U.S. Department of State
Vol. X, Part 1, FRUS, 1958-60: E. Europe Region; Soviet Union; Cyprus
Office of the Historian

[Section 13 of 19]


140. Memorandum of Discussion at the 432d Meeting of the National Security Council

Washington, January 14, 1960.

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and agenda item 1.]

2. Significant World Developments Affecting U. S. Security

Mr. Dulles said the briefing he had prepared last night on the meeting of the USSR Supreme Soviet had to be modified this morning in the light of the latest news. Khrushchev had made a very tough speech to the Supreme Soviet,/1/ especially from the military point of view. If the reduction of military forces proposed by Khrushchev was carried out, the Soviet Army and Navy would total 2,423,000, a figure below the level suggested by the USSR as a minimum level in 1956./2/ Apparently the USSR had now decided to reduce its forces quietly and unilaterally. Khrushchev had stated that the Soviet Air Force was being replaced by rockets, that he was stopping the production of bombers, and that submarines were losing their importance. He had said that the USSR possessed formidable weapons, but that weapons still in process of development were still more formidable. He had asserted that the safety of the USSR would be assured by its nuclear and ballistic missile strength. He had also declared that while the U.S. was catching up with the USSR, the latter would not sit idly by. Mr. Dulles said that intelligence had already reported the slowdown in bomber production referred to by Khrushchev./3/ In connection with the meeting of the Supreme Soviet, Khrushchev had demoted Kirichenko, whom we thought had a grip on third place in the Soviet hierarchy, to an unimportant post in the provinces. Khrushchev had also completed the liquidation of the MVD, which was once a dreaded repressive organ, but which now had little importance since the MGB had become the major repressive organ of police power. The President said the Khrushchev speech did not appear at first glance to be a very tough speech. What Khru-shchev said in this speech was substantially what he had told the President,/4/ except for the statement that submarines were becoming of less importance. Mr. Dulles said Khrushchev's remarks on submarines could not be taken as gospel. Khrushchev would probably reduce the numbers of old Soviet submarines and build nuclear submarines instead.

[Here follow discussion of unrelated subjects and the remaining agenda items.]

Marion W. Boggs

//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Prepared by Marion W. Boggs on March 31.

/1/For text of Khrushchev's January 14 speech, see Current Digest of the Soviet Press, February 10, 1960, pp. 3 - 16, 23.

/2/See Document 36.

/3/Reference may be to an intelligence estimate [document number and title not declassified], dated February 9, which mentioned the slowdown in Soviet bomber production and used information derived from Khrushchev's January 14 speech. (Department of State, INR - NIE Files)

/4/No further record of Khrushchev's remark to Eisenhower on changes in Soviet military policy has been found.

141. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, January 18, 1960, 2 p.m.

1903. Eyes only Secretary. During sleighride yesterday Khrushchev asked what I thought of his Supreme Sov speech./1/ I replied I thought it was sensible step to demobilize over million men who were not engaged in productive work and not needed for defense. Khrushchev said he had been obliged to use all of his authority to persuade Sov military but that they now agreed with him. He said many soldiers would be withdrawn from East Germany and Hungary where local forces were adequate and he added that they might even withdraw all Sov forces. In this connection he mentioned great expense of keeping Sov troops outside Sov Union. Khrushchev indicated that reduction would also affect Navy and Air Force. He said Stalin had made mistake in attempting build up Sevastopol as strongpoint and said Sov Union intended remove virtually all naval vessels from Black Sea. He said he doubted if they would even keep a single submarine there since rockets and other land-based weapons could deal with any hostile incursions in this area. He said they would probably make Sevastopol an open city. He said military were very slow to adjust to modern developments and even now would like to build cruisers which had very short range of fire. He had told his naval officers that no enemy was going to be foolish enough to approach within such range as it was unnecessary to do so.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.551/1 - 1860. Secret. A notation by Goodpaster on another copy of this telegram indicates that the President saw it. (Eisenhower Library, Staff Secretary Records, International Series)

/1/See Document 140.

I raised question of Kirichenko's assignment/2/ and Khrushchev said Rostov was important area which they wanted to strengthen. It had suffered from drought in past year and was important industrial center. He said present party rep there was not a bad fellow but Kirichenko was particularly able at dealing with such problems. He said Belayev would be replaced in Kazakhstan by Kunayev who is presently Chairman of Kazakh Council of Ministers./3/ He thought Belayev might be sent to Stavropol where party chief is being retired.

/2/See Document 140.

/3/Nikolay Ilich Belayev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Kazakhstan, was appointed First Secretary of the Communist Party in Stavropol in January 1960. Dinmukhamed Akhmedovich Kunayev, Chairman of the Kazakh Council of Ministers, was appointed First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Kazakhstan sometime in 1960.

At luncheon Khrushchev asked Mikoyan to preside as toastmaster and it is clear that their relationship continued to be close. He referred to Mikoyan several times as his First Deputy and submitted with good grace when Mikoyan exercised his prerogative as toastmaster several times to prevent Khrushchev from interrupting. Khrushchev also privately expressed to me his admiration for Kozlov's ability. Adzhubei is clearly young man on the make but he seemed to be very much afraid of his father-in-law and I gained impression Khrushchev somewhat lacking in respect for him.

Toasts were mostly of non-political nature and Khrushchev several times called Mikoyan to order when he started introduce political note. At one point however Mikoyan said to one of young men present that if West did not follow Khrushchev's example in disarmament then he would have to do his military duty.

Khrushchev proposed toast to President and expressed his great admiration and friendship for him. He said Sov Union had not been asked to express its opinion on our forthcoming election but if given opportunity they would vote for Eisenhower. I proposed toast to Khru- shchev and made reference to his work to improve relations between our countries. I recalled that when in US he had pointed out that consolidation of peace would require much patience and I expressed hope that both sides would patiently continue their efforts despite reverses and obstacles that were certain to arise.


142. Memorandum From Secretary of State Herter to President Eisenhower

Washington, January 20, 1960.


Lend Lease Negotiations

You will recall it was our understanding that Chairman Khrush-chev in conversation with Under Secretary Dillon at Camp David agreed to resume negotiations for a lend lease settlement without specific qualification, although in this same conversation he discussed other matters affecting economic and trade relations./1/

//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles - Herter Series. No classification marking. Initialed by the President.

/1/See Document 132.

In giving effect to this agreement Ambassador Thompson delivered a note on December 7 to Foreign Minister Gromyko stating "I have the honor to refer to the September meetings between President Eisenhower and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, N.S. Khrushchev, at which time the Chairman agreed to a resumption of negotiations for a settlement of lend-lease."/2/ Gromyko's reply of December 22 stated that the Soviet Government "is prepared to begin negotiations in Washington on January 11, 1960 for settling the question of lend lease."/3/ Soviet acceptance of our terms of reference was again unqualified.

/2/Herter's note to Gromyko, which included this quoted sentence, was transmitted in telegram 1329 to Moscow, December 5, 1959. This telegram also noted that Charles E. Bohlen would be the U.S. negotiator. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.56/12 - 559) In telegram 1603 from Moscow, December 7, Thompson reported that he delivered this note to Gromyko on December 7. (Ibid., 711.56/12 - 759)

/3/Telegram 1721 from Moscow, December 22, 1959, merely reported very briefly that a note received that day said that the Soviet Government agreed to begin lend-lease negotiations in Washington on January 11, 1960, and appointed Menshikov as its representative. (Ibid., 711.56/12 - 2259) The quoted clause does not appear in that telegram, and the text of the Soviet note has not been found.

In the two meetings held thus far, however, Ambassador Menshikov has insisted that a lend lease settlement be accompanied by 1) the conclusion of a trade agreement on a most favored nation basis and 2) the extension of long-term credits on acceptable terms./4/

/4/Summaries of the first two meetings on lend-lease on January 11 and 15 were transmitted in telegram 1499 to Moscow, January 12, and telegram 1550 to Moscow, January 15. (Ibid., 711.56/1 - 1260 and 711.56/1 - 1560, respectively)

The Executive Branch, however, is not in a position to conduct negotiations on either subject at this time. Most favored nation treatment is specifically prohibited by 1951 legislation/5/ and the extension of credits would be inconsistent with the Congressional intention expressed in that and other legislation. In the event of a satisfactory lend lease settlement we could, as Mr. Dillon suggested at Camp David, consider recommending to Congress that certain legislative restrictions be removed, but as indicated above the Soviet position has gone far beyond that.

/5/See footnote 2, Document 64.

On January 19 Ambassador Thompson took up the matter with Gromyko explaining our understanding of the terms of reference and the position of the U.S. Government as indicated above./6/ Gromyko, however, refused to consider a lend lease settlement not connected with agreement on the other two issues.

/6/Thompson summarized this meeting with Gromyko in telegram 1918 from Moscow, January 19. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.56/1 - 1960)

Under these circumstances to prolong the talks would only add to misunderstanding and imply a U.S. disposition to negotiate on the two other subjects added to the agenda by the USSR.

The purpose of this memorandum, therefore, is to recommend that in the absence of a change in the Soviet position at the next meeting, scheduled for January 21, at 3:00 p.m., these negotiations be suspended. In this event the Department will issue a statement explaining the reasons for the suspension. Unless you perceive objections, the Department will undertake the necessary steps.


143. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, January 20, 1960, 1 p.m.

1924. Reference: Deptel 1563./1/ On rereading memo Khrushchev - Dillon conversation/2/ it is evident ground for misunderstanding did exist. For example at Gromyko's prompting Khrushchev did raise connection between lend lease and credits. He stated lend lease should be approached in same manner as with other countries such as England (British settlement makes ref to trade and to financial agreement) and although I was not present I assume Gromyko has a point re drafting of communique. There is of course also Art 7 of Lend Lease Agreement./3/ Nevertheless I agree Sovs were aware their position would lead to breakdown negotiations. I am inclined attribute this to Sov desire avoid being put in position of having refused negotiate on settlement of an obligation. As you know they have constantly hammered theme that they always scrupulously settle their debts. Possibly an added reason is that as result their visits to US Khrushchev and Mikoyan exaggerate desire of American businessmen for trade with Sov Union. I suspect they may have thought lend lease negotiations could be used to publicize obstacles to trade and thus bring pressure for their removal. Sov propaganda following breakdown of lend lease negotiations will throw light on this. Their line is likely to be that elements in US, particularly State Dept, opposed to relaxation of tension and that negotiations showed we did not desire settlement. In this connection I am troubled by our propaganda position particularly with respect to demand of 100 million for use of ships. I agree we should not in present circumstances put forward our minimum offer, since if negotiations were ever resumed we would have to start bargaining from that point. I suggest however that at final session indication might be made that we would be prepared withdraw this demand if satisfactory over-all figure agreed upon and that you could rpt that we are prepared to negotiate further on what over-all figure should be. Nevertheless we cannot seriously negotiate if Sovs insist upon connecting lend lease with agreements on trade and credits.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.56/1 - 2060. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution.

/1/Telegram 1563 to Moscow, January 19, reviewed the impasse on lend- lease with the Soviets, speculated on Soviet motives in linking these negotiations with trade and credit, and asked for Thompson's comments on Soviet motives and the best way to terminate these negotiations, if necessary. (Ibid., 711.56/1 - 1960)

/2/Document 132.

/3/Article VII of the Lend-Lease Agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union of June 11, 1942, provided, among other things, that the terms and conditions in negotiating the final determination of benefits from the Soviet Union to the United States should not burden commerce between the two countries but "promote mutually advantageous economic relations between them and the betterment of world-wide economic relations" and to that end should include provision for the expansion of the exchange and consumption of goods, the elimination of trade discrimination, and the reduction of trade barriers. (11 Bevans 1283)

With respect to method of breaking off negotiations, while I do not feel strongly there would seem to be advantage to us in simply suspending negotiations after which Dept could issue statement our position. It seems to me this might make it slightly easier to resume negotiations at some time in future than if we get locked in present positions by formal exchange of notes. (I am not however sanguine that negotiations will ever be resumed.) If nevertheless note is desired suggest Dept furnish text in order save time and agree that it should be along lines outlined in reftel.


144. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union

Washington, January 22, 1960, 7:15 p.m.

1591. For Ambassador from Bohlen. Embtel 1924. Deptel 1580./1/ As indicated in refDeptel it is obvious that Menshikov was not prepared for US willingness to suspend talks, and his request to inform his government would indicate he had no instructions covering such contingency. Next Wednesday's meeting will afford test of real Soviet intention in lend-lease negotiations, since there was no doubt left in Menshikov's mind that maintenance of Soviet position will result in suspension of talks. Since apparently Soviets had not anticipated this possibility, they may now have to review their position in this light. Any information that you could obtain without making a special point of it would of course be very useful in preparing for possible change in Soviet position next Wednesday.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.56/1 - 2060. Secret; Limit Distribution; Verbatim Text. Drafted by Bohlen and cleared by Kohler.

/1/Telegram 1924 is printed as Document 143. Telegram 1580 to Moscow, January 21, reported that when Menshikov held to the previous Soviet position on lend-lease settlement at the third meeting on January 21, Bohlen, with prior White House approval, proposed the suspension of negotiations. Menshikov expressed regret at this development and asked for time to inform his government. The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, January 27. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.56/1 - 2160)

With reference to some of the points made in your 1924, it is difficult for me to see, assuming that our records are reasonably similar, that a genuine misunderstanding could have existed if only for fact that on Sept 30 immediately after Khrushchev's departure Dillon gave following written statement to press on economic conversations at Camp David: "The discussions were general in nature and the only specific agreement reached was an agreement to resume negotiations on a lend-lease settlement. We pointed out that an agreement on this issue would provide a better atmosphere and would facilitate efforts to remove the remaining barriers to a full and free flow of peaceful trade."/2/ This statement was allowed to stand without public or private refutation by Soviets. Also, Khrushchev's reference at Camp David to credits in our record is followed by unchallenged statement by Dillon putting matter in complete perspective. Language Article VII in our view does not lend itself to Soviet interpretation, namely that it presupposes bilateral removal of any trade discriminations and can be stretched to include question of credits. No other nation, as I pointed out to Menshikov, has ever attempted this interpretation Article VII the whole history of which showed it related primarily to US program for trade liberalization on multi-national basis. British loan, although signed by Executive Branch on same date as lend-lease settlement, was separate agreement and as President's report to Congress pointed out, settlement was in no way connected or conditional upon loan./3/ Loan, as I pointed out to Menshikov, was based on variety of factors other than lend lease, including fact that British had spent some $4-1/2 billion of their foreign exchange in purchases prior to entry into force of lend lease.

/2/For the transcript of Dillon's news conference on September 30, 1959, see Department of State Bulletin, October 19, 1959, pp. 547 - 554.

/3/The lend-lease settlement and financial agreement with the United Kingdom were both signed in Washington on December 6, 1945. (12 Bevans 700) President Truman did not link the lend-lease settlement with the proposed loan to the United Kingdom in his message to Congress on the State of the Union, January 21, 1946, or in his special message to Congress transmitting the financial agreement with the United Kingdom, January 30, 1946. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1946, pp. 45 - 46 and 97 - 100)

As I endeavored to stress to Menshikov, if we wish to make any progress toward eventual aim of trade normalization, only possible first step at this juncture is lend-lease settlement which as Dillon repeatedly pointed out at Camp David to Khrushchev would improve atmosphere so that Executive Branch could discuss with Congress the question of removal of some of the restrictions which Soviets have in mind. My impression is that Menshikov is extremely conscious of weakness of their position in regard to subject of negotiations, as well as emptiness of attempt to interpret Article VII as some form of obligation to conclude trade agreement and extend credits. As already indicated, Menshikov's attitude confirms my belief that at present stage at least Soviets are not interested in actual terms of lend-lease settlement, since at no time has he made any serious reference to our offer made at first meeting.

Foregoing is for use in event lend-lease discussions raised with you on own initiative by any Soviet official.


145. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union

Washington, January 27, 1960, 7:46 p.m.

