353. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State 1

Dulte 66. Eyes only for Acting Secretary from Secretary. For President.

“Dear Mr. President:

Today we opened on disarmament. Harold Stassen and Gordon Gray were here to help me. Molotov opened with speech which largely concentrated on your aerial inspection proposal. He said you were undoubtedly well-intentioned but your proposal was too costly and it would reveal so much it would be frightening rather than reassuring. However, he said they might take aerial inspection as part of a comprehensive disarmament plan because then the people would be reassured by disarmament program. This was something because they never yet accepted aerial inspection on any terms.

My statement was largely a repeated exposition of your view-point. Three Western powers tabled rather comprehensive proposal2 which we had worked out through much anguish over preceding weeks and which gives us united platform on which to stand here and later on at UN when it takes up this topic.

On whole it was calm day in comparison with two preceding days.

This message may reach you in Washington. It will indeed be a happy event when you return to your official home. I cannot adequately express degree of sympathy which has been expressed by all whom I have met in Italy, Spain, Austria, Yugoslavia and Switzerland.

Faithfully yours, Foster

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–1055. Secret; Priority.
  2. For text of the Western proposal, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 199–201, or Cmd. 9633, pp. 132–133.