48. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

1339. For Ambassador. On basis extensive additional analysis and checking here, by most knowledgeable governmental experts and consultants, we strongly incline view that document Deptels 1286 and 1300 2 our possession is authentic copy of version Khrushchev secret speech prepared for use and guidance Communist leaders of satellite country where document procured. All experts call attention to obvious omissions and distortions in text which prepared for external use, and in addition mention likelihood omissions from original speech of certain most sensitive and potentially embarrassing portions full story STALIN era.

Question of whether, and if so, how to release document in relatively near future is now raised in view partial leakage contents of some similar versions, most notably France Soir 28 May issue, and probability of further leakages of incomplete or distorted versions. One important concern this connection is possibility that versions so leaked by others will present speech in light unduly favorable to present regime and will gain a measure of currency and acceptance which would tender difficult this being overtaken by more balanced version which we have.

Medium for release currently being most favorably considered here is that entire document would be released by Committee for [Page 108]Free Europe, which method would at least partially obviate appearance of official governmental sponsorship and exploitation document.

Of special interest here would be your views on impact of indicated type of release and exploitation and general desirability handling matter in manner proposed, i.e., assuming that no official responsibility for action or document is taken. 3

CAS has just received additional collection of documentary material running to some 30 pages which appears to have been issued as supplement to version of speech our possession. This material includes purported texts of letters and other documents similar to, but not contained in, text of speech. CAS advises that these documents likewise appear authentic and that some are believed entirely new material, i.e., hitherto unknown to us.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.00/5–3156. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Armstrong and cleared with Murphy and Beam, who signed for Hoover.
  2. See Document 46 and footnote 3 thereto.
  3. For Bohlen’s response, see Document 51.