1618. Fourth meeting on lend lease negotiations today turned out to be last. Dispensing with preliminaries Menshikov read oral statement "clarifying" Soviet position in terms virtually identical to initial presentation January 11. Lend lease question would long since have been settled had not US suspended negotiations in 1951 (sic);/1/ USSR war effort constituted benefit far exceeding cost lend lease to US; Article VII explicitly envisioned trade normalization. Khrushchev's Camp David remarks also cited re necessity for eliminating trade discrimination and giving USSR no less favorable lend lease settlement than that given UK including extension of credits negotiated concurrently. Soviet Govt expressed regret "negative" US response contained in its January 21 statement/2/ and urged Soviet position (linking lend lease settlement with simultaneous conclusion most favored nation trade agreement and long-term credit) be given favorable consideration.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.56/1 - 2760. Confidential. Drafted by Isham; cleared in the Bureau of Economic Affairs, the Office of the Legal Adviser, and the Bureau of European Affairs; and approved by Bohlen.

/1/Regarding the suspension of U.S.-Soviet negotiations, see footnote 5, Document 65.

/2/The text of the statement read to Menshikov on January 21 was transmitted in telegram 1581 to Moscow, January 21. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.56/1 - 2160)

Bohlen summarized impasse as arising from unwillingness Soviet Govt to discuss lend lease as separate subject and inability US Govt to discuss concurrently two other subjects added to agenda by Soviets. US position identical to that which had been taken since it proposed resumption of negotiations and could not be called negative since it did not differ from our stand at outset as expressed in December 7 note apparently confirmed by Soviet reply of December 22./3/ Menshikov reiterated that lend lease inseparably connected with other two subjects and constituted single indivisible whole.

We have issued press release/4/ adapted from statement given Soviets January 21 (Deptel 1581) and Soviet Embassy will undoubtedly follow suit. Bohlen has given press background briefing.


/3/See footnotes 2 and 3, Document 142.

/4/For text of this January 27 press release, see Department of State Bulletin, February 15, 1960, pp. 239 - 240.

146. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, February 9, 1960, 4 p.m.

2098. Eyes only Secretary from Lodge./1/

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.00/2 - 960. Secret.

/1/Lodge was visiting the Soviet Union in an unofficial capacity.

1. At Bolshoi evening 7 Feb Khrushchev appeared entirely to neglect President Gronchi and kept me at his side seated at table during first entre-act. At second everyone was standing, but K. Did not move around but remained talking to me. Although he appeared tired he treated [me] with great cordiality.

2. I told him I was impressed by amount of housing construction, sanitation, etc., observed throughout visit. He replied "we have much to do before getting ahead of you." I responded USSR had already surpassed us in several fields. When he asked what I meant, I spoke of superlative Sov ballet. When he said this was not very important, I mentioned rocketry. Referring to my inference USSR is ahead of US in rockets Khrushchev replied "no we're not; not really."

3. With ref President's June visit here/2/ Khrushchev asked me tell President he free travel anywhere in USSR he desires including military bases such as naval base at Sevastapol. Khrushchev said he unsure whether or not President would travel in Siberia but free to do so if desired. During interview at Kremlin 8 Feb he several times expressed hope President would be accompanied by grandchildren.

/2/In a letter to Khrushchev, November 28, 1959, Eisenhower said he would like to leave the United States on the night of June 9 for a visit of a week to 10 days in the Soviet Union. (Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204) In a reply to Eisenhower, December 3, 1959, Khrushchev agreed to these dates. (Ibid.) A White House press release, January 17, announced that the President planned to visit the Soviet Union June 10 - 19. (Department of State Bulletin, February 1, 1960, p. 147)

4. Both at Bolshoi and Kremlin Khrushchev urged that [I] accompany President during forthcoming visit. He seemed take for granted this would be arranged.

5. I spoke of many crowds which had given me actual ovations and he said President's reception would be friendly in extreme and that there would be no need for security precautions.

6. I had appointment with Khrushchev at Kremlin 4 pm Monday Feb 8. Present besides Khrushchev and me were Kuznetsov and Troyanovsky and on US side, Toumanoff and Thacher./3/ After reiterating my thanks expressed at length on previous evening for courtesies extended on trip and congratulations on achievements in fields of public works, sanitation, etc., I spoke of the good accomplished by Khrushchev visit to US as seen in retrospect. It could have great place in human history as beginning of new things. It was therefore important to try advance from progress reached and at least not to destroy good that had been done.

/3/Vladimir I. Toumanoff of the Embassy in Moscow and Peter S. Thacher, member of the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. General Assembly.

7. Khrushchev spoke about negative results as regards Dillon and the lend-lease negotiations./4/ If US didn't want to trade, matter could wait. He appeared resent Dillon's "silence" which implied that Khru- shchev had never linked lend-lease and trade. He recalled that I was present at Camp David on day he talked with Dillon--day on which President Eisenhower had invited him to go to church with him. He also spoke about matters of helicopters which, he said, "smelled a little bad." He felt US firms were stalling, that Sov Union did not really need the helicopters as they had good ones of their own, but that matter had symbolic significance.

/4/See Document 145.

8. I said I would look into this and see what had happened.

9. He then brought up Berlin, which he said was the "most burning question." It should be solved as soon as possible on basis of a peace treaty and a free city of Berlin. He pinned great hopes on a summit meeting/5/ in this connection. If US came in good faith and not "in the wake of Adenauer" it would make possible solutions without loss of face on either side. On the other hand, if no agreement was reached on this, relations between the two countries would deteriorate.

/5/In a letter to Eisenhower, December 30, 1959, Khrushchev accepted the Western powers' proposal for a summit meeting of the four powers in Paris beginning on May 16. (Department of State Bulletin, January 18, 1960, p. 78)

10. In rejoinder I made these points:

(A) That US policy would not be "in the wake" of anybody, but would be based on our idea of what was right.

(B) That there ought to be many things "in the pot" and that no participant ought to adopt a "this--or else" attitude.

(C) That constructive results should come out of the conference even if it did not achieve everything that all the participants wanted.

(D) It should be realized that this was not only summit meeting that was ever going to be held.

(E) [I] feel that one of things which Mr. K. had been influential in bringing about as result his trip was general expectation that there would be series of summit meetings and that there should not be a break which would destroy or weaken this possibility.

(F) He had remarked facetiously that even though I was in USSR as tourist, politician was always politician and always available to talk politics. Therefore, as man who had spent greater part his life in American politics in varying capacities and as one who deeply hoped for good relations between USSR and US, I felt I should point out that there is always minimum of flexibility in foreign relations in US in an election year. What is hard or impossible to do in 1952 or 1956 or 1960 is often quite susceptible of accomplishment in 1953 or 1957 or 1961. I urged Troyanovsky to be sure to translate all of this with greatest of care.

(G) Khrushchev listened with care and said he fully understood what I was trying to put across.

11. Kuznetsov then intervened to say what good results we had had at last General Assembly, and I responded by saying that agreements reached on resolutions concerning disarmament and creation of an outer space committee were most substantial reached since existence of UN./6/

/6/Reference presumably is to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1378 (XIV) on general and complete disarmament, Resolution 1402 (XIV) on the suspension of nuclear tests, Resolution 1403 (XIV) on the report of the Disarmament Commission, and Resolution 1472 (XIV), which, among other things, established a U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. For texts of these resolutions, see Documents on Disarmament, 1945 - 1959, vol. II, pp. 1545, 1548 - 1549, 1549, and 1556 - 1557.

12. Khrushchev said he realized this. He knew that people and Govt of US wanted peace. He thanked me again in fulsome manner for what he said I had done to make his trip in US such a success. When I said I had regretted that certain things had not gone just right in Los Angeles, he brushed that aside and said there are always details that are not perfect but he attached not slightest importance to them, and with passage of time was more and more delighted with his visit.

13. He said he understood that Mayor of San Francisco, Mr. Christopher, was coming to USSR in April. I took advantage of this observation to recall how skillfully Khrushchev had spoken kindly of Mayor Christopher (who was at that time up for re-election) and yet had done so in way which could not possibly have been embarrassing or construed as getting involved in elections./7/

/7/Khrushchev's remarks to Mayor Christopher about his re-election campaign were quoted in The New York Times, September 21 and 22, 1959.

14. As result of his initiatives, meeting lasted for an hour and a half and was marked by utmost cordiality throughout. He appeared tired but relaxed and mellow. His warmth and cordiality towards me quite surprised me. Khrushchev showed pride in improvements for minority peoples of USSR under Communism, notably Moslems. At no time during his discussions with me did Khrushchev raise subjects of disarmament, China, India or other "non-aligned" countries.

15. Utmost courtesy shown me during trip. Firyubin/8/ sent word that even though I was traveling as tourist, I should be treated as distinguished guest--local officials in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan had affairs in my honor. Gromyko having lunch my honor today.

/8/Nikolay Pavlovich Firyubin, Soviet Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.



147. Editorial Note

On May 1, a U.S. U - 2 unarmed reconnaissance plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers who was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency, was shot down by Soviet military authorities 1,200 miles inside the Soviet Union near Sverdlovsk. In the following days, Nikita Khru-shchev exploited the incident to sabotage the summit meeting between the Heads of Government of the United States, Soviet Union, France, and the United Kingdom, which began in Paris on May 16. Documentation on the relationship between the U - 2 incident and the collapse of the summit is in volume IX.

The President's recollections of his role in authorizing the U - 2 reconnaissance flights and the responses of his administration to the crash of the U - 2 plane and subsequent Soviet recriminations are in Waging Peace, pages 543 - 559. Regarding background on the President's decisions on overflight operations, see Documents 70, 72, and 82.

In a memorandum for the record, April 25, Goodpaster, presumably referring to a proposed U - 2 flight, wrote: "After checking with the President, I informed Mr. Bissell that one additional operation may be undertaken, provided it is carried out prior to May 1. No operation is to be carried out after May 1." (Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Intelligence Matters)

Eisenhower recalled that Goodpaster telephoned him on the afternoon of May 1 to tell him the U - 2 flight was overdue and possibly lost. Early the next morning, Goodpaster told the President that the plane was still missing and certainly down somewhere. (Waging Peace, page 543) No further record of the reports by Goodpaster to the President has been found, but on May 3 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued a statement that the airplane was on a joint NASA - U.S. Air Force air weather service mission in Turkey and had apparently gone down in the Lake Van, Turkey area on May 1. For text of this statement, see Department of State Bulletin, May 23, 1960, page 817.

In a long speech to the Supreme Soviet in Moscow on May 5, Khru-shchev referred to an overflight by a U.S. plane on April 9 as an "aggressive act," and then announced that a U.S. spy plane had been shot down deep in Soviet territory on May 1. Soviet authorities, he continued, determined that the plane crossed into the Soviet Union from Turkey, Iran, or Pakistan. For the complete text of Khrushchev's May 5 speech and his account of the U - 2 incident, see Current Digest of the Soviet Press, June 1, 1960, pages 4 - 19, 44.

At the meeting of the National Security Council on Thursday morning, May 5, summarized in a memorandum of discussion prepared by Marion W. Boggs, Allen Dulles reported that Khrushchev had just made a long speech to the Supreme Soviet and "the latter part of his speech dealing with foreign relations and with the Summit was still coming in but was reported to contain a very tough line so far as the U.S. and the Summit are concerned." (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Rec-ords) In his memoirs, Eisenhower remarked that the complete text of Khrushchev's speech, including his claim of the Soviet military shooting down the U - 2, arrived just as the NSC meeting was ending. Eisenhower asked those senior officials concerned with U - 2 operations to remain behind to discuss the situation. The principals then devised a statement that would harmonize with the May 3 "cover story." Eisenhower also instructed his press secretary, James C. Hagerty, to inform the press that the President had ordered a full inquiry, the results of which the Department of State and NASA would release. (Waging Peace, pages 548 - 549) No further record of Eisenhower's conversation with these senior officials has been found, although the President's Appointment Book indicates that he met briefly, from 10:37 to 10:47 a.m., following the NSC meeting with Acting Secretary of State Dillon, Secretary of Defense Gates, Director of Central Intelligence Dulles, the President's National Security Adviser Gordon Gray, and Goodpaster. (Eisenhower Library, President's Appointment Books)

In telegram 2715 from Moscow, May 5 (transmitted at 7 p.m. Moscow time and received in the Department of State at 1:34 p.m. the same day), which Ambassador Thompson labeled "most urgent," Thompson reported that at an Ethiopian reception that evening Deputy Foreign Minister Jacob Malik had said that the Soviets did not yet know under what article of the U.N. Charter they would bring the plane incident before the Security Council because they were still questioning the pilot who had parachuted to safety. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/5 - 560) Despite this warning that the pilot might be alive and subject to Soviet interrogation, the Eisenhower administration had already decided to continue with the earlier statement. For texts of the May 5 NASA statement, a Department of State statement devised at the May 5 NSC meeting, and the May 6 U.S. note to the Soviet Government asking it to provide full facts on the fate of Francis Gary Powers, see Department of State Bulletin, May 23, 1960, pages 817 - 818.

On May 6, Pravda published an account of how the Soviet military shot down the reconnaissance aircraft. For text of the article, see Current Digest of the Soviet Press, June 1, 1960, pages 27 - 28.

In another long speech to the Supreme Soviet on the next day, May 7, Khrushchev said, among other things, that the pilot was alive and that Soviet authorities had recovered parts of the airplane. He also displayed samples of the developed film allegedly taken by camera equipment installed on the plane and charged that Powers had flown out of Peshawar airfield in Pakistan, which was correct, and not out of Turkey, and his landing destination was Bodo airfield in Norway. For full text of his speech, see ibid., June 8, 1960, pages 3 - 7.

In response to this speech, the Department of State issued a statement on May 7 admitting that while the inquiry ordered by the President established that "insofar as the authorities in Washington are concerned there was no authorization for any such flight as described by Mr. Khrushchev," such a flight over the Soviet Union to gather information was probably undertaken, and it justified such activities as necessary "given the state of the world today" and the Soviet Government's rejection of the President's "open skies" proposal in 1955. For text of this statement, see Department of State Bulletin, May 23, 1960, pages 818 - 819. For Ambassador Thompson's analysis of Khrushchev's motives in playing up the plane incident, see Document 148. A memorandum of the National Security Council discussion on May 9 of the incident is printed as Document 149. In a statement released to the press on the afternoon of May 9, Secretary Herter conceded that the President had issued directives authorizing the gathering of intelligence information, although specific missions of unarmed civilian aircraft had not been subject to authorization. For text of Herter's statement, see Department of State Bulletin, May 23, 1960, pages 816 - 817. For Thompson's report on his meeting with Khrushchev at a reception at the Czecho-slovak Embassy in Moscow on May 9, see Documents 150 and 151.

On May 10, the Embassy in Moscow delivered a note to the Soviet Union requesting permission to interview Francis Gary Powers. On the same day, the Soviet Foreign Ministry delivered a note to the Embassy replying to the U.S. note of May 6. The Soviet note protested the "aggressive acts of American aviation" and warned that "if similar provocations are repeated, it will be obliged to take retaliatory measures." For texts of the U.S. and Soviet May 10 notes, see Department of State Bulletin, May 30, 1960, pages 852 - 854.

At his news conference on May 11, President Eisenhower read a statement on the U - 2 incident, which supplemented what Herter had revealed in his statement on May 9. For text of the President's statement as well as subsequent questions from the press, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 - 61, pages 403 - 414.

Eisenhower's decision on May 12 to call off all activities that the Soviets might regard as provocative is summarized in Document 152.

Eisenhower left by plane for the summit conference on May 14. Soon after his arrival in Paris on May 15, he learned that Khrushchev had read to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan a message (a copy was given to President Charles de Gaulle) demanding that Eisenhower denounce the U - 2 flights over the Soviet Union as provocative, renounce further flights, and "pass severe judgment" on those responsible for them as conditions for his participation at the summit conference. He reiterated these demands at the conference opening session the following morning. Eisenhower asserted that overflights of the Soviet Union had been suspended for the duration of his administration, but when he refused to apologize, Khrushchev withdrew his invitation to Eisenhower to visit the Soviet Union and also withdrew from the summit. For the record of this session, see volume IX, Document 168.

