300. Telegram From Secretary of State Herter to the Department of State0

Cahto 4. For the President from the Secretary.

“Dear Mr. President:

Little to report on progress since yesterday and today were spent on the question of seating the Poles and Czechs, with formal statements by each delegation head today. We hope to present our package tomorrow and then start serious negotiations.

Gromyko invited me to lunch yesterday and tried to probe our general ideas on the course the conference would take.1 He emphasized his instructions from Khrushchev to do everything to try to make the negotiations fruitful.

On the nuclear testing talks, he suggested the possibility of our initialing an agreement here with details left for further discussion by the existing negotiating teams. I told him I saw no possibility of doing this in view of the importance of many unresolved matters which would still take considerable time to adjust if at all. He asked for a session with Selwyn and myself tomorrow which we will attend, but Selwyn agrees with me fully regarding the impossibility of any such short-cut as Gromyko suggested.2 The latter has indicated there is only one real [Page 700] question at issue: namely, the number of inspections, and that this was a political question we could settle quickly. On the whole, Gromyko’s attitude was relaxed and genial. I would suspect this is only an opening of a conference atmospheric posture.

Couve de Murville’s illness may prove to be a real handicap for our side, so I am hoping for his quick recovery.

Faithfully, (signed) Chris,”

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 110.11–HE/5–1359. Secret; Niact.
  2. See Document 296.
  3. Herter and Lloyd reached this decision at a meeting at noon. The U.S. Delegation transmitted a brief summary of this meeting in Secto 30 from Geneva, May 13. (Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/5–1359)