53. Editorial Note

Adlai E. Stevenson, Democratic Party Presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956, visited the Soviet Union July 12–August 8. The purpose of his visit was twofold: to conduct business for his law clients and to observe conditions in the Soviet Union as a private citizen. During his visit, he met with numerous prominent Soviet officials to discuss outstanding political issues between the United States and the Soviet Union. his conversation with Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko on July 16 was summarized in telegram 133 from Moscow, July 16. (Department of State, Central Files, 032–Stevenson, Adlai/7–1658) Memoranda of his conversations with Nikolai A. Mikhailov, Minister of Culture, on July 16, Soviet First Deputy Premier Anastas I. Mikoyan on July 31, and Nikita S. Khrushchev on August 5 were transmitted in despatch 92 from Moscow, August 8. (Ibid., 032–Stevenson, Adlai/8–858) Memoranda of his conversations with Mikoyan and Khrushchev were prepared from notes taken by Robert C. Tucker, who had previously served in the Embassy in Moscow and accompanied Stevenson on his tour. There is no drafting information on the memorandum of Stevenson’s conversation with Mikhailov, but presumably Tucker also prepared it. Attached to despatch 92 is a covering memorandum dated August 8, from Ambassador Llewellyn E. Thompson indicating that prior to these conversations Stevenson asked him for suggestions on points he might raise during these talks. Thompson made several suggestions, and Stevenson was able to introduce most of them in his talks with Soviet leaders.

Additional documentation on Stevenson’s visit, including his diary notes and extracts from memoranda of his conversations with Mikoyan and Khrushchev, is in The Papers of Adlai E. Stevenson: Continuing Education and the Unfinished Business of American Society, 1957–1961, Walter Johnson, ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1977), volume II, pages 232279. Stevenson also wrote 12 articles summarizing his meetings with Soviet leaders and giving his impressions of the Soviet Union for the North American Newspaper Alliance, which syndicated them. The articles were published in The New York Times between August 27 and November [Page 182] 23. Much of the information presented in these articles was subsequently incorporated into Stevenson’s book, Friends and Enemies: What I Learned in Russia (New York: Harper, 1959)

A summary of Stevenson’s conversations with Soviet leaders is printed as Document 54.