On May 18, Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko asked the U.N. Security Council to consider the question of "aggressive acts by the United States Air Force against the Soviet Union, creating a threat to universal peace." The Security Council took up the Soviet complaint May 23 - 27. For texts of the statements made in the Security Council by Representative Henry Cabot Lodge on May 23, 26, and 27, as well as texts of the Soviet draft resolution and a revised version of a resolution introduced by Argentina, Ceylon, Ecuador, and Tunisia, see Department of State Bulletin, June 13, 1960, pages 955 - 962. The four-power resolution is also printed in Documents on Disarmament, 1960, pages 96 - 98. The Security Council rejected the Soviet draft resolution on May 26 by seven votes to two (Poland and the Soviet Union) with two abstentions (Ceylon and Tunisia) and approved the four-power resolution the following day by a vote of nine to zero, with Poland and the Soviet Union abstaining. The Soviet complaint and debate in the Security Council are summarized in Yearbook of the United Nations, 1960, pages 40 - 41.

On May 24, 4 days after his return to Washington, Eisenhower convened a meeting of the National Security Council; see Document 153. The President held a breakfast meeting with bipartisan congressional leaders on May 26; see Document 154. Documentation on hearings conducted in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on events relating to the summit, including the U - 2 incident, is summarized in Document 155.

When the Soviet Union shot down a U.S. Air Force RB - 47 airplane over the Barents Sea on July 1, subsequent discussions between the United States and the Soviet Union on this incident occasionally raised the U - 2 incident as well. See in particular Documents 162 - 165.

Powers was tried and convicted of espionage by the Military Division of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. For the Soviet announcement of criminal proceedings, indictment, composition of the court, a transcript of the trial August 17 - 19, and the verdict that sentenced Powers to 10 years of confinement, see The Trial of the U2, introduction by Harold J. Berman (Chicago: World Publishers, 1960).

In a memorandum to Goodpaster, August 18, Allen W. Dulles listed all U - 2 overflights of Soviet bloc nations, [text not declassified] since the initiation of the U - 2 operations on June 20, 1956. [text not declassified] The last flight mentioned was Francis Gary Powers' mission of May 1. (Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Intelligence Matters)

The role of the Central Intelligence Agency in the U - 2 overflights is recounted in Allen Dulles, The Craft of Intelligence (New York: Harper & Row, 1963) and Lyman B. Kirkpatrick, Jr., The Real CIA (New York: Macmillan, 1968). The pilot gave his own account in Francis Gary Powers with Curt Gentry, Operation Overflight: The U - 2 Spy Pilot Tells His Story for the First Time (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970). Powers' congressional testimony shortly after his return from imprisonment in the Soviet Union in 1962 is in Francis Gary Powers: Hearing Before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, 87th Congress, 2d Session, March 6, 1962 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1962).

A summary and analysis of Soviet public statements on the U - 2 incident are contained in Intelligence Report No. 8285, "Soviet Account of U - 2 Incident," which the Bureau of Intelligence and Research prepared on June 13. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, OSS - INR Reports)

Additional documentation on the U - 2 controversy is in Department of State, Central File 761.5411 and EUR/SOV Files: Lot 71 D 438, Powers, Francis Gary. Documentation on Embassy efforts in Moscow to interview Powers in prison, his trial, and efforts of the Department of State, his family, and legal counsel to secure his release is ibid., Central File 261.1111 - Powers, Francis Gary.

148. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, May 7, 1960, 6 p.m.

2750. Eyes only Secretary. I am at a loss to submit any recommendations on how we should handle plane incident but following thoughts may be useful to you. Difficult to assess Khrushchev's motives in playing this so hard. I believe he was really offended and angry, that he attaches great importance to stopping this kind of activity, and that he believes this will put him in advantageous position at summit. There is no doubt that we have suffered major loss in Soviet public opinion and probably throughout world. Judging by reaction Norwegian Amb/1/ Norway and possibly other countries may take unilateral action to pledge prohibition cooperation such actions in future.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/5 - 760. Top Secret; Niact.

/1/[Text of footnote not declassified]

A more menacing interpretation is that Khrushchev realizes, particularly after his visit to De Gaulle, Dillon speech, and NATO pronouncements,/2/ that he cannot make progress at summit and feels obliged proceed with separate peace treaty and risk consequences that will follow. He therefore could be exploiting this incident to prepare public opinion for eventual crisis. Of course this may be what Khru-shchev wants us to think. Also cannot help but think, although evidence is very slight, that Khrushchev is having some internal difficulties and this incident affords him a convenient diversion.

/2/Reference is presumably to Khrushchev's visit to France March 23 - April 3, Dillon's April 20 speech in New York (see Department of State Bulletin, May 9, 1960, pp. 723 - 729), and the May 4 communique of the North Atlantic Council Ministerial Meeting in Istanbul (see ibid., May 23, 1960, p. 840).

Judging by display which Khrushchev made of evidence in Supreme Soviet today/3/ I would doubt that we can continue to deny charges of deliberate overflight. Khrushchev has himself stated dilemma with which we are faced should we deny that President himself had actual knowledge this action although I should recommend this be done if possible and that it should be accompanied by some drastic action to prevent recurrence action of this sort without his knowledge. This would preserve for us great asset we have in regard which Soviet and other people have for President. I would suggest this might also be accompanied by statement that espionage practiced on both sides and most successfully by Soviet Union which can exploit openness our society.

/3/For text of Khrushchev's May 7 speech, see Current Digest of the Soviet Press, June 8, 1960, pp. 3 - 7.

In these circumstances and in view fact Soviet Union has repeatedly boasted of its ability to destroy US and other nations, those responsible for defense our country have felt it necessary to take every step to insure our ability to carry out that defense. I would suggest however that impropriety of this action be admitted. At same time I suggest we should strongly assert our desire to achieve progress in settling political questions, and particularly in field of disarmament to make rapid progress in order remove any doubt by either side of intentions of other. If we have available any provable evidence of comparable Soviet actions these might be mentioned but I believe only if they are adequate.

In any event I do not believe we should consider calling off summit conference and decision on President's visit should obviously await results that meeting if it is to be held. Although Vershinin/4/ may now cancel his visit I would still think we should not take any initiative to do so.


/4/Air Marshal Vershinin was scheduled to visit the United States May 14 - 22 to reciprocate the visit of General Twining to the Soviet Union in 1956, but Vershinin postponed his visit on May 13. (Telegram 2827 from Moscow, May 13; Department of State, Central Files, 711.5861/5 - 1360) The visit was later canceled altogether.

149. Memorandum of Discussion at the 444th Meeting of the National Security Council

Washington, May 9, 1960.

[Here follows a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting.]

1. Soviet Destruction of a U.S. U - 2 Reconnaissance Plane

The President opened the meeting by remarking that the U - 2 plane incident had produced a great storm. Allen Dulles was meeting with Congressional leaders in a session called by Secretary Herter to explain our reconnaissance activities fully but without apology./1/ The Department of State would issue this afternoon a comparable public statement which he (the President) had made less defensive in tone./2/ Reconnaissance activity had been going on for years; consequently it was inevitable that it would be revealed sooner or later. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of Central Intelligence and the scientific community had not only agreed to reconnaissance activity of this type but had insisted upon it. The President thought that the question was now posed as to the action we would take in the future in this field; in any event, the problem would have to be reviewed.

//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Drafted by Boggs on May 13.

/1/Herter and Dulles briefed a group of 18 congressional leaders from both houses on the U - 2 in the early afternoon of May 9. No transcript of this session has been found; according to one report, none was made. (David Wise and Thomas B. Ross, The U - 2 Affair (New York: Random House, 1962), p. 116)

/2/Regarding Secretary Herter's May 9 statement, see Document 147.

The President cautioned that the members of the Council would probably be accosted by newspapermen when they left the meeting. He believed that the participants in the meeting should have nothing whatsoever to say to the press and only the Department of State should issue public statements. If members of the Council made statements to the press, these statements would be compared and if there were any differences between them, the differences would be expanded into a big news story. Our reconnaissance was discovered and we would just have to endure the storm and say as little as possible. The President then remarked that if we discovered a Soviet spy, we would have to expose all our intelligence sources and methods in order to obtain a conviction. Even if convicted, a spy would probably be sentenced to only six years and would be replaced by six more spies. In this situation, about all the FBI can do is keep spies under surveillance.

The Attorney General said it was very difficult to prosecute spies in this country because most of them have diplomatic immunity, being attached either to Soviet Bloc embassies or to the UN. Mr. J. Edgar Hoover/3/ has been compiling a list of Soviet Bloc spy cases during the last few years. At least sixteen Soviet Bloc diplomats have been dismissed from the U.S. on grounds of persona non grata. Mr. Rogers recalled/4/ that in the Abel case,/5/ a spy with no diplomatic immunity had received a twenty year sentence.

/3/Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

/4/William P. Rogers, Attorney General.

/4/Rudolf Ivanovich Abel was convicted of conducting espionage for the Soviet Union in the United States in October 1957. He and U - 2 pilot Powers were ultimately exchanged as prisoners by the United States and Soviet Union in 1962.

The President said he hoped he would not be allowed to forget about the Abel case and the twenty year sentence. However, he did not mean to say that the law enforcement agencies were not alert. The difficulty in prosecuting spies in the U.S. lay in their diplomatic protection, as the Attorney General had said, and also in the rules of evidence in our courts. Moreover, some judges were inclined to think that spying is not too heinous a crime.

The Attorney General said an attache of the Czech Embassy had recently been discovered taking pictures of military installations from commercial planes.

[1 paragraph (15-1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

The National Security Council:/6/

/6/The paragraph that follows constitutes NSC Action No. 2231, approved by the President on May 13. (Department of State, S/S - NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)

Noted and discussed a statement by the President on the subject, and the admonition by the President that all Executive Branch officials should refrain from any public or private comment upon this subject, except for authorized statements by the Department of State.

[Here follow agenda items 2 and 3. For text of the discussion of item 2, "Preparation for the Summit Meeting," see volume IX, Document 149.]

4. Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security

Mr. Amory/7/ said he would mention two relatively brief items. The first item concerned the factors motivating Khrushchev in exploiting the U - 2 reconnaissance plane incident. Khrushchev might have been motivated by the following: (1) deep conviction, which appears common among Soviet leaders, that secrecy is a major asset of the USSR; (2) anxiety with respect to any violation of Soviet territory; (3) the possibility that the Soviet military hierarchy was unhappy over the demobilization measures recently announced by Khrushchev/8/ and has consequently insisted that Khrushchev take a strong stand in the plane case; (4) a possible desire to embarrass the President at the outset of the Summit Conference, a tactic which would be consistent with the past performance of the Soviets in trying to put the West on the defensive and exploit any chinks in the alliance just before international conferences. Mr. Amory said the opinion had been expressed in some quarters also that Khrushchev's exploitation of the plane incident had resulted from his discouragement at the prospects of the Summit Conference. Under this interpretation Khrushchev's tactics were primarily moves in preparation for the failure of the Summit Conference designed to put the onus for failure on the U.S. Mr. Amory did not believe there was serious opposition to Khrushchev's policies within the USSR, certainly not within his immediate entourage. However, certain economic difficulties existed in the USSR and opposition to Khrushchev's basic policy of detente had been manifested by the Chinese Communists and the East Germans.

/7/Robert Amory, Jr., Deputy Director for Intelligence, CIA.

/8/Regarding Khrushchev's announcement of Soviet troop reductions to the Supreme Soviet on January 14, see Document 140.

[Here follow discussion of other subjects, including Vershinin's forthcoming visit (see footnote 4, Document 148), and the remaining agenda items.]

Marion W. Boggs

150. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, May 9, 1960, 7 p.m.

2771. At beginning of Czech reception today Khrushchev greeted me warmly, took me aside, and before I could make any remark said he was sure not only that I knew nothing about this overflight but that I was opposed to such operations. He said they could not help but suspect that someone had launched this operation with deliberate intent of spoiling summit meeting. He explained they had not protested overflights because on an occasion when they did do so we had blandly denied any knowledge of them. He expressed resentment at Department statement about incident, particularly suggestion that because they had closed areas and secrets this was justification for overflights. He said they had known of these activities for very long time and said to me and later repeated publicly that day after General Twining left Moscow where he had been courteously received as guest, one of these planes had been sent far into Soviet Union. He referred to Senator Mansfield's remarks/1/ and said that in due course they would probably let us see pilot. He indicated they would produce their evidence at press conference including [garble] Ambassadors tomorrow or next day. In this connection I referred to Litvinov agreement./2/ He said this incident showed bombers were useless and they had no plans to send bombers to US and should occasion arise would only use rockets. He also said, if I understood him correctly, that they were no longer producing medium-range rockets, apparently because they had already sufficient stock. I said I had no instructions in matter but hoped they did not in fact intend to take this case to Security Council since this would certainly worsen atmosphere as we would be obliged defend ourselves. He said nevertheless they had decided to do so and added that if situation were reversed he was sure we would do same thing.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/5 - 960. Confidential; Niact; Limit Distribution.

/1/Reference may be to Senator Mansfield's remarks on May 5 and 8 in which he said he believed Eisenhower had not been told of the U - 2 flight. For text, see The New York Times, May 6 and 9, 1960.

/2/In the exchange of letters between President Roosevelt and Soviet Commissar Maxim Litvinov, which established diplomatic relations between the two nations in November 1933, the Soviet Union agreed, among other things, that requests by U.S. consular representatives in the Soviet Union to visit U.S. nationals detained in Soviet jails would be granted without delay.

Khrushchev remarked that the one thing that bothered him, and he was telling me this only personally, was that Soviet public opinion was concerned and it could be that during President's visit some people might show their resentment. He said of course they did not want any such thing to happen and when President came here as guest they wanted him received as such. Throughout conversation Khrushchev was very affable, said he sympathized with my position but "what could he do about it?"

I am reporting his public remarks separately./3/

/3/See Document 151.

Although it could be simply a desire to get in best negotiating position against US I cannot help but interpret his public remarks and appeal to Security Council as a determination to go through with separate treaty unless he gets some satisfaction on Berlin at summit meeting. He obviously intends to exploit this incident to hilt with our allies, particularly Norway, Pakistan and Turkey. Although he denied wanting to add fuel to flames during his public speech, he seemed to be doing exactly that. Nevertheless press and other treatment has been restrained.

In reply my question Khrushchev said as far as they were concerned Vershinin would proceed with his visit.


151. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, May 9, 1960, 7 p.m.

2772. In reply to Czech Ambassador's toast at reception this afternoon Khrushchev with obvious realism dwelt at length on overflight incident./1/ He raised question as to who could have sent this plane and said what could they think of a govt in which such operation could be undertaken without permission. At this point he repeated in public his remarks exonerating me personally./2/ He did, however, make derogatory remarks about Allen Dulles. He later remarked he suspected government did know about it secretly. He referred to countries who had let their territories be used for such operations and said not only would any further intruder be shot down but in this event Soviet Union would also consider taking other appropriate measures which he made clear could involve action against bases that were used for this purpose.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/5 - 960. Confidential; Niact.

/1/For the condensed text of Khrushchev's statement, see Current Digest of the Soviet Press, June 8, 1960, pp. 22 - 24.

/3/See Document 150.

He led into German question and said with great force that if they were obliged to conclude separate treaty and Western powers attempted on basis of situation which had resulted from German surrender to use force this would be met with force.

He said he did not wish to add fuel to flames and what was important was to reach agreements including disarmament. He said bombers could not fly over 12,000 to 17,000 meters altitude whereas fighters could go to 28,000 but had difficulty finding target and that rockets were the thing. He said American plane had not been armed for simple reason that there was nothing to shoot at at that altitude and it needed weight for other purposes.

After toast he sought out Norwegian Ambassador and Pakistan charge and needled them at length, surrounded by considerable crowd, about use of their territory. Norwegian Ambassador said he knew nothing about incident except what Khrushchev had said but could not understand how such small plane could have attempted fly all way to Norway. He said he was sure his govt knew nothing about it. I did not overhear entire conversation but Khrushchev did not accept this statement.

Whole performance shocked those of my colleagues who have not seen him put on this act before.


152. Memorandum for the Record

Washington, June 1, 1960.

