56. Report by Eric Johnston 0

[Here follows the first part of the report containing Johnston’s summary of the arrangements for his visit to Khrushchev; his airplane flight accompanied by Georgi A. Zhukov, Chairman of the Soviet State Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, from Moscow to Adler on the Black Sea; and his impressions of the scenery on the drive to Gagra and the grounds and dacha where Khrushchev was staying.]

[Page 190]

We walked down the board walk for a couple of hundred feet to a platform covered by a large umbrella under which were several chairs and a table with fresh fruit and dishes. Zhukov pointed out to me that Khrushchev was coming down the walk. Indeed he was. I quickly saw that he was hatless, and was wearing a blue suit somewhat like the seersucker type we wear in Washington in the summer. A Georgian white shirt with blue embroidery was tied by a string at the neck. Sandals were on his feet. his bald head was fringed with closely cropped white hair. He is a man of short stature with a bull neck and a large girth. He greeted me with a merry twinkle in his eye and immediately started the conversation by saying: “Mikoyan has just told me about you. He left here yesterday for Moscow. You know, I had a hard time getting rid of him. I thought he was never going to leave.”

I replied that I had met Mikoyan in 1944.

A breeze was blowing across the Black Sea and Khrushchev waved his hand and said: “This is a cold wind. It is coming from your ally Turkey. I presume we could expect nothing else but a cold wind from a NATO country.” But he emphasized, “This doesn’t bother us.” He quickly launched into a story which he said a Yugoslavian had told him. “During the war” he went on, “people deserted the cities of Yugoslavia and lived in the hills where they engaged mainly in guerrilla warfare. The animals left the city, too. After the war was over the people returned to the city but the animals remained in the hills. A dog, a cow and a jackass got together and decided that perhaps they should go back to the city and see how life really was. They had been gone so long, however, that they thought they would send a scout down to reconnoiter. The dog was sent first. In due time he returned and said the city was terrible. He had barked and everybody had told him to keep quiet. They wouldn’t even let him bark in the city any more and he didn’t like it. So they sent the cow down to reconnoiter. The cow returned after awhile and reported that the city was terrible. Everybody had milked her dry. Finally, the jackass took his turn at viewing the city lights. When he came back he said the city was wonderful. The people had all gotten together and had elected him president. Tito heard that this story was told to me by the Yugoslavian and was furious because he felt that it was a direct insult to him. Tito is queer that way.”

Suddenly, Khrushchev looked at me and said: “Why, you don’t look like a capitalist at all. You are not fat. They have sent me a man in disguise—a lean man.”

I replied that we had to work so hard in the capitalist countries that we couldn’t get fat.

“No, no,” he said and laughed heartily, his belly shaking like old St. Nick’s. “Sit down,” he said “and have some fruit.” I am glad to welcome [Page 191] you to this communist land. A capitalist and a communist can at least talk together.”1

I then asked: “What is the cause of present world tensions, and how would you relieve them?”

“What is your next question?” he asked. I again repeated my question to him. He replied:

“There are many causes of world tension today but perhaps the most important is imperialism in its many forms. England and France have grown rich on the exploitation of other peoples.” I interrupted to say that I felt that imperialism or colonialism had cost these countries far more in the recent years than any advantages they might have received; that these countries were trying to educate people for freedom and independence.

“This is not true,” he said, “Look at the Middle East. Colonialism and feudalism still continue there. You are tying to keep the existing governments in power, but the people want their own governments, responsive to their own wishes. This can only come by revolution. Every woman who has a child hopes that it can be born without pain but most women have pain. The overthrow of feudalism and colonialism usually comes with pain.”

“Perhaps you misunderstand our position,” I said, “We do not object to nations changing their leadership even by violent method but we do object to a revolution started by an outside force, a Communist, conspiratorial force directed from the outside.”

“We are not doing that.” he said. “Do you think Nasser2 is a communist? Communism is outlawed in Egypt and I understand there are 5,000 or more communists under arrest. Do you think this is an outside communist conspiracy? Take Iraq, there the leaders are not communists. In fact, they are anti-communists. The revolt was against a feudal system. Take Finland, there is a Communist party in Finland. We wish them well, but we are not supporting them. We hope all people will overthrow feudalistic governments, wherever they are. But in your case you support these feudalistic regimes with troops. If it had not been for British troops in Jordan, Hussein would have been murdered long ago [Page 192] by his people, not by Communists.3 As soon as British troops are removed from Jordan, the people will decide what they want to do. If they want to overthrow Hussein they will do so. Why do you support these obsolete regimes in many of these Middle Eastern countries? Your imperialism takes the form of interest in oil and its revenues. Oil seems to be more important to you than people.”

