611.61/6–552: Telegram

No. 505
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

top secret

846. Re Embtel 1906.2 We have been deeply impressed by ur series tels re present intensity Sov propaganda attacks on US. Ur suggestion of Presidential statement on subj has been given careful consideration with full realization weight ur opinion in matter.

However, as we see it, Sov campaign among other things designed (1) by maximum provocativeness to intimidate Free World opinion through general increase in tensions and war of nerves at this particular time, and (2) by singling out US as target to separate US from its Free World Allies and polarize issues toward bilateral US–USSR conflict. If such is case, special statement at Presidential level might play into Sov hands by (1) increasing apprehensions in certain quarters of opinion where fear already exists of excessive US combativeness and (2) tending to accept and accentuate, by its unilateral nature, Sov contention that lines are drawn directly between Moscow and Wash.

In circumstances, on balance, we are inclined to prefer action in UN along line Deptel 8293 on which now awaiting reaction UK before exploring with other friendly SC members. As you indicate final para ur 19094 this wld not be incompatible ur suggestion and wld not preclude later Presidential statement if that course shld subsequently appear desirable.5

  1. Drafted by Barbour and Henry (EUR/EE) and cleared by Bohlen (C), Matthews (G), Nitze (S/P), Hickerson (UNA), Jessup (S/A), and Phillips (P). Secretary Acheson signed the telegram.
  2. Supra.
  3. Document 503.
  4. See footnote 2, supra.
  5. In telegram 1971, June 9, Ambassador Kennan observed: “Fully appreciate force of considerations invoked in Dept’s 846 re possible US statement about Sov propaganda campaign and gladly concede best course may be to remain silent.” (611.61/6–952)