My checking back indicates the following:

On Thursday, May 12th, just as the Cabinet Meeting came to an end,/1/ the President and Mr. Gates stood for a moment behind their chairs in the Cabinet Room and the President told Mr. Gates that he was issuing instructions to call off all activities that might be taken by the Soviets as provocative. This included instructions regarding cessation of the U - 2 project. With respect to Defense, he wished Mr. Gates to take action to assure that such things were called off.

//Source: Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up. Secret. Prepared by Goodpaster.

/1/According to minutes of the Cabinet meeting on May 12, there was no discussion of the U - 2 incident. (Ibid., Whitman File, Cabinet Series)

The President then went into his office with Secretary Herter, with me also present./2/ He told Mr. Herter the same thing concerning calling off all activities of a provocative nature, and asked me so to inform Mr. Allen Dulles, both generally and with specific regard to the U - 2. (I did so by telephone following this meeting.)/3/

The following day, after a presentation given to the President by General Twining and a group from the Joint Staff in the Cabinet Room,/4/ General Twining told the President he had just received word that Air Marshal Vershinin's visit to the United States was being postponed. After some discussion, the President told General Twining of the instructions he had issued and asked that General Twining assure, with respect to Defense activities, that any of a provocative nature be called off. General Twining said he would do so.


Brigadier General, USA

/2/According to a memorandum of a conference between the President and Herter following the Cabinet meeting on May 12, which Goodpaster prepared on May 16: "The President told Mr. Herter he would like to have a recess or a restriction imposed on all intelligence operations of a 'provocative' nature. Mr. Herter said he would pass the word along these lines, and stated that he had already told the Air Force to cut down on 'ferret' operations." (Ibid., DDE Diaries)

/3/No further record of this telephone conversation has been found.

/4/In a memorandum for the record, prepared on May 17, Gordon Gray noted that on May 13 at 9:45 a.m., General Twining, with the assistance of four military staff officers, presented to the President a study he had requested evaluating the wartime situation following a nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union, and the President said he was satisfied with the study. (Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Meetings with the President)

153. Memorandum of Discussion at the 445th Meeting of the National Security Council

Washington, May 24, 1960.

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and agenda items 1 and 2.]

3. Statements Regarding the U - 2 Incident and the Recent Military Test Alert (NSC Action No. 2231)/1/

//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Pepared by Boggs on May 25.

/1/See footnote 6, Document 149.

The President said there was a matter he would like to take up with the Council. It was clear that Congress would insist on some kind of investigation of the U - 2 incident and the breakup of the Summit Conference. It must be well understood in advance in the Administration how far officials could go in testifying on these matters without endangering our whole intelligence fabric. The U - 2 incident was partly out in the open and some questions about over-flights could be answered. However, the President continued, no information should be divulged as to how many over-flights have been made. Congress could be told that over-flights have been going on with the approval of the Secretary of State and our scientific advisers, who have indicated that this method of gathering intelligence is necessary. It should be made clear that basic decisions respecting reconnaissance over-flights of denied territory have been made by the President. However, the impression should not be given that the President has approved specific flights, precise missions, or the timing of specific flights.

Mr. Dulles said he would prefer in his own testimony not to mention the President in connection with the reconnaissance over-flights.

The President said he had in his press conference already referred to his own role in reconnaissance over-flights./2/ Turning to the timing of the last U - 2 flight, the President said there was no good time for failure. The question was: Had the risk been measurably greater at the time of the flight than it would have been at any other time? As Ambassador Lodge had said at the UN Security Council meeting, at the time Khru-shchev was making his disarmament speech before the UN last year,/3/ the U.S. had taken two Soviet spies into custody. The President believed that as long as a powerful government suspected the intentions of another powerful government, intelligence activities would be carried on. He felt that the possibility of a new Pearl Harbor should not be unduly emphasized, nor should we attempt to be dramatic, but we could state publicly that intelligence operations are going on and that we are studying methods of obtaining information. The President remarked that over-flights, before the last one, had been so successful that we may have become careless. He added that the April 9 over-flight could be mentioned publicly since the Soviets had already mentioned it./4/ He repeated that as to timing there was no good time for failure.

/2/For text of the President's remarks, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 - 61, pp. 403 - 404.

/3/Lodge's statement has not been further identified.

/4/Khrushchev mentioned this in his May 5 speech to the Supreme Soviet; see Document 147.

The President believed that certain elements in the U.S. would try to make it appear that we had instituted a general military alert on Sunday night, May 15. All that happened was that Secretary Gates had asked him whether it would not be appropriate at that time to make sure that our long-range communications were working efficiently. He had agreed that such a communications alert might be ordered. This test alert was the kind of alert that is conducted regularly. The President felt that in our public statement we should play down the May 15 alert by indicating that it was a test of our long-range communications facilities. Secretary Gates said that the alert also involved a quiet increase in military command personnel on duty for a test of command procedures.

The President asked whether the pilot of the U - 2 which was brought down in Russia had made any flights before this one during his four years with CIA. Mr. Dulles said the pilot, Francis Powers, had made twenty to twenty-five operational flights over denied territory. One of the flights over denied territory was partly aborted because of weather conditions; the plane went through Mongolia and returned. Mr. Dulles added that Powers had been with CIA four years and before that had been with the Air Force for six years. He had been selected for this mission because of his knowledge of Arctic navigation. The President said that when reconnaissance over-flights had been explained to him, he had been told that the pilots on such flights were taught to destroy the plane rather than to let it fall into Soviet hands. The President believed that the blunder of our first statement on the U - 2 incident was based on the presumption that the plane was destroyed./5/ Accordingly, we thought the story that a NASA weather reconnaissance plane was missing was a good cover story. The President then remarked that apparently Powers started talking as soon as he touched the ground. Mr. Dulles said that we had traced the U - 2 piloted by Powers down to 30,000 feet. Pictures of wreckage of the U - 2 published by the Russians showed that parts of the plane have bullet holes. Mr. Dulles believed that bullets fired at the plane while it was in the air may have jammed the destruct mechanism. In any case, the pilot had time to eject himself from the U - 2 while it was descending from 70,000 to 30,000 feet and, contrary to Soviet stories, the arming of the destruct mechanism would not have blown up the pilot./6/ The President said apparently the pilot had a flight plan with him when he landed. Mr. Dulles said a flight plan was, of course, necessary to the operation. The President believed that the pilot did not have to carry the flight plan with him while descending from 70,000 feet altitude. Mr. Dulles said he understood the flight plan was found in the cockpit of the downed plane.

/5/Regarding the first NASA statement on the missing U - 2 plane, May 3, see Document 147.

/6/In his speech to the Supreme Soviet on May 7, Khrushchev reported that Powers did not use the automatic ejection device because there was an explosive charge in the plane that was to blow up as soon as the pilot was catapulted. (Current Digest of the Soviet Press, June 8, 1960, p. 5) The Soviet press subsequently reiterated Khrushchev's version. (Ibid., June 29, 1960, p. 30)

Secretary Herter said he understood the timing of the U - 2 flight was dictated by technical factors. For example, he had been told that at this season of the year the sun's rays were at the proper angle for good aerial photography and that the weather was apt to be clear over the USSR. He wondered whether this line of thought would be useful in testimony before Congress. The President said the U - 2 flights were made because it was necessary for us to find out whether the Soviets were hardening their airbases or not, but of course it was impossible for us to say this publicly. Mr. Dulles said this was the best season of the year for reconnaissance over-flights of the USSR because the weather in that part of the world was apt to be foggy at other times.

Secretary Gates asked whether the pilot of the U - 2 had been briefed to tell the truth if he were captured. Mr. Dulles said the pilot had been told to reveal whatever he himself knew, including the fact that he worked for CIA.

Mr. Herter wondered whether the fact that we had tracked the U - 2 down to 30,000 feet should be revealed. Mr. Dulles preferred to say that we had tracked the plane to the point where it could be shot down. The President wondered why it was necessary for us to reveal that we had tracked the plane down to 30,000 feet. Mr. Dulles explained that the Soviets were announcing that their rockets could shoot a plane down from an altitude of 60,000 - 70,000 feet. It would be re-assuring to our allies if we could inform them that the plane had not been shot down at this high altitude. The President said that nevertheless it bothered him to reveal information of this kind which throws some light on our intelligence activities. Mr. Dillon thought we might say that the Russian pictures revealed bullet holes in the wreckage of the plane, thus implying that the plane had descended to a relatively low altitude before being shot down. Mr. McCone said that Time magazine had stated in its last issue that we tracked the plane down to 30,000 feet./7/ The President said that secret information which revealed our intelligence activities must not be given out. This was a matter which involved the security of the U.S. and the protection of our intelligence operations. The President then added that no one should admit that any person in any nation other than the U.S. has been a party to reconnaissance over- flights. These over-flights should be regarded as solely a U.S operation. The President added that he had proposed a bilateral meeting with Khrushchev in Paris to discuss the over-flights because he wanted to make it clear to Khrushchev that our allies were not involved.

/7/Time, May 23, 1960.

[Here follows discussion of the upcoming summit conference.]

General Twining believed that an investigation, once started, would seek to explore our whole intelligence operation. He wondered whether there was anything we could do to stop the investigation. The President said he would be able to stop an investigation of the advice which his personal advisers had given him but the forthcoming investigation would deal with Administration officials as well as his personal advisers. Accordingly, he felt the investigation could not be stopped. However, he believed Administration officials should testify themselves and not allow their subordinates to speak. General Twining feared that if the investigators probed CIA, they would then want to investigate the JCS operations. The President said Mr. Dulles would reply to the questions asked by the investigators and might have to say that CIA was a secret organization of the U.S. Government.

Secretary Anderson believed that the President's forthcoming TV address/8/ should leave the public with the image of a clear and decisive leader but that it should also say that no apology is due for U.S. efforts to protect the Free World against devastating attack. Moreover, the speech should express the hope that no one in this country will engage in activities which will imperil the capability of the country to protect itself in the future. The speech should contain the implication that there is a limit beyond which investigation cannot go without imperiling our security. Secretary Anderson felt that the image of Pearl Harbor was still in the minds of the people and that they would accept this admonition about security.

/8/For text of the President's May 25 nationwide television address on the collapse of the summit in Paris, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 - 61, pp. 437 - 445.

The President said that upon his return to this country from Paris, he had deliberately talked about the U - 2 incident and the Summit at some length at Andrews Field/9/ because at that time he did not intend to make a TV speech. Now he was about to make a TV speech and he understood that the State Department was preparing a White Paper./10/ He wondered whether our opponents would not say we were on the defensive if we continue to make speeches and prepare White Papers. Secretary Herter said the proposed State Department White Paper would cover Soviet espionage activities in the U.S. and other Free World countries.

/9/For text of the President's remarks, see ibid., pp. 435 - 437.

/10/Reference may be to a report drafted in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, attached to a May 26 memorandum to Under Secretary Dillon, and entitled "The Soviet Espionage Effort Against the United States and the Free World." Lampton Berry, Deputy Director of Intelligence and Research, wrote in part that the attached INR paper "has been prepared primarily with a Congressional audience in mind, but also with a view of possible eventual publication." (Department of State, INR Files: Lot 58 D 776, 1960 Intelligence Notes) No further record of the preparation and publication of this paper has been found.

Secretary Anderson asked whether Mr. Dulles had any estimate regarding the fact that the USSR is sending eighteen of its UN officials home. Mr. Dulles said this move might be due to regular rotation. The eighteen officials would be drawn both from the Soviet Embassy and from the UN. The one thing that was clear was that the Soviets did not like the conduct of Ambassador Menshikov. Secretary Herter said the State Department had been studying the projected return of the Soviet Ambassador and the eighteen other Soviet officials and had been able to see no special significance in the move. There was, however, apparently a kind of mass movement going on. The Polish Ambassador appeared to be going home also.

The President wondered whether it would be a good idea for him to mention in his speech the fact that the State Department is preparing a White Paper on the details of Soviet espionage. Secretary Herter said he preferred to wait until the first draft of the White Paper was prepared. There was a question whether the White Paper could contain enough cases to make it worthwhile without compromising the FBI sources of information. Mr. Dulles asked whether the White Paper would cover Soviet espionage in allied countries. Mr. Dillon said the White Paper would cover such espionage. The President wondered whether this coverage would require us to clear the White Paper with our allies. Mr. Dillon said information in the White Paper about Soviet espionage in allied countries was drawn from public sources.

The President said we had been the leader for peace in the world. In order to remain the leader, we must remain strong and in order to be strong we must obtain intelligence information.

The National Security Council:/11/

/11/The paragraphs that follow constitute NSC Action No. 2237, approved by the President on May 31. (Ibid., S/S - NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)

Noted, after discussion of the subject, the following instructions by the President regarding statements by Executive Branch officials in public or in Congressional testimony:

a. Discussion of the U - 2 incident could include information which the USSR is presumed to know, but should not include any information which would jeopardize any other intelligence sources and methods. Statements should be calm and clear, but not expansive as to details or other intelligence activities. It should be emphasized that the policy of the United States is to seek a just and lasting peace, but to pursue that objective from a position of strength which requires intelligence activities to guard against surprise attack. Therefore, there should be no apologies for our effort to protect the Free World from surprise attack, and we should not imply that any other nations were involved in this U - 2 activity. While making clear that the basic decision regarding the U - 2 program was made by the President, the impression should not be given that the President approved specific flights, their precise missions or their timing.

b. As to the test alert, it should be made clear that this was of limited scope designed primarily to test long-range communications and command procedures, and that such alerts are necessary to maintain the operational readiness of U.S. armed forces. Authorization was given for more frequent test alerts.

[Here follow the remaining agenda items.]

Marion W. Boggs

154. Memorandum of Conversation

Washington, May 26, 1960, 8:45 a.m.


//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries. No classification marking. Prepared by Hagerty.

/1/No list of participants has been found.

The President started the discussion by telling his guests that he had invited them in for a round table discussion of the events in Paris of the preceding week. He said that he thought they might want to ask questions of him or Secretary Herter or Secretary Gates who were also present. The President also added that he heartily approved of the inquiry which was being started in the Senate/2/ and that the Administration people, of course, would fully cooperate.

/2/See Document 155.

The President said that he specifically wanted to bring up two questions at the start.

The first was what happened to the U - 2 plane. He said that the Soviets had claimed they had shot it down by rocket, but that he did not believe this. The Soviets had known about these flights for some time and were not able to interfere with any of the other flights because of the high altitudes at which the planes were flying. He pointed out that a picture of the plane released by the Soviets showed bullet holes in the wings. No Soviet fighter could get up to 70,000 feet so it is obvious that those holes must have been put in the wing at a lower attitude. He said it is the present theory that the plane's engine had flamed out, and that the pilot had to come down to below 70,000 to get the plane working again. It is possible that at that level Soviet planes could have attacked the U - 2 and that their bullets could have damaged the plane's control and made it possible [impossible] for the pilot to destroy the plane.

The second point the President said he wanted to raise was that of intelligence and espionage. He said that intelligence and espionage were distasteful for many Americans, but that he as President from the very beginning of his Administration had to make decisions based on what was right for the United States concerning the fundamental intelligence knowledge that we had to have. In this field, of course, one had to weigh the risks and the serious consequences that would result if one were caught. The decision of such espionage is something that the President, and the President alone, has to decide. The President fully knows that if anything goes wrong, there will be criticism not only abroad but here at home. Nevertheless the President has to accept responsibility for these decisions and also keep the knowledge of such activities in the fewest possible hands. Only a few people in State, Defense and CIA knew of this, and there had been no spreading or leaks of the information. The President said that he was responsible for the directive for the U - 2, that the wisdom of the decision lay with the President. "There is no glory in this business," he said. "If it is successful, it can't be told."

The President said that he did his best to put everything he could on the record in his speech last night,/3/ but that he was worried that the members of Congress in conducting the inquiry would try to dig into the interior of the CIA and its covert operation. Such attempt would be harmful to the United States and he was sure that the leaders of the Congress would realize this. He repeated that the Administration people would cooperate with the inquiry--he called it "investigation" several times.

/3/See footnote 8, Document 153.

Senator Dirksen/4/ said that he was in G - 2 during World War I and had some idea about intelligence and that he agreed with the President that intelligence operations by the Government should be held very tightly.

