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

Cahto 143. For the President from the Secretary.

“Dear Mr. President:

As you will have gathered, we are off to a very slow start. Gromyko’s opening speech added nothing and his balking at informal meetings without the presence of the East Germans is likely to slow things down. I have had two good sessions with the Western Foreign Ministers1 which, while they indicated considerable divergence of views at the beginning, ended with complete agreement since divergence was on tactics rather than principle.

The general feeling here, including Couve de Murville, is that a summit conference some time this fall is inevitable. I wish I could be as optimistic that we will have achieved sufficient progress to allow such a meeting to be held in reasonable atmosphere. I will keep right on plugging.

Faithfully, signed: Chris.”2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/7–1459. Secret; Niact.
  2. See Document 437.
  3. For an extract of Eisenhower’s reply, see Document 439.