123 Kennan, George F.: Telegram

No. 516
The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1


933. For Kennan from Bohlen. We have also been much disturbed over leak your views in distorted form on Sov intentions in connection with present propaganda campaign. We have been endeavoring to bring these exaggerated versions into proper perspective. Rather than off-the-record meeting of senior editors and chief [Page 1021] columnists which in itself might provide basis for further controversial stories, we believe preferable to continue dealing with correspondents on individual basis. We will for this purpose use material contained in your recent letter to Matthews.

We entirely approve your refusal to give interview to Time-Life Bureau concerning Sov-Amer relations and your views thereon. We will follow same line here apart from normal biographic material if despite our effort Time-Life insists on cover story. We feel that statement from Dept. such as you propose would give rise to wide speculation and comment and therefore prefer to use it as part of background treatment referred to above. Coincidence of unfortunate leak of your report on hate America campaign and mtg with Secy in London2 is certainly contributory cause to welter of speculation. We believe this will die down and our background briefing shld help.

  1. Drafted by Bohlen and cleared by Bonbright (EUR), Barbour (EE), and Matthews (G). Matthews signed for the Acting Secretary of State. Repeated to Bonn as telegram 3959 and to Vienna for Secretary Acheson as telegram Telac 10.
  2. Regarding Kennan’s meeting with Acheson in London on June 27, see Document 514.