/4/Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen of Illinois.

The President continued that it was also his decision to suspend flights./5/ He said that he was sure that the leaders of Congress would be able to see some photographs of the Soviet installations taken by the U - 2 and that they would see how tremendous they were./6/ He pointed out that these flights had to be done from friendly bases and that when the U - 2 incident occurred, there was a question of embarrassing our allies, and that was one of the reasons he made the decision to suspend the flights.

/5/See Document 152.

/6/Allen Dulles displayed photographs taken by the U - 2 during his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 31; see Document 155.

Senator Bridges/7/ interrupted to ask why some of our allies protested about use of bases on their soil. The President responded that the leaders should remember that some of these nations are fairly weak militarily and are close to the borders of the Soviet Union. He said that the Scandinavian countries particularly were afraid of the Bear, that they were perfectly willing to participate if the projects and missions could be concealed but that when they were uncovered, the Scandinavian countries felt that they must disown them.

/7/Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire.

Secretary Herter said that the Pakistan reaction was very good--that they had registered a protest with us for their own protection but that they were not going to publish such a protest and were merely going through the motions./8/ Norway also made a protest,/9/ but again Secretary Herter said those nations had to go through the motions for home consumption.

/8/The text of the Pakistani protest note, which the Ambassador of Pakistan delivered to the Department of State on May 19, was quoted in telegram 2934 to Karachi, May 19. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/5 - 1960)

/9/The Norwegian protest note, which Norwegian Foreign Minister Halvard Lange handed to Ambassador Frances E. Willis in Oslo on May 13, was transmitted in telegram 963 from Oslo, May 13. (Ibid., 761.5411/5 - 1360)

The President said that Ayub of Pakistan was a fine and staunch ally and dwelt for a few minutes on Ayub's plan of basic democracies where first the localities, then the provinces and finally the nation will be given the right to vote.

Senator Mansfield/10/ said he was glad to hear that the President would support the "investigation" but that he and his colleagues preferred the word "inquiry", that it would not be an investigation in the ugly sense of the word.

/10/Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana.

He then said that he wanted to ask one question. What would the President think if there were to be established in the Congress a joint Congressional Committee which would oversee the activities of the CIA.

The President responded that his own feeling was that the operation of the CIA was so delicate and so secret in many cases that it must be kept under cover, and that the Executive must be held responsible for it. He said that he would agree to some bipartisan group going down occasionally and receiving reports from the CIA on their activities, but that he would hate to see it formalized--indeed would be against the proposal made by Senator Mansfield.

Senator Russell/11/ supported the President in this viewpoint and said that they do have a Congressional group that periodically went over reports. He said that they knew the U - 2 planes were under construction a long time ago. The Senator added that he was not afraid of the Senators on security matters but that he was afraid of staff leaks. He put it quite bluntly when he said that any leaks of this nature from staffs would endanger the lives of men going into Russia and that he did not want it on his conscience.

/11/Senator Richard B. Russell of Georgia, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Congressman Vinson/12/ said that he was in complete disagreement with Senator Mansfield, that he supported Senator Russell, and that indeed in the House they had the same system as in the Senate.

/12/Representative Carl Vinson of Georgia, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Senator Hayden/13/ also agreed with Senator Russell and Congressman Vinson--and Senator Mansfield's suggestion therefore was rapidly knocked down.

/13/Senator Carl Hayden of Arizona.

Senator Fulbright/14/ then said that he looked upon the work his Committee would do as a study or inquiry and that he hoped the word "investigation" would not be used in connection with it. He said he was glad to hear that the President approved of the inquiry and that he would do his best to keep it on the track and not let it stray. He also said that he would like to raise this question--that there was a tendency to revive political dialogue between the parties on who was soft on Communism. He said that if this continues, it would be disastrous, that it would get into the political campaign and that in the end, both parties might find themselves in the position where it would be impossible to renew contacts or continue them with the Soviets.

/14/Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The President agreed with Senator Fulbright on this point and said that such a situation was easy to develop unless both political parties were careful of their language and their charges. He said that this was one of the things that Khrushchev was trying to do, to inject this matter into the American campaign, that he as President had refused to even recognize it and that he was sure the United States had leaders who had the sense to remain bipartisan in the international field. As for himself, the President said he would have no part of any such political activities.

Senator Fulbright said that his Committee would follow the same pattern as the Russell Committee had in the past, and that a transcript would be issued after the private meeting. The transcript, however, would be subject to censorship as far as security matters were concerned.

Senator Fulbright said that he would like to raise another point, and that was whether it was wise for the President to take responsibility for the U - 2 flights. He said that he himself thought that disavowal would probably have been better.

In response the President said that when the plane was first missing, no one knew what had happened. It had been thought that if the plane got into trouble it would be destroyed, all material on board would be destroyed, and that the pilot would be free of any such material. On this assumption the story of a weather plane would have been able to stick. But, he added, the assumptions were incorrect. Within a few days the balloon was up. Senator Fulbright said that he still didn't think it was wise to take full responsibility. President Eisenhower responded that he thought it was, that if he didn't take responsibility someone else would have had to. He said he agreed that Khrushchev had tried to give him an out on this, but that he looked upon it as his responsibility, and he assumed it.

"Incidentally," he said with a smile, "if anyone were punished they should punish me first." He said that anyone sitting in his chair wouldn't want to put the CIA on the spot, and would not want to disown the CIA or its Director. He said that in addition to being President, he was also Commander-in-Chief, and he didn't see how he could duck this responsibility. He said he would be interested to see what the majority opinion of Fulbright's Committee would be on this point.

(At this point Congressman Vinson leaned over and whispered to me that the President was dead right, that Fulbright was all wrong on his thesis, and that he, Vinson, thought the President had acted quite right in assuming responsibility. He said--"That's the kind of a man he is anyway.")

Senator Johnson/15/ then asked whether our intelligence would suffer by the discontinuance of the U - 2 flights.

/15/Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas.

The President responded that when our friends were on the spot he had no alternative but to cancel out the flights. But he added that it was quite clear that with the advance of techniques these flights are not going to be as useful as they were in the past.

Senator Johnson then asked why they weren't stopped before the Summit Meeting.

The President said again that this was a decision that had to be made. The previous flights had been successful. The ill-fated flight had to take advantage of the weather to get the needed information that would not be available later on, and the decision was to go ahead. It was just bad luck that the flight had failed.

Speaker Rayburn/16/ interjected that as far as he was concerned, he had kept quiet about the whole thing.

/16/Representative Sam Rayburn of Texas, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The President responded that the people closely associated with the flight were sure that their cover story would hold and that that was the only reason he told them to put it out. He said that on reflection it would have been a good idea to count to ten, but that that was crying over spilt milk and that nothing could be done about it. It was then that the President said that he would study any recommendations that Senator Fulbright's Committee might make.

Secretary Herter said that the whole matter was a question of alternatives--that the flights in the past had been successful, that the information they had collected was remarkable but that when the flight failed it was decided to make a frank and full story of the incident.

The President jocularly said that as far as punishment was concerned, the only way he could be punished would be by impeachment. Speaker Rayburn also replied jocularly that "you haven't got long enough to go for that." But then on a serious vein the Speaker told the President that whether mistakes had been made or not, "we are all in this together."

The meeting then broke up with the President thanking all the participants for coming to the White House.

The President then came to his office at the White House, and Bryce Harlow/17/ and myself worked up the following statement which the President approved:

/17/President's Deputy Assistant for Congressional Affairs.

At the breakfast meeting with Congressional leaders of both parties, President Eisenhower discussed various aspects of the Paris meeting and the U - 2 incident. The President told the leaders that he personally welcomed the bipartisan inquiry which will start tomorrow.

In turn, the entire group agreed that the inquiry should be conducted on a completely non-partisan and truly bipartisan basis. The President said that Administration officials concerned would cooperate fully and added that, of course, he would consider any recommendations such an inquiry might make. There was a frank and general discussion lasting over an hour.

Jim Hagerty

155. Editorial Note

On May 27 and 31 and June 1 and 2, Secretary of State Christian A. Herter, Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, Hugh L. Dryden, Deputy Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Under Secretary of State Dillon, Charles E. Bohlen, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense Thomas S. Gates, Jr., testified in executive session before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on events relating to the summit conference in Paris in May. For the hearings of May 27 and June 1 and 2, without testimony the executive branch believed might jeopardize the national security of the United States, see Events Incident to the Summit Conference: Hearings Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 86th Congress, 2d Session (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1960). For text of the full hearings, including Allen Dulles' statement on the U - 2 and his responses to questions from committee members on May 31, see Executive Sessions of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Historical Series), 1960, volume XII (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982), pages 279 - 359. For the report of the committee on the hearings, see Events Relating to the Summit Conference: Report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Together With Individual Views, Senate Report No. 1761, 86th Congress, 2d Session (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1960).

156. Memorandum From the Secretary of State's Special Assistant (Bohlen) to Secretary of State Herter

Washington, July 8, 1960.


Memorandum of Conversation with Ambassador Menshikov

At lunch today alone with Ambassador Menshikov and Smirnovsky the following points emerged:

1. U.S. Elections

Before luncheon Menshikov asked me a whole series of questions concerning the American elections, possible candidates who had the best chance and who might be the probable Secretary of State. I told him that my information was almost entirely obtained from the press and, therefore, was about equal to his; that while it was obvious that Mr. Nixon would be the Republican candidate, the Democratic one still had elements of doubt despite the obvious lead of Senator Kennedy. In regard to the Secretary of State I had no information whatsoever and that I doubted if any of the prospective candidates had as yet made up his mind and I only knew the names that had been mentioned in the press and in the columns.

2. U - 2

Menshikov both before and after lunch endeavored to develop discussion concerning the U - 2 incident, and in particular why the President had accepted responsibility and had not apologized, which he maintained would have had a radical effect on Khrushchev's attitude.

I told him this was past history and I saw little point in going into it further, but I merely wished to make one point which related to Mr. Khrushchev's statement at the Czech Embassy on May 9/1/ before there had been any assumption of responsibility by the President. I said personally I thought this indicated the embarrassing position in which Mr. Khrushchev had put the President had he refrained from accepting responsibility as Head of the American Government.

//Source: Department of State, Secretary's Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. Secret. Drafted by Bohlen and initialed by Bohlen; Max V. Krebs, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State; and Secretary Herter.

/1/See Documents 150 and 151.

During the course of this conversation Mr. Menshikov made a remark which left me with the impression that insofar as the Soviet Government and Khrushchev were concerned that unless there was at some time either by this or a future administration an "apology" for the U - 2 incident, this would continue to be a big factor in Soviet/American relations. When, however, I challenged him on this saying that if they expect an apology from any administration, either from this one or its successor, they would wait a very long time and that I could only conclude if this was the Soviet position there was little prospect of any improvement in the future, he backed away from this by saying that what he had had in mind was that if a future administration would continue the policy of these "aggressive and provocative" flights there would be little prospect of improvement. I told him that President Eisenhower at Paris had already stated the flights would be suspended so long as he was in office/2/ and while he could not bind his successor, it would seem to me that U - 2 flights were no longer feasible and therefore should not be a future factor in our relations.

/2/Eisenhower made this statement at the Heads of Government meeting at Paris, May 16 at 11 a.m.; see vol. IX, Document 168.

At one point in the conversation he asked me directly whether I as adviser on Soviet affairs had known or approved of these flights, to which I told him in the business we were both engaged in there were certain questions to which he could not expect an answer and this was one of them. He quickly abandoned that point.

At another point he mentioned that repetition of U - 2 flights would lead to retaliation of the bases, to which I replied I thought this was an extremely irresponsible attitude to have the peace of the world hang upon the possibility of an accidental and unidentified plane flying over Soviet territory. His only answer was that they were able to tell what kind of a plane it was.

3. Current Soviet Policy

I took occasion throughout luncheon to emphasize to Menshikov that while in Soviet procedure it might be possible to run two contradictory policies, this was not possible insofar as the U.S. estimate of Soviet intentions was concerned. I pointed out that on the one hand they are reaffirming their policy of "peaceful co-existence", settlement of disputes by negotiation, relaxation of tension, etc. while on the other the Head of their Government was losing no occasion to attack the U.S. I said I thought since he was returning to Moscow he should endeavor insofar as he could to make plain to the Soviet Government and Mr. Khrushchev that a continuance of the attacks on the President of the United States would have a long term deleterious effect on our relations; that no matter what the political persuasion in America was, an attack on the President was deeply resented and that if continued it would certainly affect the attitude of the new administration of whatever party it was.

Menshikov attempted to state that Khrushchev was merely replying to attacks on the Soviet Union by American officials but was unable in answer to my question to give any specific cases, except some statements he attributed to Senator Johnson and a speech by the Vice President in South Dakota, I believe./3/ I told him that during the presidential campaign obviously things were going to be said by the candidates which might be unpleasant but they did not have anywhere near the same significance as when said by the actual head of a foreign government, pointing out in this connection that the President had refrained from any reply in kind to Mr. Khrushchev's personal attacks on him and U.S. policy.

/3/Regarding Senator Johnson's statement, Menshikov was probably referring to Johnson's remarks at a news conference on July 5 announcing that he was a Democratic candidate for President. In his statement, he said that the next President would be greeted by new Communist threats, including a Russian submarine base in Cuba, which Menshikov specifically referred to later in this conversation. For text of Johnson's statement, see The New York Times, July 6, 1960. No record of a speech by Nixon in South Dakota at this time has been found. Reference may be to his speech at Minot, North Dakota, on June 20 in which he favored a U.N. pool of surplus food. Nixon indicated that Eisenhower was considering presentation of this proposal at the recent summit meeting, but Khrushchev's actions there had ruled out Soviet participation in the program at this time. For text of Nixon's speech, see ibid., June 21, 1960.

Menshikov attempted to depict the President's statement in regard to interference in domestic affairs as "insulting" to Mr. Khrushchev,/4/ to which I obviously replied that Khrushchev had indeed commented rather freely on the forthcoming American election. I endeavored at this point of the conversation to impress on him the fact that continued assaults on the United States and the President would cause the American people and Government to have the gravest doubts as to the seriousness of Soviet professions or eventual improvement in relations, which incidentally Menshikov repeatedly asserted was their main goal.

/4/Reference may be to the President's remarks at his news conference, July 6, in which he referred to Khrushchev's "very crude attempts to involve himself and his influence, if any, in this country into our affairs," and he did not think either political party should be concerned about his attempted interference. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 - 61, p. 555)

4. Disarmament

Discussion on disarmament revealed nothing new with Menshikov stressing the standard Soviet line that they wanted disarmament and we wanted controls. However, when he said they had broken up the Geneva conference/5/ in order to get action and progress in the disarmament field by bringing it into the General Assembly, he shifted the subject when I told him this was an extremely unconvincing reason since no one in their right mind could believe that a body as large as the General Assembly could make any concrete progress in disarmament. He incidentally denied what I had been told by Eaton what Zorin said in regard to Soviet ideas of inspection on any reduction-in-force levels,/6/ i.e. that they would merely inspect the actual reduction without relevance to the previous and resulting levels. Menshikov said this could not be true but qualified it by saying it would depend upon the nature of the "agreement."

/5/The Soviet bloc walked out of the Ten-Nation Committee on Disarmament meeting in Geneva on June 27.

/6/The remarks of Valerian A. Zorin, Soviet Representative at the Ten- Nation Committee on Disarmament, to Fredrick M. Eaton, U.S. Representative at the Ten-Nation Committee on Disarmament, have not been further identified.

