to work hard.
/1/1 See footnote 1, Document 106.
Mr. Dulles reported that a technical analysis of the press and radio coverage of the Vice President's statements in the USSR had been turned over to the Vice President./2/ The analysis showed that the Moscow coverage compared favorably with the visits of other foreign statesmen to the USSR and with the Mikoyan visit to the U.S. Although the Soviets had done better than might have been expected, they did not play fair with the Vice President; for example, they had Khrushchev winning every debate. It was difficult to get an estimate of the coverage outside Moscow but it was clear that the Russians were worried about too wide a dissemination of the Vice President's statements. Obviously, the Vice President's statements would have considerable effect in the USSR.
[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]
Marion W. Boggs
[End of Section 10]