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

Cahto 126. For the President from the Secretary. I have just returned from a very brief private Foreign Ministers’ Conference at which Gromyko was asked to comment on our paper given him last night.1 He [Page 912] said that he would only make a few preliminary remarks but that he would be prepared to go into further detail tomorrow. His preliminary remarks covered only two points: 1) That there seemed little new in our proposals and that we and the Soviets had had different approaches to the Berlin problem; 2) That in his view symbolic troops in Berlin would be in the number of 3,500 to 4,000. I suggested we meet tomorrow morning but he asked for the afternoon.

Just prior to the meeting, Zorin had been optimistic in talking to the press as to possibilities of agreement based on our proposals. The previous night, Malik, a member of the Soviet Delegation, had been most pessimistic.2 We do not know which position is correct, but at least it looks as if your letter to Khrushchev was leading to new instructions. Your press comments3 as so far received here are most helpful.

Faithfully, signed: Chris.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 110.11–HE/6–1759. Secret; Niact.
  2. The meeting took place at 3:30 p.m. A detailed four-page memorandum of the conversation at the meeting, US/MC/109, is ibid., Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1340. For text of the paper, see Foreign Ministers Meeting, pp. 312–313 or Cmd. 868, pp. 237–238.
  3. A memorandum of the Western Foreign Ministers meeting at 11:30 a.m., at which Rumbold reported Malik’s pessimism when presented with the Western paper, US/MC/106, is in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1340.
  4. For a transcript of the President’s press conference at 10:30 a.m. on June 17, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959, pp. 460–470.