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Volume V
Soviet Union

Washington, DC


30. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy/1/

Washington, February 17, 1961.

/1/Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC Files, NSAMs: Lot 72 D 316. Official Use Only. Drafted by Siscoe.

Expansion of Exchanges with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Your memorandum of February 8/2/ asked for a report on exchanges with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and for recommendations for expanding those exchanges with the Soviet Union and Poland. An interim reply was sent to you on February 11./3/

/2/Reference is to NSAM 13, which reads: "I would like to get a memorandum on our exchange of persons programs behind the Iron Curtain, particularly with Poland and Russia. What could we do to step them up?" (Ibid.) Also printed in Claflin, The President Wants To Know, p. 14.

/3/Not printed. (Department of State, S/S-NSC Files, NSAMs: Lot 72 D 316)

The report which you requested is attached/4/ and consists of four parts which are summarized below.

/4/Not printed.

1. Interim Report on Implementation of U.S.-U.S.S.R. Exchanges Under November 21, 1959 Agreement. This paper reviews the implementation for 1960 of the current America-Soviet Agreement and reflects that only about 40 percent of the planned exchanges have been completed. The performance within the several categories varies for different reasons, the primary ones being Soviet interest in scientific and technical exchanges, reluctance to engage in long-term exchanges and a desire to avoid informational exchanges.

2. Exchanges with Eastern Europe and Possibilities for Expansion. This paper reviews exchanges with Eastern European countries and indicates that, except in the case of Poland, exchange activity has been strictly limited because of the unfavorable political climate in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the cautious attitude of Rumania, and the only recent resumption of diplomatic relations with Bulgaria. Modest and gradual increases can be expected with Rumania and Bulgaria, but there is little hope for any significant change in the cases of Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The large-scale Polish program is unique because exchanges have been developed and financed primarily by private American groups, particularly the Ford and Rockerfeller Foundations. The opportunities in Poland are still large but these are limited by the attitude of the Polish Government and the available political funds.

3. Background Considerations: Expansion of Soviet Bloc Exchanges. This paper considers the basic factors involved in joining in exchange programs with the Soviet Union, notes the inherent risks and the need to negotiate firmly for equivalent advantages, but concludes that exchanges arranged and carried out imaginatively, persistently, and with adequate resources of trained personnel and funds can be responsive to and advance our long term interests.

4. Possible Increases in Exchanges Program with the Soviet Union. This paper reviews the possibilities for expansion of exchanges with the Soviet Union and suggests specific fields in which these exchanges may be increased. It also sets forth financial requirements for this expansion and recommends measures to increase the efficiency of administrative procedures.

Dean Rusk


31. Editorial Note

A meeting to discuss differing views on the best way to proceed with the paramilitary operation against Cuba was convened at the White House on February 18, 1961. According to summary notes of the meeting, CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard Bissell outlined the status of planning and preparation, following which the group discussed how to generate support for the operation and other matters. Ambassador Bohlen expressed the view that the USSR would not react if the operation were finished quickly but might react if it dragged on. For text of the notes, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, volume X, page 108.

FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES - 1961-1963 - Volume V - Soviet Union P15

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