5. Cuba

In connection with my statement that Soviet attitudes in regard to this administration would have a long-term effect on the attitude of the next administration, I mentioned that the Soviet attitude towards the Cuban situation would fit into this category. Menshikov immediately said what he had said to Senator Fulbright,/7/ that Senator Johnson's statement about a submarine base was completely out of this world and provocative; the Soviet Union had no intention of establishing bases or any military arrangements in Cuba. He did say, however, that he saw no reason why the Soviet Union could not develop "friendly" relations with Cuba, since we had such relations and even worse from their point of view with many countries bordering on the Soviet Union. I told him I would not argue the question with him, but merely state the fact that too great Soviet involvement in Cuba would have a very important and lasting effect on our relations with the Soviet Union; that he could believe this or not but I was telling him a simple fact. I mentioned in this connection the effect Khrushchev's visit to Cuba would have in the event he came there and made the type of speech attacking the U.S. and its so-called imperialist policies. Menshikov sought to counter this statement by saying that he could not understand why the President visited countries bordering on the Soviet Union and Khrushchev could not visit Cuba. I said it was not so much the fact of the visit but what he would say when he got there, pointing out that the President on his recent trip to the Middle East/8/ said no word whatsoever attacking the Soviet Union, but judging from Mr. Khrushchev's recent utterances there was no guarantee that he would not indulge in insulting statements concerning the U.S. if he visited Cuba, and attempt to arouse the people of Latin America against the United States. Menshikov said no one could foretell what Khrushchev would say, but with regard to the latter point he made the remark that "the people of Latin America" were already aroused against the United States, with which I disagreed.

/7/No further record of this conversation has been found.

/8/Eisenhower visited Turkey, Greece, Afghanistan, India, and Iran in December 1959.

6. Berlin

Towards the close of the conversation Menshikov emphasized that any holding of the Bundestag as proposed in September in West Berlin would be a "provocation" and the Soviet Union would be faced with a situation when they would be forced to go ahead with the separate treaty. He appeared to be quite emphatic on this point and obviously had had specific instructions on it.

When I told him that in my experience when the Soviets used the word "provocation", it was grounds for doing something they intended to do anyway, he took very strong exception and stated that the current Soviet position was to leave Berlin alone for six to eight months as stated by Khrushchev, unless there was an attempt by Western powers, in particular West Germany, to introduce some new element into the situation such as the convocation of the Bundestag in Berlin. I told him this was a matter that was under consideration and on which we had not established our definite view.

In general, despite the nature of some of the exchanges, Menshikov was entirely friendly and spoke continuously of the importance of improvement of relations with the United States. Considering the wide range of subjects in the conversation, I believe he is interested in obtaining an estimate of the U.S. attitude to take back to Moscow where he admitted he would "possibly" speak at the Central Committee meeting on July 13.

He seemed to be particularly interested in developing the thesis that Khrushchev had had a very deep regard for the President but that his actions in assuming responsibility and not "apologizing" for the U - 2 was largely responsible for the present state of affairs. My impression was that he was disappointed that I would not go into this aspect of the matter with him beyond the statements reported above.

He expects to be gone in Moscow two to three weeks.


157. Editorial Note

On July 1, the Soviet Union shot down a U.S. Air Force RB - 47 airplane, which was on a proposed mission from the United Kingdom near the northern borders of Norway and the Soviet Union and over the Barents Sea, and rescued two of the six crew members. The two survivors were Captain John B. McKone and Captain Freeman Bruce Olmstead. President Eisenhower discussed his initial reaction to a report that the Soviets had shot down the plane in a telephone conversation with Secretary of State Herter on July 11; see Document 158. For text of the July 11 Soviet note presenting the Soviet account of the incident, see Department of State Bulletin, August 1, 1960, pages 164 - 165. For a memorandum of the President's telephone conversation with Secretary Herter on July 12 on the proposed U.S. reply to the Soviet Union, see Document 159. For texts of a statement by James Hagerty, the President's Press Secretary, July 12, and the U.S. note, July 12, claiming the RB - 47 was never closer to the Soviet Union than about 30 miles and never penetrated Soviet territorial waters or air space, protesting the Soviet interpretation, demanding the release to U.S. custody of the two officers, and proposing a joint investigation with the Soviet Union and any other acceptable "authority," see Department of State Bulletin, August 1, 1960, pages 163 - 164. The United States also postponed negotiations with the Soviet Union on an air transport agreement scheduled to begin in Washington on July 18. For text of the aide- memoire to the Soviet Foreign Ministry on July 14 declaring the postponement, see ibid., page 165.

For texts of the President's July 13 statement agreeing to a full discussion of the RB - 47 incident and his July 13 letter to Senator Mansfield responding to Mansfield's July 13 telegram in which he suggested the incident be brought before the U.N. Security Council, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 - 61, pages 578 - 579. Mansfield's telegram is in Eisenhower Library, White House Central Files. For texts of the July 15 Soviet note rejecting the U.S. version of the incident and the July 18 U.S. note reiterating its position, see Department of State Bulletin, August 8, 1960, pages 210 - 211. The National Security Council discussed the incident on July 15 and President Eisenhower and Secretary Herter met on July 19; see Documents 160 and 161.

The U.N. Security Council took up the Soviet complaint July 22 - 26. For texts of statements by Representative Henry Cabot Lodge on July 22, 25, and 26, see Department of State Bulletin, August 15, 1960, pages 235 - 244. For text of the Soviet draft resolution, which the Security Council rejected on July 26 by a vote of two (Poland and the Soviet Union) to nine and a U.S. draft resolution, as modified, July 26, which the Soviet Union vetoed, and an Italian draft resolution, July 26, which the Soviet Union also vetoed, see ibid., page 244. The discussion in the Security Council is summarized in Yearbook of the United Nations, 1960, pages 41 - 42.

For text of the August 2 Soviet note replying to the U.S. note of July 18, and the August 4 U.S. note reiterating its demand for the release of the two officers, see Department of State Bulletin, August 22, 1960, pages 274 - 276. Ambassador Llewellyn E. Thompson spoke with Nikita Khrushchev on the RB - 47 case on September 8; see Document 162.

Meanwhile, because the RB - 47 flight originated in the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union sent a protest note to the British Government. For the reaction of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, including the text of the undated letter he sent to Khrushchev rebutting the Soviet accusations on the matter, see Macmillan, Pointing the Way, pages 237 - 241. The text of Macmillan's letter to President Eisenhower, July 18, which explained his decision to write a personal rebuttal to Khrushchev, as well as the texts of the British note to the Soviet Government and Macmillan's letter to Khrushchev, were transmitted in telegram 426 to London, July 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.11 - EI/7 - 1860) Eisenhower's reply to Macmillan, July 21, congratulating him on his personal letter to Khrushchev, was transmitted in telegram 554 to London, July 21. (Ibid., 711.11 - EI/7 - 2160) The United States and the United Kingdom also reviewed their working arrangements concerning reconnaissance flights involving British territory. Memoranda of conversation between Ivan B. White, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, and British Ambassador Sir Harold Caccia on July 26, 27, and 28, and September 1 on this question are ibid., 700.5411. Memoranda of conversation between White and T. Brimelow, Counselor of the British Embassy in Washington, continuing these discussions on September 9, 22, and 26 are ibid.

The United States and Norway also reviewed U.S. reconnaissance flights touching Norwegian territory. A memorandum of conversation between Secretary Herter and Norwegian Foreign Minister Halvard Lange on October 10 indicated that the United States agreed to give Norway advance notice of U.S. peripheral reconnaissance flights through military-to-military channels. (Ibid., 700.5411/10 - 1060) A memorandum of conversation between Foy D. Kohler, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, and Paul Koht, Norwegian Ambassador to the United States, October 13, confirmed this agreement. (Ibid., 700.5411/10 - 1360)

The Soviet Union also raised the RB - 47 incident, along with the U - 2, in the U.N. General Assembly. For text of a statement by James J.Wadsworth, Representative to the United Nations, in the General Committee on September 23, replying to the Soviet complaint on the two incidents, see Department of State Bulletin, October 17, 1960, pages 622 - 623. On September 23, the General Committee rejected by a vote of 12 to 3 the Soviet proposal that its complaint be allocated to plenary consideration. For text of Wadsworth's statement, October 13, opposing the Soviet proposal to take up the two plane incidents in plenary session, see ibid., November 7, 1960, pages 726 - 727. On October 13, the General Assembly rejected the Soviet proposal by a vote of 10 to 54 with 33 abstentions and referred the issue to its First (Political and Security) Committee, but discussion there was deferred until 1961.

158. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Herter

July 11, 1960, 3 p.m.

The President telephoned from Newport about ticker reports that the Soviets have shot down our B - 47,/1/ missing since July 1, over the Bering Sea and have picked up two survivors. The President said he had been told this plane was 30 miles off the coast when it was last heard from./2/ The President said this may be true, but said he has gotten to the point where he doesn't trust them to the slightest degree. The President said they have two of our people and if these two people say maybe they were lost then we are in for it again. The President said if we can prove it was not over territorial waters when it was shot down, will we break relations or what do we do.

//Source: Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations. No classification marking. Drafted by "ms," presumably Marian S. Stilson, Secretary Herter's personal assistant. The President was in Newport, Rhode Island.

/1/The number "24" was crossed through and "47" inserted by hand.

/2/Memoranda of telephone conversations between Goodpaster and Herter, July 11 at 12:55 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:15 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., indicated that Goodpaster was keeping the President fully informed on the plane incident as reports came in over the ticker. (Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations)

The Secretary said it was a very serious situation; that Mr. Gates was with him now and they had been going over this; that they were now in a briefing for the trip to Ottawa/3/ but would resume discussion of the plane incident following that. The Secretary said we still do not have the actual note; all we have so far are ticker reports but we have our Code Room alerted to get us the text of the note the moment it is decoded./4/

/3/Reference presumably is to the meeting of the U.S.-Canadian Committee on Joint Defense held at Montebello, Quebec, near Ottawa, July 12 - 13.

/4/According to a memorandum of a telephone conversation with John Eisenhower on July 11 at 7 p.m., Herter still had not received the official text of the Soviet note. (Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations) Presumably he had the official text by the next morning when the United States drafted the reply to the Soviet note. Regarding the texts of the July 11 Soviet note and the July 12 U.S. note, see Document 157.

The President said he guessed we have the plot of the plane's course, but the President said he supposed our plot can be inaccurate. The President said he would be available to the Secretary except about 4:30 - 5:00 p.m. when he is going out on a ship. The Secretary said just as soon as we get the Soviet note, which will probably be after that time, we will get in touch with the President.

159. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Herter

July 12, 1960, 11:50 a.m.


//Source: Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations. No classification marking. No drafting information appears on the source text.

The President telephoned with regard to giving the mileage figure in our reply to the Soviet note. The President said he didn't know how we can avoid this. The President said what it must be is that Defense and CIA must think they have tracking radar station the Soviets know nothing about.

The Secretary said most of it is carried on by another Government. The Secretary said it seemed to him if we make the flat assertion that the plane was not over their territorial land we will be asked the same question as if we say it never got within 30 miles, and the Secretary said it weakened our note considerably not to specify.

The President said that is the way he feels, but said the only thing is if the station is there--but the President said we wouldn't have to say anything else.

The Secretary said it seemed to him we can always say it came from direct communication with the plane and the Soviets can't prove or disprove it one way or the other.

The President asked if we didn't have direct communication.

The Secretary said no; the plane was under orders to communicate if they were in danger but did not do so.

The President said it must have been hit by a sidewinder type of thing. The President said he personally did not see the percentage in saying the plane did not go over Soviet territorial waters and not being able to say it never went within roughly 30 miles.

The Secretary said it weakens our case if we don't do this.

The President asked what their argument against this was.

The Secretary said they just say it might compromise us, but if we make a flat assertion it didn't go over territory, he couldn't see the difference.

The President said if we say that and they say they had a tracking station and sent fighters to check up, will we have to say how we know they didn't go closer than 30 miles if you have somebody like the World Court involved would you have to say how you knew this.

The Secretary said only up to a certain point.

The President said here is what he thinks--there is a weakness in the argument of the Air Force and Intelligence. The President said they say we never got out of international waters and never went over Soviet territory and how can you say that if you don't know where the plane was. The President said it seemed to him their argument is silly.

The Secretary said that is just what we have been arguing with them.

The President asked the Secretary to pass along his view to Defense and CIA.

[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]

160. Memorandum of Discussion at the 451st Meeting of the National Security Council

Washington, July 15, 1960.

[Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Extract--3 pages of source text not declassified.]

161. Memorandum of Conference With President Eisenhower

Newport, Rhode Island, July 19, 1960, 3:15 p.m.


Secretary Herter, Mr. Bohlen, Mr. Kohler, Mr. Wilcox, Mr. Hagerty, General Goodpaster

[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]

Mr. Herter next took up the subject of the RB - 47 case in the UN. He said we are trying to marshal our facts into the strongest possible case. Mr. Kohler commented that there are a number of problems of classification, or declassification, that still remain. He said that he wanted to put merely a general pitch before the President during the meeting, with detailed language yet to be developed. He said we are being guided by the determination not to make use of any [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] even though this is some of the best that we have as to the location of the plane. He said a map is being prepared which will show a generalized track, and that there will be a general statement as to sources, not pinpointed to one specific method. The President stressed that we should not let ourselves be caught out in any story, as in the U - 2 case, where we have to change our story subsequently or acknowledge an untruth. During further discussion I raised the question as to whether there had been consideration of the necessity for such flights maintaining radio silence, indicating that I saw no reason for this. The President agreed, and asked that I take the matter up with General Twining (which I did on the morning of Wednesday, July 20)./1/

//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries. Secret. Drafted by Goodpaster on July 21.

/1/No record of this meeting has been found.

Mr. Herter said he had some information that an American aircraft, which he thought was of C - 47 type, had earlier on July 19th, through navigation error, flown directly over the Kuriles. The Soviets had apparently tried to bring it down but were unable to locate it in the fog and clouds.

Mr. Herter next took up the letter sent to the President from Mr. Macmillan enclosing the British reply to the Soviets on the RB - 47 case, together with a personal letter from Macmillan to Khrushchev./2/ He commented that Macmillan has taken a very stout stand. The President read the letter (which I carried up to him) and said that he was glad to see it, commenting that many people have been saying that the British are being soft these days.

/2/See Document 157.

Mr. Herter then said that the question should be considered why the Soviets are taking the line that they have been taking. Their action gives real grounds for concern, since they are deliberately engaging in saber-rattling. He said that he and his associates, particularly Mr. Bohlen, have been giving some thought as to how best to handle this situation. One action that they have thought of is to work for something of major psychological effect through bringing our defense forces to a greater state of readiness. He asked Mr. Bohlen to outline this line of thought. Mr. Bohlen said the Soviet actions were now going beyond their usual ugly, angry reaction to every event they dislike. There has been a considerable shift in the Soviet behavior, evidenced by widespread campaign of inciting violence and disorder all around the world. He said that the threat to use force is something new in the Soviet tactics. This has now become something more than just words and needs to be met with more than words, since polemics and arguments are something they love for creating tension and disturbing world affairs. He said he had been casting about for some action that might quiet them down and show the world that the Soviets are not in position to rule the roost.

[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]

In further discussion Mr. Bohlen said there are two hypotheses with regard to this change of Soviet line. The first, which he does not believe, is that they might have decided this is the best year for a show-down--that the correlation of forces is in their favor, and that the U.S. is paralyzed because of the forthcoming election. The second, which he is inclined to favor, is that they are having a good deal of trouble with Peiping and are adopting a militant line in order to cut out the Chinese.

[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]

Mr. Kohler then raised one point with regard to flights such as the RB - 47. The British have apparently stopped theirs for the present and have suggested that we suspend our flights. We have held up certain of them but if we were to stop them for very long, it would be difficult and dangerous to start them up again. The President recalled his question (which Colonel Eisenhower had conveyed to General Twining) as to why the British could not take on the sector of northwest Europe for such operations. He agreed that if we suspend the flights for very long it would be very hard to start them up. The President thought that on the next such flight we ought to give consideration to announcing the route in advance.

[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]

162. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, September 8, 1960, 2 p.m.