He had uttered these last remarks with some heat. At the first opportunity I denied vigorously many of his allegations and pointed out in some detail what the oil companies had done to raise the standard of living of peoples in these areas. I explained that several of these countries were receiving large revenues from oil, which had been developed by technical skills not possessed by these less developed areas, and that the sale of oil produced the revenue needed by these countries. “Would you buy this oil?” I asked. his reply was quick: “Of course not! We have more oil and gas than we need. We have no interest in Middle Eastern oil. In fact, we are closing many of our coal mines because we do not need the coal. Oil and gas are being used instead. We are dieselizing our railroad locomotives, making electricity from oil and gas, using it in our factories, and we shall continue to use more oil. We are not interested in Middle Eastern oil.”

I took several minutes to try to explain to him some of the problems of the oil companies, their interest in the peoples of these areas, their avoidance of political entanglements, etc., and finally said: “But many of these countries need outside help, financial assistance. The oil revenues, although large, are not of sufficient size to bring the improvements so urgently needed. Would you be willing to cooperate with financial assistance?”

To my surprise he said: “You wrote an article about this a few weeks ago in The New York Times.4 Some of this article was accurate. The revolt in this area is against poverty and disease and feudalism. You suggested in your article that you would contribute three dollars to every dollar that we would contribute to this area.”

“That’s correct,” I replied, “but I suggested that it should be channeled through the United Nations and be used on a regional basis. Would you agree to this?”

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“We agree with the principle of helping these people,” he said, “but we will not agree to spend the money through the United Nations, because the United Nations is just a puppet show with the strings being pulled by the United States. In fact, we may get out of the United Nations. Why remain in such a puppet show? No longer does the United Nations reflect the will of people.”

“But,” I continued, “would you be interested in joining in some fund to help raise the living standards that you have been talking about so eloquently?”

“We will contribute,” he said, “but we will do so in our own way. The countries which should contribute the most, however, are those which have benefited the most from the imperialism in this area.”

“Who is that?” I asked

“England and France,” he answered. “They should pay for the past exploitation of this area. Western Europe wants the oil of the Middle East. Let them pay for it at a reasonable price and let them contribute to a large fund to make up in some small measure for their long exploitation of these people. You know,” he added, “it is difficult for me to understand your side. You were founded by a revolution and for years you were the great revolutionary force in the world, but today you support reactionary regimes everywhere. You don’t seem to understand that the world is undergoing a change. On the contrary we support the desires of all people who set up their own governments and would be free from outside domination.”

“Does that include Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland?” I asked.

his voice reared and his fist pounded the table. “They are free,” he said. “They have governments of their own choosing.” Then he shifted the subject quickly, asking: “Why is Nixon so fond of Chiang Kai-shek? This is another subject of disagreement between our two countries.”

I asked him if he had not confused Knowland5 with Nixon.

“This doesn’t make any difference,” he said. “Why don’t you understand that the Chinese Government is the government of the people of China. We can never settle the China question until you realize this. Kerensky6 is now living in New York, but Kerensky has just as much chance of coming back and taking over the government of Russia as Chiang Kai-shek has of taking over the government of the mainland of China. Why can’t you people understand this?”

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Here I carefully explained that this was a problem I felt should be discussed by the President of the United States or the Secretary of State. This dealt with the foreign policy of the United States and I was not in a position to comment, but as a private citizen I thought that perhaps there were several reasons. One was that China was at war with the United Nations, that she had still not come to a peace treaty in Korea with the United Nations.

“You mean,” he snapped, “come to a peace treaty with the United States. The United States furnished the forces and the United States did the fighting. The United Nations is just a puppet. Why do you continue to obscure the real facts. But let’s not discuss these things, they are details. The broad question is, why don’t you understand the situation in China? Eventually the China question must be solved.”

I asked him if he would use his good offices with China to try to help solve it.

“Of course,” he replied, “provided you will recognize the conditions that exist in China.”

