Consideration of (1) Restriction on Travel of American Citizens;
and (2) Recognition of Mongolia
Two memoranda, both addressed to you through Governor Harriman, accompany this
memorandum.1Neither printed. The
first is entitled “Revision of Travel Regulations Governing American
Citizens”, with an annex providing talking points detailing our reasons
for believing that a change in the travel rules is desirable. The second
is entitled “Diplomatic Recognition of Mongolian People's Republic”; it
also is annexed with talking points.
These two subjects seem unconnected. However, there are real advantages
for taking action on both issues more or less simultaneously: the
combined effect would be that we are trying to keep ourselves as well
informed as possible on Communist Asia, siding neither with Moscow nor
Recognition of Mongolia is a tactical decision, and we believe the
national interest justifies it. A more basic issue is involved in the
travel question: If we are interested in freedom, we have an interest in
holding restriction on travel to a minimum. We believe that only in the
case of Cuba are the foreign policy considerations so clear as to
require that we continue to forbid travel by Americans. To other areas
wherein we have no representation, we will discourage travel but not
Our principal problem with recognition of Mongolia will be the GRC's reaction. The principal problem with
the change of the travel rules will be domestic charges that “the
Administration is going soft on Communism”. Answers to these and other
criticisms will be found in the annexed talking papers.
Both actions should be done before the 1964 election campaign reaches
full crescendo. The proposal on travel is consistent with the policies
which have been stated by this Administration, and the net effect on the
electorate may well be favorable, but the announcement should be made in
a relatively calm atmosphere, sufficiently well in advance of the 1964 elections to permit a
sober consensus to have developed as to the advantages of the
If the recommendation to go ahead with the change in travel rules is
accepted, there would appear to be no requirement for extra-Departmental
clearances (since Justice has already cleared the original proposal),
though we might check with Defense and CIA as a courtesy. CIA
would probably be delighted over the change. Once it had been decided by
the Administration to move on the travel question, there would be
advance consultations with key Congressional leaders. Preparation should
be made to notify interested governments shortly before the travel
changes go into effect. The line for responding to press inquiries will
need to be considered. A background briefing for selected members of the
press might help to launch the new regulations properly.
*Source: Department of State, FE Files: Lot 65 D 6, POL 16, Independence, Recognition.
Secret. Drafted by Grant. The
memorandum was routed through Harriman, who did not initial it and it was thus
apparently not sent to Rusk.
Neither the memorandum nor its attachments bear any indication of
the reason why they were not sent forward.