692. I saw Khrushchev at 10 this morning. Conversation lasted 1 and 1/2 hours most of it without translation which is equivalent to over 3 hour conversation. I began by asking if he were familiar with my conversation with Gromyko and his reply on RB - 47./1/ When he replied he was fully familiar with it I said since he was pressed for time I would not repeat my remarks and my purpose was simply to impress upon him personally the seriousness with which my government regarded their continued detention of the two American fliers. I said my government would regret if this should lead to undoing much of good work that had been done to improve our relations but did not see how this could be avoided. He interrupted to ask if this were threat. I said by no means, but they should realize that feeling was very strong on this subject. I knew there was a difference of opinion about facts but our people went on basis this plane had not violated Soviet frontiers.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/9 - 860. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Another copy of this telegram bears the President's initials. (Eisenhower Library, Staff Secretary Records, International File)

/1/Thompson reported his conversation with Gromyko in telegram 532 from Moscow, August 25. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/8 - 2560)

Khrushchev said they would have been glad if occasion had not arisen for them to hold these fliers. This was consequence of policy of US. He said assertions had been made by Secretary Herter and confirmed by President that we had right send planes over Soviet territory./2/ I interrupted him to deny this and said Secretary Herter's first statement may have been equivocal but this had been explained later. I also said President had said there would be no more U - 2 flights./3/ He said type plane was of no importance. I said RB - 47 was in entirely different category from U - 2 flight. Latter had been sent to overfly their territory whereas RB - 47 had strict instructions not to do so and we were convinced this had not happened.

/2/Reference may be to Herter's May 9 statement attempting to justify the U - 2 flights and the May 12 U.S. note to the Soviet Union on the incident. For texts, see Department of State Bulletin, May 23, 1960, pp. 816 - 817, and May 30, 1960, p. 852. For text of the President's May 11 statement, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 - 61, pp. 403 - 404.

/3/See footnote 2, Document 156.

Khrushchev said this was our opinion. If it had not done so it would not have been shot down. They had no aircraft carriers and it had been shot down by shore-based plane which was again proof.

I pointed out land-based planes can fly far from shore. Khrushchev remarked they had a limited radius of action though bombers could fly long distances. How far was US from border? Had plane lost its way? These flights were not good. US had taken upon itself right to fly planes over other countries. We had flown over Afghanistan, had wanted fly over Finland and had overflown India. We did not recognize sovereign rights of other countries. During Lebanon crisis we had flown over Austria without permission although both countries had undersigned Austria's neutrality. This policy increased tensions and they considered it a provocation. He pointed out that Soviet Union was different from what it had been in past and it was not Afghanistan. They had right and power to protect their homeland. He said we gave excuse that our planes had been sent on these missions to protect our security but surely we must realize that such flights threatened their security. He said suppose they had sent missiles without warheads over our territory. He repeated his conviction that President had not known of this flight although he had probably known in general about such flights and had given Allen Dulles a pat on the back when shown photos taken by these planes. He pointed out they had protested earlier flights of this kind both to US and to Security Council./4/ He said they had followed our plane on April 9 and on May 1 Malinovski had phoned him about second flight and he had given orders to shoot plane down. He said if this incident had not happened President would have had wonderful and hospitable reception in Soviet Union. What could he have done at Paris? They would have been ashamed to sit down with us in circumstances of this humiliation with no expression of regret on our part. We were not their neighbors but someone had wanted to spoil our relations though he was convinced that if President had been asked to clear this specific flight he would not have done so.

/4/Regarding earlier Soviet charges of incursions of its air space by U.S. military aircraft and balloons, see Documents 39, 43, 47, 50, and 55.

Khrushchev then said he wished to speak to me frankly and personally and said that his remarks were not for transmission to my govt. Although I am reporting on these separately/5/ I here give only portion related to U - 2 question. Toward end of our conversation I said our election campaigns were at best very sharp affairs and I thought it important that neither candidate be provoked into taking positions which would make impossible or long delay serious attempt to resolve our problems and to stabilize peace. Khrushchev said "Do you mean we should not put these fliers on trial before your elections?" I said, "No, I think they should be returned." He said "This is your first position but your second position is not to try them before the elections. We will think about this and discuss it in the govt and I am inclined to think you are right." He said that release of fliers before election would undermine their policy (I cannot recall his exact words here but believe his meaning was that this would be admission on their part that we were not to blame). He said they were aware of problem of our elections and did not wish to prejudice future possibilities for understanding.

I said he should not misunderstand me. In referring to our elections I was talking on whole broad question of our relations. My position was that they should return the fliers.


/5/See Document 163.

163. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, September 8, 1960, 5 p.m.

698. Eyes only Secretary. Following is that part of my conversation with Khrushchev which he did not want me to report./1/ He said he was convinced that there was no possibility of resolving our problems during rest of current administration. He had been much attracted to President who perhaps suffered from fact he was too kind a person and was basically military man who did not fully understand politics. He was quite sure if President had been asked to authorize U - 2 flight on May 1 he would not have done so even though he doubtless knew in general of these flights. He said he had tried to leave way out for President to disavow U - 2 flight but he did not do so. He said of course he realized President had gotten into almost impossible position since it would have been difficult for him to go before American people and admit he had not known what was going on. They would wait until after our elections to make new effort to reach understanding. He frankly had not been charmed by Nixon who he thought was a careerist but they had no desire interfere with our elections and would stay out of them. He mentioned Nixon's speech in New York before Dentists' Convention/2/ and said that had been stupid thing to do just before he, Khrushchev, was to visit US. However they were prepared to deal with Nixon if he were elected by American people. He knew little of Kennedy whom he had only met when he visited Foreign Relations Committee/3/ and exchanged few words with him but he indicated both our parties represented our system including our monopolies. This however need not prevent agreement on subjects relating to peace.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/9 - 860. Secret; Priority.

/1/For reports on the rest of Thompson's conversation, see Documents 162, 164, and 165.

/2/See footnote 2, Document 109.

/3/See Document 108.

I replied to effect he misjudged President. I said I would admit, although I did not have facts and it was probably indiscreet to say so, that in my opinion President had probably not specifically authorized U - 2 flight. (Khrushchev interrupted to say "I will never exploit that remark against you.") I pointed out however that he himself had just made clear that he had not really left way out for President. I said moreover that at Paris he had immediately upon arrival given French written memo/4/ which he knew would eventually become public knowledge and that this action had been interpreted by us to mean he did not really wish to settle U - 2 affair. I said this was of course painful affair for me to have to discuss and there was no question but that plane had violated Soviet frontier. However, it seemed to us they had gone very far in over-exploiting it and this cast doubt on their intentions.

/4/Regarding Khrushchev's memorandum, which he gave to de Gaulle on May 15, see Document 147.

With respect to VP I wanted to make two remarks. In first place he had referred to VP's speech before dentists. While neither VP nor anyone else had ever mentioned this to me, it was common knowledge that shortly before this the VP had appeared before American veterans' organization and persuaded them not to pass resolution calling for demonstrations against Khrushchev during his visit to US./5/ This had caused many people to attack VP on ground he was pro-Communist. VP was politician and I personally thought his Dentists' speech should be regarded in light this background.

/5/Apparently heeding Nixon's plea not to jeopardize the Khrushchev visit to the United States in 1959, the delegates to the American Legion convention in Minneapolis in late August 1959 killed resolutions condemning Khrushchev's presence and passed resolutions urging acceptance of his visit.

My second remark was that VP was as staunch an opponent of Communist system as Khrushchev was of capitalist, but I thought they would make mistake if they concluded from this that VP did not wish to reach agreements with Soviet Union in matters where it was to our mutual interest. I said I made these remarks not in any partisan manner as I knew both candidates and regarded them highly. I was equally sure that Kennedy would be prepared endeavor reach mutually satisfactory agreements. It was at this point that I referred to importance of Soviets not pushing either candidate into position which would jeopardize future negotiations. I said we already had number of acute problems and mentioned specifically Congo and Cuba. Khrushchev said they had no intention of increasing tensions but it was obvious from whole conversation they will maintain their present line at least until after our elections.

In discussing economic matters Khrushchev referred to conversations and arguments he had had with Harriman and Humphrey,/6/ both of whom he characterized as intelligent men though he indicated he had not been pleased with the way Humphrey had handled matter of their conversation upon his return.

/6/Regarding Harriman's conversations with Khrushchev, see Documents 75, 76, and 86. Humphrey met with Khrushchev in Moscow on December 1, 1958; see vol. VIII, Document 84.

He referred to dissensions within US and in West and boasted theirs was monolithic system. (He did not mention China.) He said he had heard of discussions in West about dissensions within Soviet regime but said they were united not only in party but also in government, and pointed out he was head of both party and government. He said reports of his disputes with Suslov/7/ and others were completely untrue and there was full agreement not only with him but with Mikoyan and Kozlov and others. He said even with Molotov there had not been basic disagreement over his policies,/8/ particularly coexistence, but said Molotov carried burden of his age and background in his thinking. He said coexistence was Leninist policy and even Stalin had agreed with it.

/7/Mikhail Andreevich Suslov, Secretary and Presidium member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

/8/During a shakeup in the Soviet Communist Party leadership in mid- 1957, Molotov was removed as a member and Presidium member of the Central Committee of the party and from all other duties and was then appointed Soviet Ambassador to the Mongolian People's Republic.

Throughout this conversation and to some extent last night/9/ Khru- shchev emphasized great importance he attached to fact that U - 2 flights were made after his visit to US and especially his friendly conversations with President. He has thus indicated that not only was Soviet military prestige an important factor but also his own personal prestige in view of favorable remarks he made about President after his return to Soviet Union.


/9/Thompson reported his conversation with Khrushchev on the U - 2 incident, which Khrushchev initiated in the presence of the entire diplomatic corps during a Kremlin reception for the Vice President of the United Arab Republic on September 7, in telegrams 686 and 688 from Moscow, September 7. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/9 - 760)

164. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, September 8, 1960, 5 p.m.

699. This morning when Khrushchev said he wished to speak personally, frankly and confidentially I could of course not continue to take notes and he spoke rapidly in Russian without translation. Following is therefore to best of my recollection but should not be taken literally./1/ In explaining why Soviet Union did not intend war and believed world would eventually go Communist and our grandchildren live under Communism, he said this was because Soviet system was better and when this was demonstrated even we would adopt it. He then launched into long harangue, much of which along usual Communist lines. He referred to fact that our steel mills were producing at only half capacity and said this could never happen in Soviet Union and was fatal handicap to US. He had read statements by President Truman about our rate of production/2/ but said the high rate in US at end war was due to necessity of supplying war-torn countries. Now even Japan and Germany were able sell in US market. He was utterly convinced Soviets would exceed our production per capita by 1970. He mentioned unemployment in US and referred to his conversation with American labor leaders in San Francisco./3/ He contemptuously referred to them as having sold out to capitalism. He realized I would not agree with such appraisal but that was his view. He referred to opportunities in Soviet Union, citing his own case. He mentioned some figures regarding surplus agricultural products in US and said "Imagine what we could accomplish with our system if we had such surpluses to dispose of" and then indicated they expected to achieve them. He said he had read statements of American Congressmen and others arguing against American tourists visiting Soviet Union and said it was natural they would be favorably impressed by Soviet Union after picture that had been painted for them. He said our two defectors/4/ had been astounded at what they had seen of Soviet Union and mentioned incidentally that they were intelligent people and that Soviet Union had not known about them nor had any responsibility for their defection. He said Francis Powers was also a not unintelligent fellow and had been much impressed with what he had been shown on trips around Moscow. He said in these circumstances how could anyone in his right mind in Soviet Union want to settle matters by war with awful destruction this would bring. He said I had lived in Soviet Union now for three years and had seen with my own eyes progress they had made. He observed that we often spoke of freedom under our system but I surely had been able to see the extent to which people enjoyed freedom in Soviet Union. He started to say I was free to go anywhere I liked but then corrected this to Moscow and its environs. He exuded confidence and it was impossible not to be convinced that he genuinely believed what he was saying.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/9 - 860. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution.

/1/For reports of the rest of Thompson's conversation, see Documents 162, 163, and 165.

/2/Not further identified.

/3/See footnote 2, Document 122.

/4/William H. Martin and Bernon F. Mitchell, both former employees of the National Security Agency, announced their defection to the Soviet Union in a news conference in Moscow on September 6.

When he had finished this long discourse I pointed out he had covered a large field and that his time was limited as this was his last day in Moscow. I would therefore not deal with all points he had made. I said I was glad he believed they could win through economic competition since this meant they did not intend use force. I had no reason therefore to disabuse him of his conviction but rather than argue some of the economic points he had made I would send him two articles by American economists which would summarize for him some thinking in US on question of economic competition. (I later sent him articles by Willard Thorp and W. Rostow contained in part III of Joint Economic Committee of Congress on comparisons of US and Soviet economies.)/5/ I said both our systems had strengths and weaknesses. They frequently spoke of overtaking us in butter production but we had all the butter we could use and why should we try to out-produce them. Their rate of industrial production was higher than ours but our system was geared to produce what we needed. He indicated his agreement with this. I said however I wished particularly to draw his attention to what I considered an error in their thinking; this was their tendency to over-simplify question of US motives in foreign relations. I said they tended to interpret them entirely in terms of class warfare and this was quite wrong. He had mentioned repeatedly monopoly capitalism and I said that while profit motives could on occasion enter into these things, this factor very minor. I said we were fully as confident as he was in our system and would welcome peaceful competition to show which was better.

/5/For the papers by Willard L. Thorp, Merrill Center for Economics, Amherst College, and Walt W. Rostow, economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, see Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, Comparisons of the United States and Soviet Economies: Papers Submitted to Panelists Appearing Before the Subcommittee on Economic Statistics, 86th Congress, 1st Session (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1959), Pt. III, pp. 571 - 608.

Referring back to that part of his conversation which related to U - 2, I said one thing had very much struck me in what he said now and in many previous statements by himself and others in Soviet Govt; that was references to being treated as equals, humiliation, Soviet power, etc. I said I knew there was never any intention to humiliate Soviet Union or discount their power. I had lived long time in both countries and thought to some extent I was in position to understand both points of view. No question that both our peoples wanted peace and that neither govt wanted war. Since each knew this true, each tended to regard his own actions as purely defensive but this was not view taken by other side. There was distrust, suspicion, and even fear on both sides and this accounted for some actions of those responsible for security.

Khrushchev repeated they desired understanding and did not themselves intend do anything provocative, at which point I again pressed for release of RB - 47 fliers.


165. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, September 9, 1960, 9 p.m.

713. In reviewing my cables on Khrushchev conversation/1/ I find following points not covered.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/9 - 860. Secret; Limit Distribution.

/1/Documents 162, 163, and 164.

In disclaiming any intent to use force for spread of Communism Khrushchev observed that of course once a revolution took place Soviets would give assistance to govts representing working class.

With respect to Powers trial he mentioned statement made by American lawyer (presumably Hallinan)/2/ on justice of trial.

In discussing conviction that Soviet would overtake US by 1970 Khrushchev made clear this included consumers goods such as textiles.

Khrushchev disavowed any intention of interfering in our elections. He knew he had been criticized for attacks he had made on President (not clear whether he was referring to world press or to remarks I had made to Kosygin)./3/ He asked however how he could have received President. He said "If someone comes to visit you and you catch him redhanded throwing a dead cat over your fence, you could not respect yourself if you received him as an honored guest."


/2/The Soviet Government invited Vincent Hallinan, Progressive Party candidate for President in 1956, to observe Powers' trial in Moscow. TASS, the Soviet press agency, quoted Hallinan as having said the Powers' trial was absolutely fair. (The New York Times, August 19, 1960)

/3/Reference presumably is to a conversation Ambassador Thompson had with Khru-shchev and Aleksei Nikolaevich Kosygin, First Deputy Prime Minister, on the U - 2 incident on June 30, in which Khrushchev criticized the President's handling of the incident. When Khrushchev left the meeting, Thompson told Kosygin that further criticisms "of this nature would have effect in US far beyond anything which I believed they intended. Kosygin made no significant reply but appeared embarrassed." (Telegram 3282 from Moscow, June 30; Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/6 - 3060)


166. Editorial Note

On September 1, the Soviet Government officially announced that Chairman Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev would head the Soviet Delegation to the 15th Session of the U.N. General Assembly opening in New York on September 20. For text of the brief Soviet announcement, see The New York Times, September 2, 1960. Documentation on U.S. participation in the 15th Session is printed in volume XI, pages 305 ff.

