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

Tocah 222. No Distribution—Moscow for Ambassador only. Following FYI is text of letter to President from Khrushchev,1 in reply President’s letter to him of July 29:

“July 31, 1959. Dear Mr. President, It is with great pleasure that I note the agreement, which was so quickly reached between us concerning the exchange of visits2—about my visit to the USA in September 1959 and about your visit to the USSR later, in the autumn of this year.

The USSR Ambassador in Washington has been given the necessary directions for coming to agreement with persons authorized by you [Page 376] on concrete dates and detailed plans on the organization of the visit and also on the texts of appropriate announcements for publication in the press.

Concerning concrete dates of your visit to the USSR, it goes without saying that we will be happy to receive you at any time convenient to you and would like you to stay a little longer in our country. There can be no doubt, Mr. President, that the people and Government of the USSR will give you a worthy welcome and that you will have full opportunity for acquainting yourself with all sides of life in our country, in which you develop an interest. Conditions will also be created for an exchange of opinions between you and the leading figures of the Soviet Union in an atmosphere of sincerity and good will.

We fully understand, Mr. President, the opinions expressed by you on the desirability of making progress in the work of the Conference of Foreign Ministers in Geneva. We note with pleasure that the positions of the two sides in Geneva on several questions have come somewhat closer. The Soviet Government in the future will do its best to bring about conditions in which the Conference of Foreign Ministers can be more fruitful.

However, it is impossible to overlook the fact that the possibilities of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs are limited, and that in view of the complexity of contemporary international conditions, the questions before them can prove too much for them to resolve. But this should not arouse pessimism among us concerning the expediency of convening a meeting at the summit. On the contrary, under these conditions the necessity of convening a Conference of the Heads of Governments not only does not diminish, but becomes even more urgent.

I and my colleagues deeply believe that if the Heads of Governments, guided by the principles of peaceful coexistence, will make a genuine effort to reach agreement on a number of problems, that the meeting will yield positive results and will be an important step in the matter of improving the international atmosphere and consolidating peace. It is just this, as is well known, that the peoples of all countries expect of the Heads of Governments.

From my heart I wish you good health. Until our approaching meeting.

With sincere regards, N. Khrushchev”

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1459. Top Secret; Niact; Presidential Handling. Repeated to Moscow.
  2. No information on the delivery of this letter has been found, although Menshikov probably handed it to Department of State officials late on July 31 or August 1. Tocah 215 to Geneva, July 31 at 8:16 p.m., reads in part: “We have just seen Menshikov again this evening. It was obvious that he is expecting momentarily some indication from Moscow as to the exact date preferred by Khrushchev for the personal visit.” (Ibid., Central Files, 761.11/7–3159)
  3. See Document 101.