98. Memorandum From the Assistant Director, Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, United States Information Agency (Davies) to the Director (Marks)1


  • US-Soviet Exchanges Program

You have seen Moscow’s 3332 and 334.3 In 333, the Embassy informs us that the Soviets have unilaterally altered the agreement on the cities for the Earl Hines Band tour, eliminating Alma Ata,4 Leningrad,5 and Moscow, large population centers in which the Hines Band would be particularly visible, and substituting the more remote, secondary resort areas of Krasnodar, Sukhumi, and Batumi.

In 334, the Embassy describes Ambassador Kohler’s discussion of the exchanges program with Ambassador Dobrynin. We had earlier asked the Embassy to inform us whether the exhibit shipment had reached Kharkov. The Embassy has not yet replied to that telegram. But, in 334, the Ambassador is reported as telling Dobrynin that the shipment is still at the border. Since shipping time from the border to Kharkov runs between a week and ten days, the exhibit could not reach Kharkov in time to permit its setting-up, which would take four days at a minimum. It is thus clear now that Hand Tools cannot possibly open as scheduled on August 1.

Meanwhile, there has still been no action on the telegram to Ambassador Kohler.6 The effect of this delay is severely to diminish the chances that we will be able to take the initiative in putting the onus for blocking the program on the Soviets.

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These new developments make it all the more imperative that we take the hard line in dealing with the Soviets on this. That hard line is represented by Alternative No. 1 in the Secretary’s memorandum to the President.7 It is quite clear that the Soviets are repeating the tired old script of last fall, according to which they would eliminate what they don’t like, while keeping what they do like, particularly the sending of scientific and technical personnel to the U.S. In order to be able to block this, we must make sure we get agreement to Alternative No. 1. If Alternative No. 2 is adopted, pressures from the U.S. scientific community will ensure that Soviet scientific and technical personnel continue to come in large numbers to this country, without any quid pro quo for us.

I am now totally at a loss to recommend to you what might be done to move this question off dead center, short of suggesting that you call the President.8

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 306, Director’s Subject Files, 1963–1967, Entry UD WW 101, Box 3, Field—Soviet Union and Easter Europe 1966. Confidential. Drafted by Davies. Copies were sent to Akers, Chernoff, and Ryan. Davies sent the memorandum to Marks under a July 22 covering note, in which he wrote: “I wrote this before our telephone conversation at 9:50 this morning. I am sending it along just in case a hassle develops over whether we should go for Alternative 1 or Alternative 2. rtd 7/22.” Davies signed “Dick” on the note above his typed initials.
  2. Not found.
  3. See Document 97.
  4. Reference is to the former name for Almaty, which served as the capital of Kazakhstan until 1997.
  5. Reference is to the former name for St. Petersburg, Russia.
  6. Not further identified.
  7. In a July 19 memorandum to Johnson, Bator described the July 19 Rusk memorandum and the two alternatives, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. XIV, Soviet Union, Document 168.
  8. The President approved of the suspension of all new exchange programs with the Soviet Union on July 19. A subsequent Soviet agreement signed on July 29 permitted the “Hand Tools” exhibit to proceed in 1967. See Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. XIV, Soviet Union, footnote 3, Document 168 and footnote 2, Document 197. See also Anthony C. Collings, “Russians ‘See’ U.S. at Exhibit,” Chicago Tribune, April 9, 1967, p. A3)