146. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State 0

2098. Eyes only Secretary from Lodge.1

At Bolshoi evening 7 Feb Khrushchev appeared entirely to neglect President Gronchi and kept me at his side seated at table during first entre-act. At second everyone was standing, but K. Did not move around but remained talking to me. Although he appeared tired he treated [me] with great cordiality.
I told him I was impressed by amount of housing construction, sanitation, etc., observed throughout visit. He replied “we have much to do before getting ahead of you.” I responded USSR had already surpassed us in several fields. When he asked what I meant, I spoke of superlative Sov ballet. When he said this was not very important, I mentioned rocketry. Referring to my inference USSR is ahead of US in rockets Khrushchev replied “no we’re not; not really.”
With ref President’s June visit here2 Khrushchev asked me tell President he free travel anywhere in USSR he desires including military bases such as naval base at Sevastapol. Khrushchev said he unsure whether or not President would travel in Siberia but free to do so if desired. During interview at Kremlin 8 Feb he several times expressed hope President would be accompanied by grandchildren.
Both at Bolshoi and Kremlin Khrushchev urged that [I] accompany President during forthcoming visit. He seemed take for granted this would be arranged.
I spoke of many crowds which had given me actual ovations and he said President’s reception would be friendly in extreme and that there would be no need for security precautions.
I had appointment with Khrushchev at Kremlin 4 pm Monday Feb 8. Present besides Khrushchev and me were Kuznetsov and Troyanovsky and on US side, Toumanoff and Thacher.3 After reiterating my thanks expressed at length on previous evening for courtesies extended on trip and congratulations on achievements in fields of public [Page 508] works, sanitation, etc., I spoke of the good accomplished by Khrushchev visit to US as seen in retrospect. It could have great place in human history as beginning of new things. It was therefore important to try advance from progress reached and at least not to destroy good that had been done.
Khrushchev spoke about negative results as regards Dillon and the lend-lease negotiations.4 If US didn’t want to trade, matter could wait. He appeared resent Dillon’s “silence” which implied that Khrushchev had never linked lend-lease and trade. He recalled that I was present at Camp David on day he talked with Dillon—day on which President Eisenhower had invited him to go to church with him. He also spoke about matters of helicopters which, he said, “smelled a little bad.” He felt US firms were stalling, that Sov Union did not really need the helicopters as they had good ones of their own, but that matter had symbolic significance.
I said I would look into this and see what had happened.
He then brought up Berlin, which he said was the “most burning question.” It should be solved as soon as possible on basis of a peace treaty and a free city of Berlin. He pinned great hopes on a summit meeting5 in this connection. If US came in good faith and not “in the wake of Adenauer” it would make possible solutions without loss of face on either side. On the other hand, if no agreement was reached on this, relations between the two countries would deteriorate.
In rejoinder I made these points:
That US policy would not be “in the wake” of anybody, but would be based on our idea of what was right.
That there ought to be many things “in the pot” and that no participant ought to adopt a “this—or else” attitude.
That constructive results should come out of the conference even if it did not achieve everything that all the participants wanted.
It should be realized that this was not only summit meeting that was ever going to be held.
[I] feel that one of things which Mr. K. had been influential in bringing about as result his trip was general expectation that there would be series of summit meetings and that there should not be a break which would destroy or weaken this possibility.
He had remarked facetiously that even though I was in USSR as tourist, politician was always politician and always available to talk politics. Therefore, as man who had spent greater part his life in American politics in varying capacities and as one who deeply hoped for good relations between USSR and US, I felt I should point out that there is always minimum of flexibility in foreign relations in US in an election [Page 509] year. What is hard or impossible to do in 1952 or 1956 or 1960 is often quite susceptible of accomplishment in 1953 or 1957 or 1961. I urged Troyanovsky to be sure to translate all of this with greatest of care.
Khrushchev listened with care and said he fully understood what I was trying to put across.
Kuznetsov then intervened to say what good results we had had at last General Assembly, and I responded by saying that agreements reached on resolutions concerning disarmament and creation of an outer space committee were most substantial reached since existence of UN.6
Khrushchev said he realized this. He knew that people and Govt of US wanted peace. He thanked me again in fulsome manner for what he said I had done to make his trip in US such a success. When I said I had regretted that certain things had not gone just right in Los Angeles, he brushed that aside and said there are always details that are not perfect but he attached not slightest importance to them, and with passage of time was more and more delighted with his visit.
He said he understood that Mayor of San Francisco, Mr. Christopher, was coming to USSR in April. I took advantage of this observation to recall how skillfully Khrushchev had spoken kindly of Mayor Christopher (who was at that time up for re-election) and yet had done so in way which could not possibly have been embarrassing or construed as getting involved in elections.7
As result of his initiatives, meeting lasted for an hour and a half and was marked by utmost cordiality throughout. He appeared tired but relaxed and mellow. his warmth and cordiality towards me quite surprised me. Khrushchev showed pride in improvements for minority peoples of USSR under Communism, notably Moslems. At no time during his discussions with me did Khrushchev raise subjects of disarmament, China, India or other “non-aligned” countries.
Utmost courtesy shown me during trip. Firyubin8 sent word that even though I was traveling as tourist, I should be treated as distinguished guest—local officials in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan had affairs in my honor. Gromyko having lunch my honor today.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.00/2–960. Secret.
  2. Lodge was visiting the Soviet Union in an unofficial capacity.
  3. In a letter to Khrushchev, November 28, 1959, Eisenhower said he would like to leave the United States on the night of June 9 for a visit of a week to 10 days in the Soviet Union. (Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204) In a reply to Eisenhower, December 3, 1959, Khrushchev agreed to these dates. ( Ibid .) A White House press release, January 17, announced that the President planned to visit the Soviet Union June 10–19. (Department of State Bulletin, February 1, 1960, p. 147)
  4. Vladimir I. Toumanoff of the Embassy in Moscow and Peter S. Thacher, member of the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. General Assembly.
  5. See Document 145.
  6. In a letter to Eisenhower, December 30, 1959, Khrushchev accepted the Western powers’ proposal for a summit meeting of the four powers in Paris beginning on May 16. (Department of State Bulletin, January 18, 1960, p. 78)
  7. Reference presumably is to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1378 (XIV) on general and complete disarmament, Resolution 1402 (XIV) on the suspension of nuclear tests, Resolution 1403 (XIV) on the report of the Disarmament Commission, and Resolution 1472 (XIV), which, among other things, established a U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. For texts of these resolutions, see Documents on Disarmament, 1945–1959, vol. II, pp. 1545, 1548–1549, 1549, and 1556–1557.
  8. Khrushchev’s remarks to Mayor Christopher about his re-election campaign were quoted in The New York Times, September 21 and 22, 1959.
  9. Nikolay Pavlovich Firyubin, Soviet Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.