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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.
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
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