111. Memorandum From the Secretary of State to the President1

SUBJECT

  • Resumption of US–USSR Exchanges

You will recall that officially sponsored exchanges of delegations between the United States and the USSR were discontinued last November. No initiative has been taken in that respect since that time, although the objectives of NSC 56072 regarding exchanges with the USSR are now as pertinent as ever before.…

We have accordingly been giving consideration to a resumption of exchanges with the USSR some time this spring. We believe it would be natural and unobtrusive to resume exchanges with the Russians by claiming from them their reciprocal obligations to receive American mass feeding experts in the USSR this spring. Russian mass feeding experts (concerned with Army feeding techniques, disaster relief feeding, large institutional provisioning) visited the United States last fall; the reciprocal visit of the US experts to Russia was cancelled by our suspension of exchanges with the USSR.3

During the coming seven or eight months, we propose to effect exchanges with the USSR in the fields of iron and steel technology, coal mining, peat mining, and public health. The British are also very much interested in resuming their exchange program with the USSR, for reasons similar to ours. You will recollect that this was discussed with Selwyn Lloyd at Bermuda.4

On January 24 the Soviet Embassy handed us an Aide-Mémoire5 inquiring as to our plans regarding the exchanges under discussion with the Embassy last October. Subject to your approval, we would reply orally to the Soviet Aide-Mémoire to the effect that the United States is now prepared to send a mass feeding delegation to visit the Soviet Union.

I recommend that you authorize the Department of State, in the national interest, to resume gradually and carefully the series of [Page 259]officially sponsored exchanges with the USSR in pursuance of the objectives of NSC 5607 and our intelligence needs.6

JFD
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DullesHerter Series. Secret.
  2. Document 104.
  3. Not further identified.
  4. Reference is to a meeting between U.S. and U.K. officials at Bermuda on March 22 at 10:30 a.m.
  5. See footnote 4, supra.
  6. The following notation in President Eisenhower’s hand is in the margin of the source text; “O.K. provided we have bi-partisan info. DE”

    In telegram 1079 to Moscow, April 4, and repeated to certain posts in Eastern Europe as well as London, Paris, Rome, Bonn, and Tokyo, the Department indicated it planned an “unobtrusive resumption” of exchanges of technical delegations with the Soviet Union and that it would orally notify the Soviet Embassy that it was ready to send the delegation of mass feeding experts to the Soviet Union. The Department indicated further that it was prepared to discuss details of other proposed exchanges, particularly those in the fields of public health administration and steel. It noted that permission had already been given for Soviet participation in several international conferences to be held in the United States during the spring, including the visit of six nuclear physicists to a conference in Rochester, New York, in April. (Department of State, Central Files, 511.60/4–457)