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92. Record of Meeting of the Policy Planning Council/1/

Washington, June 7, 1961, 3 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 70 D 199. Secret. Drafted and initialed by Curtis.

George McGhee
John Curtis
Leon Fuller
Robert Packard
Henry Ramsey
Ambassador Bohlen
Edward Rice
Carlton Savage
William Webb
Howard Wriggins

Mr. McGhee asked Mr. Bohlen to give the Council a brief account of the President's recent trip to Europe.

Mr. Bohlen began by stating that President Kennedy had made a great impression on de Gaulle, his understanding of French problems, and that the President had stood up to de Gaulle "full face". He mentioned that about all that was really accomplished, however, was a decision to work out a mechanism for consultation.

Mr. Bohlen gave a brief account of the proceedings of the talks in Vienna. (This account followed the lines of information presented in the Secretary's cables on the meeting.) He discussed the details of the Soviet aide-memoire on Berlin and said that nothing had really been gained or lost on the problem of Berlin. He mentioned that Khrushchev was willing to hold the Vienna meeting because he wanted to get across the contents of the aide-memoire and to inform us that his policy had not changed with regard to the Troika inspection formula. He said that the meeting had gone off rather much as expected and that it was worthwhile from the standpoint that (1) it had solidified positions that needed to be solidified; (2) Adenauer had been very pleased at our standing up to Khrushchev; (3) Kennedy had made a great hit among the Europeans; and (4) Khrushchev had, undoubtedly, been impressed with President Kennedy's popularity. He said that he also thought that Khrushchev had been impressed with President Kennedy's general ability.

Mr. McGhee asked Mr. Bohlen whether President Kennedy had discussed the Washington-Moscow direct telephone link with Khrushchev, to which Bohlen replied in the negative.

Mr. Bohlen went on to say that the Russian position on Berlin was essentially a very weak one and that he thought that S/P should submit a proposal for handing over the Berlin question to the ICJ to test whether a war-time power could unilaterally hand over its treaty responsibilities to a non-participant. He mentioned that considering Khrushchev's various deviations from his firm statement in 1958 on the Berlin situation/2/ it was difficult to tell whether he was now bluffing or how, but that if the Russians set a time limit at the Party Congress in October on settlement of the Berlin question, this would be a sign that they were not bluffing.

/2/Presumably Bohlen is referring to Khrushchev's interview in Pravda, February 8, 1958.

Mr. Bohlen said that there was no hint of a USSR-Chinese schism at the meeting. He said that nothing had been mentioned about another meeting. He ended by saying that on the whole this meeting had a great psychological impact and benefit in Europe.


93. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to All Diplomatic and Consular Posts/1/

Washington, June 8, 1961, 2:32 p.m.

/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/6-861. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Davies et al.; cleared with P, AF, SOV, and S; and approved by Kohler. Not sent to Libreville.

1972. In discussing Kennedy-Khrushchev meeting with local officials and diplomatic colleagues, US officials should draw on President's radio and TV address June 6, stressing particularly following points:

President's Assessment of Meeting

Talks somber but useful. No advantage or concession gained or given. No major decisions taken. Views two leaders contrasted sharply. However, channels of communication between governments opened more fully. Chances of dangerous misjudgment on either side should now be less.

Future US-Soviet Contacts

a. Joint communiqué June 4 noted agreement "maintain contact on all questions of interest to two countries and for whole world."

b. Khrushchev did not, however, extend formal invitation to President to visit USSR. While he did say President "would be very welcome" to come to Moscow he did not place invitation in time context. USG, therefore, does not regard this as invitation and no plans exist for such visit.

c. US expects contacts will continue through normal diplomatic channels, including, from time to time, Rusk-Gromyko meetings like that of March 18,/2/ but two parties did not attempt schedule specific future meetings.

/2/See Document 47.


Both sides restated their positions on Germany and Berlin, without narrowing differences. In particular, President made clear US determination uphold all Western rights, including that of access, in Berlin. President emphasized rights Western powers in Berlin not exercised on sufferance USSR and could not be terminated unilaterally. Interference with access would be belligerent act. Security Western Europe and of US deeply involved.

Geneva Test-Ban Negotiations and Disarmament

Hopes for end to nuclear testing, spreading of nuclear weapons, and slowing down arms race "struck a serious blow" by Vienna discussions. Although President strongly pressed case for concluding nuclear test ban treaty both for its own sake and as important contribution to future progress in broader areas of disarmament, Khrushchev made it clear present test-ban talks appeared futile and showed no interest in responding to initiatives taken by US since these talks resumed in March.

Khrushchev indicated Soviet "three-headed monster" concept basic element of Soviet policy. This raises fundamental questions as to feasibility reliable control measures in disarmament field, whether test ban or general disarmament. From discussions evident secrecy continues to be of strategic importance to Soviets. Khrushchev made it clear that until there is sweeping general disarmament, he regards our insistence on far-reaching control provisions pretext for espionage.

President did not encourage Soviet suggestion that testing problem be merged with general disarmament negotiations due begin July.


Soviets concurred in joint communiqué reaffirming two parties' support "of neutral and independent Laos under Government chosen by Laotians themselves, and of international agreements for insuring that neutrality and independence," and reluctantly agreed to recognize "importance of effective cease-fire." While these statements commit Soviets publicly, they do not guarantee change in Soviet policy or mean Soviet influence will be used energetically with Pathet Lao to bring about genuine cease-fire. US watching Soviet and Pathet Lao actions closely and will shape policy and actions in light actual conduct Soviets and Communist forces Laos.



FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES - 1961-1963 - Volume V - Soviet Union P54

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