29. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Kohler) to Secretary of State Herter 0

SUBJECT

  • EUR comments on foreign policy section of Democratic “Basic Platform”

The following comments are submitted in response to the request received from S/S for an assessment from the EUR point of view on “the totality of the foreign policy section of the Democratic Party platform:”

As the program of the opposition political party, the text of the abbreviated so-called “basic platform” of the Democratic party1 obviously contains a note of criticism, implied and in some cases specific, of current foreign policy. As far as EUR is concerned, we find nothing that should cause any real difficulty, and most of the statements of objectives do not differ essentially from the foreign policy purposes which have guided the Department. The text of the whole platform, however, is not yet available in Washington and this apparently contains more specific and detailed points.

One particular item which may be noted is that the “basic platform” contains two paragraphs which could be interpreted to apply principally to the captive nations of Eastern Europe. These are in accord with the Department’s policy to try to reach the Eastern European peoples through exchanges and contacts; on the other hand, the “basic platform” neglects a traditional element in our policy in failing to express support and sympathy for the aspirations of the captive peoples of Eastern Europe.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.60/7–1460. Official Use Only. Drafted by hillenbrand.
  2. Attached to the memorandum was a copy of page 21 of The New York Times of July 13, which contained the text of the abbreviated “Basic Platform” read at the Democratic National Convention.