“And another cause of irritation,” he said, “is you are constantly flying your planes around our border. When a neighbor pulls his blinds down you don’t try to peek around the corner. We have shot down several of your planes in the East and West and we are going to continue to shoot them down when you get around our borders. Just recently,” he continued, “you had a reconnaissance plane on our border and it crashed in flames. We returned six bodies to you. Now you claim that there are eleven more men, but we don’t know anything about those men. We never saw them.”7

I asked him if I heard him correctly—that he had never seen these eleven men and did not now have them.

He said: “Yes, you heard me correctly. We have never seen the men, we do not now have them. We do not even know that there were eleven men aboard. If they were, we do not know what happened to them.”

I said: “Have you told our Embassy?”

He replied “Yes. Now you claim that this was a plane en route from Germany but we know that isn’t true. We know the base of the plane in Turkey. Your plane was on reconnaissance trying to find out about a new radar warning system that we have installed. I want to tell you that we are going to continue to shoot down any planes that violate our borders. When we have guests in our country we treat them well, but we are not going to tolerate unwelcome guests and, furthermore, I don’t know what you are bothering with Turkey for. I’ll let you in on a secret. We have no navy in the Black Sea and no submarines in the Black Sea and [Page 195] we are not going to put any there. Our missiles could wipe out Turkey in 15 minutes. We have sent a note to Turkey and we are going to make claim against Turkey for these plane incidents.”8

This was a subject that I was not prepared to discuss and not desiring to pursue it further, I changed the subject, saying:

“I have asked you your opinion of the cause of your irritation with the United States. Now let me give you one of the irritating problems that we have with your country.” I suggested that perhaps he wasn’t going to like it but I thought I should state my views frankly. He interrupted me to say: “How do you know I am not going to like it. You capitalists are always judging what communists are going to say even before they say it.”

“All right,” I said, “here it is. I believe that your relationships with the outside world would be greatly improved if you would allow foreign correspondents to report what they see and hear in the Soviet Union without censorship.”

“There is no censorship of facts,” he said, “in the Soviet Union. It is only lies that we censor. The foreign press reports what it sees. We only delete the lies. Then after we have deleted the lies, the correspondents go to the Embassy and send them through the diplomatic pouch, so they get there anyway.”

“But,” I interjected, “who determines what are facts and what are lies?”

“We do,” he replied.

“That is just the problem,” I said. “People may have different versions of the truth. If you would allow foreign correspondents to report without censorship, you would probably get a few bad articles, but you get many good ones that would far outweigh the bad ones. Much of the suspicion which exists because of your secrecy and your censorship would be removed.”

his eyes narrowed to slits, like a tomcat about to fight another. He pounded the table until the fruit shook. “Look at the lie that CBS just presented on television, the play in which I am supposed to have killed [Page 196] Stalin,” he said.9 “That’s the kind of lie that we don’t appreciate. What would you think that kind of lie does to the relationships between our two countries during this period of the cold war? Suppose we had presented on television a play depicting President Eisenhower as murdering someone. What would you say?” I told him that I deplored untruths about anyone, particularly about rulers of states, but that untruths were sometimes stimulated by the secretiveness used in the operation of the Soviet system. For instance, the Voice of America in Russian is jammed when coming into the Soviet Union, whereas we do not attempt to jam Radio Moscow when it is broadcast in English to the states and to the world.

He said: “That is because the Voice of America tells lies.”

“Mr. Chairman,” I said, “the Voice of Moscow tells lies, too.”

“No, it doesn’t,” he thundered.

“But, Mr. Chairman, I have heard the lies with my own ears on my shortwave radio in my hotel room in Moscow. Distortions of the truth, clearly. Why don’t you like the Russian people to get the same kind of information that we give the American people, so the Russian people may judge for themselves. Freer flow of information both ways would do this.”

During this part of the conversation he had been gesticulating vigorously and talking to me as though he was haranguing a crowd, but as the sunlight sometimes breaks through the clouds on an April day, his countenance changed, he smiled, laughed, and said: “Now we are getting angry at one another. We are friends. Let us act as friends. What other question do you want to ask me?”

I started to ask him about his new educational program but he looked at his watch and remarked: “It is after 2 o’clock. Come along and have lunch with me and my family. You are going to spend the night here.”

We arose and started down the walk. I had my camera with me and asked him if I might take a picture of him. He agreed readily, and I snapped several pictures of him and of Zhukov; then Zhukov took a picture of Khrushchev and me, and the interpreter took a picture of all three of us. Khrushchev was intrigued with the camera. I told him that I was taking three-dimensional pictures in color to be viewed through a finder that restored the three dimensions. He looked at the camera with great interest during my explanation and then said: “You make better cameras than we do, but we make better missiles.” And, again with a [Page 197] loud St. Nick’s laugh, he added: “Of course the world will judge which is the most important.”

