101. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Herter, at Geneva0

Tocah 201. [Here follow introductory paragraphs indicating the letter was handed to Ambassador Menshikov at 5 p.m.]1

“July 29, 1959.

Dear Mr. Chairman:

As I informed Ambassador Menshikov, I am grateful for your courteous and thoughtful reply that you so promptly made to my letter carried to you by your First Deputy Premier Mr. Kozlov.2

I am glad that the exchange of visits which I suggested appeals to you and I hope that this exchange will in fact lead to a much better understanding between us on our many problems. I can understand that you might prefer to come to the United States in the cooler weather and suggest that we mutually consider some date in September which would permit us informally to exchange views in or near Washington for a period of two or three days and also enable you to spend ten days or so traveling in our country. For my part, if it were convenient for you I would plan to return the visit later in the fall. If you concur, Mr. Robert Murphy will be available to discuss with Ambassador Menshikov the matter of dates and more detailed planning, including that of public announcement.

I believe you will agree that your visit to the United States as well as my later visit to the Soviet Union should take place in an atmosphere conducive to fruitful results and improved relations between our two countries.

I can assure you that as far as the American people are concerned I cannot emphasize too strongly how great an improvement there would be in public opinion if our meeting could take place in an improved environment resulting from progress at Geneva.

As I have repeatedly said, and I earnestly hope you understand, I have no other purpose than to help bring about agreements, in which we can have mutual confidence, designed to promote better understandings, greater tolerance, and peaceful development among the world’s peoples including the USSR and the US. There is no greater achievement to which the world’s leaders can aspire.

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You will correctly deduce from what I have just said that progress at Geneva so far has been disappointing to me and not sufficient to justify holding a summit conference of the four powers engaged in that conference. From such a summit conference I believe great good could come and I by no means despair of achieving the progress which would justify it. My suggestion specifically would be that the Foreign Ministers in Geneva make as rapid progress as may be possible in the next few days and if they do not reach agreement they plan to come together again with a view to accomplishing such interim and preparatory work as would justify us in holding a summit meeting of the four Heads of Government this autumn.

With best wishes for your continued good health,

Sincerely, Dwight D. Eisenhower

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1459. Top Secret. Repeated to Moscow.
  2. A memorandum of Murphy’s conversation with Menshikov on July 29, during which he handed the letter to Menshikov is ibid.
  3. See Documents 89 and 91.