228. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State1

Dulte 30. Eyes only Acting Secretary from Secretary. Today was highlighted by President’s proposal for exchange of information with Soviet Union regarding military establishments and aerial photography to verify and to check on changes of military dispositions. This proposal while it took British and French unawares seems to have been well received by them and Pinay told me he had instructed French press officer to give it biggest possible play. Possibly Eden will be disappointed it somewhat overshadowed his own proposal for exchange of information on the East-West European fronts.

Following the conference and in the buffet Khrushchev, Zhukov, and Molotov reacted very negatively to President’s proposal, saying this was merely an extension of the present intelligence efforts of both sides and that it was no substitute for banning atomic weapons and reducing armaments.2

At the bilateral luncheon today where I and others of US Delegation were guests of Soviet Delegation,3 there was the usual atmosphere of friendliness and cordial toasting and some indication that Soviets might “give” on the directive regarding German unification and European security. However, their later act at the conference in unexpectedly introducing two new papers, one on European security, [Page 465] a subject presumably closed, indicated that surface indications are not trustworthy.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–2155. Top Secret; Priority.
  2. See Document 222.
  3. See Document 219.
  4. For texts of the two Soviet papers, see footnote 2, Document 221, and Document 252.