111. Memorandum of Conversation0
- President’s Private Conversation with Mr. Khrushchev
- The President
- Mr. Akalovsky
- Chairman Khrushchev
- Mr. Troyanovsky (interpreting)
The President opened the conversation by saying that he wanted to tell Mr. Khrushchev something that he felt very personally and in which he believed very deeply. He added that he did not expect any immediate answer or comment by Mr. Khrushchev.
The President then said that he had asked Mr. Khrushchev to come to the United States because of one deep conviction. He said he believed that Mr. Khrushchev had an opportunity to become the greatest political figure in history because he has a tremendous power in a complex of states with great might. The President noted that he also has power but only as far as one nation—the U.S.—is concerned; the states forming the Western Alliance have their own ways of doing things and have their own independent approaches to the problems facing them. Thus, Mr. Khrushchev could do a great deal for peace by exercising the power he possesses in that direction. The President observed that he had sixteen more months to remain in office, after which he would become a private citizen. However, even then he would still love people—all people, including the Russian people—just as he loves all of them now. He would want them to live in peace and prosperity then, just as he wants them to live peacefully and happily now. For this reason, the President said, he believed that Mr. Khrushchev could be the man to do a great deal to secure peace in the world. This matter, the President concluded, is one that is very close to his heart, and this was why he mentioned it to Mr. Khrushchev on such a personal basis.
Mr. Khrushchev replied that the Soviet Union shared the President’s desire for peace but stated that this goal could not be attained if only one side were to exert efforts to achieve it. Therefore, it is necessary that both sides approach their problems sensibly and resolve the accumulated issues to their mutual satisfaction. Mr. Khrushchev [Page 410] emphasized that he believed in the President and in his good will and that for that reason there should be will and determination on both sides to do everything possible to resolve their differences. If both sides showed such will and determination, he was confident that all problems existing between them could be settled.
The President concluded the conversation by saying that we should pray that this would come true.
- Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1472. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Akalovsky on September 16 and approved by Goodpaster on September 21. The meeting was held at the White House.↩