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Volume V
Soviet Union

Washington, DC


40. Editorial Note

On March 8, 1961, John McCloy, President Kennedy's Adviser on Disarmament, forwarded a memorandum to Kennedy in which he contended that it was "in the overall interest of the national security of the United States to make a renewed and vigorous attempt to negotiate a test ban agreement along the lines now contemplated." Such an agreement, McCloy stated, "would be a significant step in the field of arms control" and "might well contribute to better and more stable relations between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R." It could also "be helpful in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities among other countries." Finally, a workable test ban agreement would "gain credit for the United States in responsible world opinion," whereas "the damage to the stature of the U.S. in world affairs and the effect on U.S.-U.S.S.R. relations which might result if the U.S. were to fail to take reasonable steps necessary to reach a satisfactory test ban agreement, and then resume testing, would be serious." For text of the memorandum, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, volume VII, pages 14-17.

The Geneva Conference on the Discontinuance of Nuclear Weapon Tests reconvened on March 21. For text of the opening statement by the head of the U.S. delegation, Arthur Dean, see Documents on Disarmament, 1961, pages 55-65.


41. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State/1/

Moscow, March 10, 1961, 10 a.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/3-1061. Secret; Priority.

2135. Eyes only Secretary. I met Khrushchev at 12 pm March 9 at guest house outside Novosibirsk for talks lasting nearly three hours.

I began by giving him President's letter/2/ and translation, which he read carefully. He asked me thank President for his message and said they appreciated and agreed with spirit of letter; it could serve as good beginning. He asked me convey his gratitude and good wishes to President and added he refrained from traditional wish of long life for President because he being so young did not need such wishes.

/2/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. VI, pp. 5-6.

I explained Macmillan would be in Washington April 4 and Adenauer April 12 and President planned see de Gaulle in Paris after that, but could not suggest exact time for meeting with Khrushchev. I said President had in mind first week in May and was thinking of either Vienna or Stockholm as convenient place to meet.

Khrushchev replied would be necessary work out reason for meeting. He seemed inclined prefer Vienna but did not rule out Stockholm and thought sometime during first ten days May be suitable date.

I replied exact time would depend on date President's meeting with de Gaulle in order avoid flying twice over Atlantic. Khrushchev said he knew well transatlantic flights. I said President will be in touch with him further on this matter.

Khrushchev said it would be necessary study President's letter but he inclined agree with proposal and thought would be useful become acquainted with President. He said he had pleasure of meeting President when he member Senate Foreign Relations Committee but had exchanged only few words with him.

Later at luncheon Khrushchev said he hoped it would become possible to issue invitation for President visit Soviet Union. He said they would receive him with all their traditional hospitality; they would like welcome him and his family and show him their country but time not now ripe for this.

I told Khrushchev that for present we would consider President's message confidential and he agreed.

Comment and report on subjects discussed in septels./3/

/3/Telegram 2136 is printed as Document 42. Telegram 2138, which reported on Laos, is excerpted in Document 34 and printed in Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XXIV, pp. 80-82. Telegram 2139, which transmitted Thompson's impressions of the discussion on Laos, is in Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/3-1061. Telegram 2145 reported on the Congo. During the discussion Khrushchev expressed strong opposition to the UN role in the Congo, stating that the "UN has been used to oppress peoples and help colonialists retain colonies" and that the "USSR cannot support organization which assists colonialists, who are not only Belgians but also those who oppose struggle for liberation." Replying that "we were not always satisfied with UN decisions either but for different reasons," Thompson stated that "we thought it wise to keep cold war out of Africa." For text of telegram 2145, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XX, pp. 99-101.

Telegram 2146 is printed as Document 43. In telegram 2147 Thompson reported that, regarding Germany and Berlin, Khrushchev said the USSR "did not want to change anything in Germany, but to fix juridically what had happened after the war. He said to leave the situation as is would cause instability and encourage German revanchists." Khrushchev commented further that "to conceive of unified Germany under either Adenauer or Ulbricht would be unrealistic." Therefore "let us conclude a treaty with two Germanies; we are ready to stipulate with US a provision of whatever is necessary for people of West Berlin to have political system of their own choice." For text of telegram 2147, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XIV, pp. 18-20.


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES - 1961-1963 - Volume V - Soviet Union P20

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