The prospect of Khrushchev's appearance at the General Assembly prompted discussion in the Eisenhower administration on the President's participation there as well. In a memorandum to Eisenhower, September 2, Secretary of State Herter wrote that Khrushchev had also "written Nehru a letter urging him to come and the Soviets are undoubtedly trying to line up other heads of state and government." Herter advised that the President authorize the Department of State to instruct U.S. Missions to inform local governments that Eisenhower would not participate in the work of the General Assembly or be there while Khru-shchev was, would not address the General Assembly during the opening general debate, and had not yet made a firm decision to appear there. Eisenhower initialed Herter's memorandum. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles - Herter Series) This memorandum is printed in volume XI, page 305. Instructions conveying these Presidential decisions were transmitted in circular telegram 341 to all diplomatic posts, September 2. (Department of State, Central Files, 320/9 - 260)

In the following weeks, the United States and Soviet Union exchanged statements and aides-memoire on security arrangements and administrative matters relating to Khrushchev's visit. The text of a Soviet note, September 6, requesting protection arrangements for Khru-shchev was transmitted in telegram 599 from USUN, September 7. (Ibid., 320/9 - 760) A similar Soviet request to Dag Hammarskjold, U.N. Secretary-General, September 6, was transmitted in telegram 600 from USUN, September 7. (Ibid.) For text of the September 9 U.S. aide-memoire, which among other things restricted Khrushchev's travel to Manhattan Island in New York, and a September 10 Department of State statement on these restrictions, see Department of State Bulletin, October 3, 1960, pages 521 - 522. For text of the September 13 Soviet communication charging that the U.S. travel restrictions were unprecedented in the history of the United Nations and could not be considered "other than as an unfriendly act toward the U.S.S.R.," and the U.S. reply of September 13, see ibid., pages 522 - 523.

A similar Soviet communication to Hammarskjold, September 13, and Hammarskjold's September 15 letter to James J. Wadsworth, U.S. Representative at the United Nations, urging some relaxation on the restrictions imposed on Khrushchev and mentioning in particular a lifting of the ban on Khrushchev's visiting or staying at the Soviet residence in Glen Cove, Long Island, were transmitted in telegram 698 from USUN September 15. (Department of State, Central Files, 320/9 - 1560) A September 16 Soviet note replying to the September 13 U.S. note is attached to a memorandum of a conversation between Foy D. Kohler, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, and Georgi M. Kornienko, Counselor of the Soviet Embassy. (Ibid., 320/9 - 1660) Guidance to U.S. Missions on the travel restriction of Khrushchev to Manhattan was transmitted in circular telegram 418 to all diplomatic posts, September 16. (Ibid., 320/9 - 1660). The memorandum of conversation and circular telegram 418 are printed in volume XI, pages 324 - 327.

For text of Eisenhower's statement, September 17, urging "the traditional dignity and cooperation of our people" in the face of "an extremely difficult security problem" arising from "the forthcoming attendance at the United Nations General Assembly of nearly a score of Chiefs of State or Heads of Government, several of whom have been bitterly antagonistic to the United States," see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 - 61, page 702.

Another Soviet note delivered to the Department of State on the evening of September 17 protested the "campaign of hostile anti-Soviet public acts" being planned for Khrushchev's arrival in the United States. For text, see volume XI, pages 328 - 329. It was transmitted in telegram 427 to USUN, September 17. (Department of State, Central Files, 320/9 - 1760) The text of the U.S. reply to Hammarskjold's September 15 letter was transmitted in telegram 431 to USUN, September 18. While not included in the text of the reply, instructions in the same telegram said that the Department of State was willing to convey orally to Hammarskjold when he was given the letter that the United States would consider a request for a specific visit by Khrushchev to Glen Gove, such as a weekend, if the Soviet Delegation made the request at least 48 hours in advance. (Ibid., 320/9 - 1560)

Meanwhile, in a telephone conversation with Secretary Herter on September 8, Goodpaster said that President Eisenhower had reconsidered his earlier decision to stay away from the General Assembly and now thought he should make the first speech there. He wanted to make the speech even if Khrushchev was present and then leave without meeting with him. Goodpaster indicated that Eisenhower's administrative assistant Malcolm C. Moos and C.D. Jackson, Vice President of Time Inc. and a frequent consultant to the President, as well as James Shepley from Vice President Nixon's office were already working on a draft of Eisenhower's speech, which would not be "a polemic against Khru-shchev but it would be constructive and positive in tone." The main thrust of the speech "would be to come up with proposals in a constructive way on how to put the world on a better footing." Herter remarked that while there was a lot to be said in favor of a speech by the President, opinion in the Department of State was divided on it, and he believed the President should not make the speech. (Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations)

Khrushchev arrived in New York on the Soviet ship Baltika on September 20. For text of his arrival statement in which he emphasized disarmament and challenged Eisenhower to join him in U.N. summit talks, see The New York Times, September 20, 1960.

Eisenhower decided to go ahead with his speech and addressed the General Assembly on September 22. For text of his speech, which stressed non- interference in Africa, especially during the Congo crisis, the Food for Peace program, outer space, arms control, and peaceful change in the developing world, and touched on "several immediate problems," such as the RB - 47 incident, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 - 61, pages 707 - 720.

On the next day, September 23, Khrushchev delivered a long speech, which demanded among other things the ouster of Secretary-General Hammarskjold and suggested his replacement by a three-man body representing the West, Soviet bloc, and neutral nations. He also suggested the United Nations leave New York, promoted disarmament and "peaceful coexistence," and reiterated Soviet charges of overflights of Soviet territory by U.S. aircraft. For text of Khrushchev's speech, see U.N. doc. A/PV.869 or The New York Times, September 24, 1960. Khrushchev spent the weekend of September 24 - 25 at Glen Cove.

On September 30, President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India, President Sukarno of Indonesia, President Abdul Gamal Nassar of the United Arab Republic, and President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia sent a letter and a joint draft resolution, both dated September 29, to the President of the General Assembly requesting "as a first urgent step" toward easing the current world tension a renewal of the recently disrupted contacts between Eisenhower and Khrushchev "so that their declared willingness to find solutions to outstanding problems by negotiation may be progressively implemented." For texts of the letter and draft resolution, see volume XI, pages 370 - 371.

In another speech to the General Assembly on October 1, Khru-shchev attacked the United States and its allies and charged that only the admission of Communist China to the United Nations could avert the danger of nuclear war. For text of Khrushchev's speech as well as statements by Representative Wadsworth on the same day, see U.N. doc. A/PV.881 or The New York Times, October 2, 1960. Following his speech, Khrushchev went to Glen Cove for the weekend of October 1 - 2.

For text of Eisenhower's October 2 letter rejecting the plea of Nkrumah, Nehru, Sukarno, Nasser, and Tito for a meeting with Khru-shchev, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960 - 61, pages 742 - 744. For text of Khrushchev's reply of October 3 requiring U.S. condemnation of its "unprecedented treacherous acts" before agreeing to resume talks with Eisenhower, see The New York Times, October 4, 1960.

For texts of Khrushchev's speech to the General Assembly on October 3 renewing his attack on Hammarskjold and the Secretary-General's response that same afternoon, see U.N. doc. A/PV.882 or The New York Times, October 4, 1960. Khrushchev visited Glen Cove again October 8 - 9 before addressing the General Assembly on disarmament on October 11 and on colonialism on October 12. For texts of his and Wadsworth's October 11 and 12 speeches, see U.N. docs. A/PV.900 and A/PV.901. Extracts were printed in The New York Times, October 11 and 12, 1960. Khrushchev left New York on the evening of October 13 to return to the Soviet Union.

Eisenhower's recollections of his and Khrushchev's visits to the U.N. General Assembly are in Waging Peace, pages 576 - 589. Khru-shchev's recollections are in Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament, pages 462 - 486.

Documentation on the visits of Khrushchev and Eisenhower to the 15th Session of the U.N. General Assembly is in Department of State, Central Files 033.6111, 320.611.61, and 761.13. Some documentation is also in the Eisenhower Library in the following files: Whitman File, Dulles - Herter Series; Whitman File, International Series; Whitman File, DDE Diaries; and Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations.

167. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, October 14, 1960, 5 p.m.

971. Lacking many of the clues as to meaning Khrushchev's behavior in New York must be avilable to Dept, for example in form of reports his private conversations from other delegates, I hesitate comment. Following points however may be worth noting.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.13/10 - 1460. Confidential.

Khrushchev's behavior in virtually following Chinese line in fact while paying only lip service to his own previous policies would appear constitute further evidence of depth Chinese-Soviet split and Khru- shchev's apparent need undercut Chinese influence with other satellites on ground he too soft toward West. Having taken this line however believe it more than ever incumbent upon Khrushchev to obtain at reported forthcoming meeting of Commie parties/1/ complete Chinese acceptance of Soviet leadership and probably specific Chinese commitments to support certain Soviet policies and to refrain from some specific actions objected to by Soviet leadership. In Commie tradition handling such matters, maximum Soviet desire at such meeting would probably be purge of Chinese party leadership. Minimum would be Chinese self criticism and some commitment for future along lines indicated above. While likely some formula will be sought endeavor conceal split from West, I continue believe unlikely gap between two parties can be completely closed.

/1/Reference is to a conference of world Communist leaders held in Moscow during most of November 1960.

While I continue believe Khrushchev will seek meaningful negotiations with West next year, long-range implications of his UN behavior are that present line is not merely trial balloon or temporary expedient. (Soviets are of course capable of abrupt changes when any particular policy proves ineffective and probably do not realize difficulties of democracies in making similar changes.)

Most important actions with long-range implications would seem to me to be following:

1) Revelation determination force world to accept concept of three blocs.

2) Clear revelation of determination prevent UN from becoming effective peace-keeping body.

3) Refusal accept opportunity keep cold war out of Africa.

4) Change in attitude toward Algerian question and relations with France.

5) Linking of disarmament with form of UN and Chinese participation.

6) Blatant reassertion of Communist ideological goals and methods.

In preliminary comment on foregoing, indications appear to be that Khrushchev has given up any real expectation of achieving agreement on disarmament except possibly in atomic-testing field. Believe important factor in Khrushchev's actions was incorrect appraisal of world political situation. Feel certain that present Khrushchev line will be viewed with disfavor by most of Soviet people including many important officials. Impossible to predict however extent to which such disapproval may have any effect upon future developments. Khrushchev's present situation both with respect to Chinese dispute and Soviet opinion is likely make it more difficult for him to accept any setback in near future such as on Berlin situation. Consciousness this fact borne out by extent to which Berlin question played down in Soviet press.


168. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Soviet Union Affairs (McSweeney) to the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Kohler)

Washington, October 26, 1960.


Effects of Khrushchev's Behavior at UNGA

SOV is in general agreement with Mr. Nunley's penetrating evaluation of Soviet tactics and objectives at the UNGA./1/ We concur particularly with his conclusions that Khrushchev sought by his outrageously belligerent behavior to weaken Western influence in the UN by expanding in the course of time the role of the Soviet bloc and of the neutral nations in both the UN constituent organs and in the UN administrative apparatus and to diminish the possibilities of opposition by the uncommitted countries to Soviet objectives, particularly through gaining broadened acceptance of the two-world concept.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.13/10 - 2660. Confidential. Drafted by Armitage on October 26 and sent through Davis. Initialed by Armitage, McSweeney, Davis, and Kohler.

/1/The memorandum from William T. Nunley (EUR) to Kohler, October 17, attached to the source text, is not printed.

SOV offers the following observations which may throw some additional light on Khrushchev's motivations and on an assessment of his performance.

1. The central current fact of the Soviet Union's international relations is the existence of a real and formidable challenge to Soviet leadership of the Sino-Soviet bloc. It is the primary current task of Soviet foreign policy to repulse this challenge and reassert the unquestioned Soviet leadership of the bloc. Furthermore, the Soviets have shown themselves clearly determined to reassert this leadership on the basis of the essential general tenets of Soviet foreign policy: Soviet foreign policy should pursue a relatively low risk course of action; bloc objectives should include disarmament on terms acceptable to the Soviets and should be pursued, when appropriate, through negotiation with the major Western powers; in the current period the bloc should cultivate better relations with all non-NATO countries and for this purpose be prepared to extend economic assistance to non- communist governments of some of these countries whatever their attitude toward domestic communist parties. The Chinese Communist position on many of these points requires a substantially more uncompromising opposition to non-communist political forces. Therefore, as part of its campaign to re-establish its hegemony in the bloc the Soviet Union must show itself as an outspoken and effective champion of anti-imperialism in order to avoid the possibility of its position being undermined by the Chinese Communists. This imperative colors its actions in the international arena.

This is not to say that the Soviet line itself does not accommodate a substantial measure of militancy and belligerence whenever it is deemed to suit Soviet purposes. Given the advent of numerous new African members to the UN, the Cuban situation, the unsettled state of the Congo and the Soviet set-back there and the growing Algerian disillusionment with the prospect of accommodation with France, the Soviets would under almost any circumstances have appeared in the UN as the outspoken and anti-imperialist champion of the formerly colonial areas. However, it would be our conclusion that extremes to which the Soviet performance went on some of these issues, the Soviet de facto recognition of the PAG, and the lengths to which Khrushchev carried his attack on Hammarskjold and the UN structure were importantly influenced by the requirements of Soviet problems within the bloc. Likewise, the future Soviet development of these positions will be to some extent conditioned by the measure of Soviet success with the Chicoms.

Whatever their motivation, Khrushchev's very excesses in the UN will make any moderation of his conduct more dramatic to less sophisticated observers.

2. Soviet objectives toward the underdeveloped and newly independent countries have distinct short- and long-term aspects. In the short run, the Soviets are striving in these countries to overcome their fears of Communism, to gain a substantial measure of acceptability and to associate them with the bloc in frequent opposition to the Western powers. In the longer run, the Soviets hope by the force of Soviet example and by the strengthening of local Communist forces to gain political control within these countries. These two objectives are frequently complementary and reinforce each other. However, this is not always the case and it is well to bear in mind that the long-range objective--Communist political control of these countries--is more fundamentally important to the Soviet Union than the shorter range aims and also more fundamentally adverse to our own national interests.

We make this point because it seems relevant to an assessment of the measure of Khrushchev's success with these countries at the UNGA. As Mr. Nunley has cogently pointed out, there is small comfort in any revulsion in these countries towards Khrushchev's behavior if their probable political reaction over the next few years is to incline in the direction of the extreme Soviet position as a means of "seeking accommodation." However, it is possible that the fright technique may induce these countries to behave on the international scene more according to Mr. Khrushchev's likes and at the same time make them more wary regarding Soviet intentions within their countries. From some of the reports of Nasser's conversations,/2/ it would seem that he gained a deeper appreciation of the fact that Khrushchev's behavior in sum had said that "those who oppose me I will break." Quite possibly, other neutralist leaders reacted similarly. Without the felt presence of Communist power within another country, the scare tactic may have limited effectiveness. The reaction may be to take steps to see that the menacing power does not acquire the potential to execute what Khrushchev's behavior so clearly implied.

/2/[Text of footnote not declassified]

Although there can be no immediate conclusions in this regard, there may be indications of the reactions of neutralist leaders in the domestic political field before Khrushchev's maneuvers on the UN front have run their course.

3. SOV would doubt that Khrushchev believes that he can best weaken the free world collective security systems "through a process of intimidation"--the British Labor Party notwithstanding. He recognizes the limits of the tactic and seems well aware that a major Stalin mistake was an over-reliance on threats and bluster. We believe it more likely that, having abandoned the prospect of negotiations in 1960, he has discounted the losses involved in greater Western opposition in order to make gains in and with the uncommitted countries and to regain bloc leadership.

4. We would emphasize what appears already to be an apparent Soviet gain from Khrushchev's menacing behavior. He frightened most neutrals into not opposing him directly and in the process strengthened the acceptance of the "two-world" concept with a moral equation of the sides. In this context Nehru's departing statements/3/ were particularly useful to him. The trend toward neutralism was strengthened with its implied denial of the expansionist nature of Soviet foreign policy.

/3/On his last day in New York, Nehru stated that both the United States and the Soviet Union were more alike than any two other countries. His remarks were reported in The New York Times, October 10, 1960.


[End of Section 13]

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