107. Memorandum of Discussion at the 416th Meeting of the National Security Council0
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Mr. Allen Dulles said that foreign reaction on both sides of the Iron Curtain to the announcement of the exchange of visits between President Eisenhower and Premier Khrushchev had been favorable but not uniform.1 In the U.K. both parties had approved the exchange of visits with the Conservatives saying that the exchange justified their position regarding a Summit Meeting. The President asked whether the Conservatives think we are now going to have a Summit Meeting. Mr. Dulles said the exchange of visits was not exactly what Mr. Macmillan had proposed, but was along the lines of his proposal. The Labor Party in the U.K. was also favorable to the exchange of visits, but was not quite as enthusiastic about it as the Conservative Party. The reaction in Rome and Paris had been more reserved, while West Germany had welcomed the exchange and expressed the hope that Khrushchev’s visit to the U.S. would bring home to Khrushchev the power and the desire for peace of the U.S. Yugoslavia had welcomed the announcement of the exchange of visits, but had looked back on the abortive Tito visit and wondered whether Tito might some day visit the U.S. The Chinese Communist reaction had been turgid. The Chinese Communists were saying that the exchange of visits might help to mitigate the cold war, but had added that most of the credit was due to the USSR and to peace-loving peoples throughout the world, and that some dark forces in the U.S. and West Germany were still uneasy, so that the forces of world peace would still have to work hard.
Mr. Dulles reported that a technical analysis of the press and radio coverage of the Vice President’s statements in the USSR had been turned over to the Vice President.2 The analysis showed that the Moscow coverage compared favorably with the visits of other foreign statesmen to the USSR and with the Mikoyan visit to the U.S. Although the Soviets had done better than might have been expected, they did not play fair with the Vice President; for example, they had Khrushchev winning every debate. It was difficult to get an estimate of the coverage outside Moscow but it was clear that the Russians were worried about too wide a dissemination of the Vice President’s statements. Obviously, the Vice President’s statements would have considerable effect in the USSR.
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