We walked down the boardwalk to the right angle walk that led up to the house. his family awaited us. I was introduced to his wife, a stocky, peasant-type woman with a bulbous nose and gray stringy hair pulled back off her face. Wisps fell carelessly over her ears. She wore a sack-type dress of dark gray. She was very pleasant, but other than the customary salutations, said little. his daughter, whom I would judge to be about 40, was tall and rather slender, with light brown hair, a quick smile and penetrating eyes. It was obvious she had her father’s energy and enthusiasm. Her husband, a man perhaps 10 or 15 years older, was tall and large of athletic build, with lots of gray hair. I later learned that he was the head of the theater in Kiev. A doctor, whom I judged to be Khrushchev’s personal physician, a tall, lean man, rather handsome and fiftyish, and another man, whose name I did not learn but who appeared to be a personal secretary, completed the luncheon party. I noticed that the living room was large and spacious. The furniture was white, perhaps bleached teakwood. The chairs and draperies were also white. The room was furnished in good taste with objects of art. It was not overdone. He showed me to my bedroom, located off the living room, and it was a large, spacious room, with white furniture. A big bathroom was off this room. It was tiled and contained, in addition to the ordinary plumbing fixtures, what seemed to be a massage table. All types of toiletries were on a table and in the basin tray there was what appeared to be a large cake of perfumed French soap. The soap was purple and finely textured. After washing my hands, I joined the group in the living room and we went upstairs. On a wide balcony extending the entire length of the house, there was a dining table with the proper number of places set and a large quantity of various types of Russian hors d’oeuvres. A lace table covering looked as if it might have come from Belgium. Mrs. Khrushchev sat at the head of the table. Khrushchev was on her right and next to him sat his daughter, her husband, and the male secretary. I sat on Mrs. Khrushchev’s left and next to me came Zhukov, Volsky, and the doctor.

After we sat down, Khrushchev said: “Let’s have a drink of Armenian brandy first. Mikoyan won’t speak to me unless I give you a drink of his brandy first.” This, of course, we drank “do dna”—bottoms up.

The hors d’oeuvres were followed by soup, and trout, then by lamb chops, a salad, fruit, and coffee. We had two drinks of brandy and two drinks of vodka during the meal and there were many toasts to friendship and closer cooperation between our peoples. The lamb chops were delicious but I noticed that Khrushchev ate none. I asked him if he didn’t like lamb chops. “Oh yes,” he replied, “but my doctor won’t let me eat them.” He waved a hand at the tall man at the end of the table.

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I then said: “Mr. Zhukov has told me a big lie.”

“What do you mean?” asked Khrushchev.

“He told me,” I replied, “that Russians had small lunches and I have never seen a bigger one.” Everybody seemed to laugh at this and Khrushchev said: “You should really see a big Russian lunch if you think this is big.”

My back was towards the Black Sea but I occasionally glanced around. The sea was like a mill pond, not even waves lapped on the pebbles. Through the branches of these odd surrounding trees, there was the Black Sea, and beyond loomed the tall mountains rising like blue guardians to the Caucasus.

The conversation went at a rapid fire pace. It was a jovial one. There was much kidding of me as a capitalist. I took it in good nature and, in many instances, felt that I was able effectively to turn the tables on the communists. No one spoke during the lunch except Khrushchev, his daughter, the interpreter, and me. No one interrupted him except his daughter and I noticed all were deferential including his wife.

Early in the meal I remarked that his daughter didn’t look like him but like her mother. Quick as a flash, he stuck his whole arm across the table with his finger pointing towards me and roared: “Another capitalist mistake. You capitalists can never get anything right. This woman isn’t her mother. This is my second wife. Ha! Ha!” he roared again. “Another capitalist lie!” his daughter came to my rescue, however, and said that she had frequently been mistaken for her stepmother’s daughter. The contours of their faces were the same. “No, no,” he roared, slapping the table, “I never thought my daughter would stand up for a capitalist.” He then went on to explain that he had several children; one boy had been killed as a flyer during the war; another son was a graduate engineer and was now working in a technical job in Moscow; another daughter was married to an editor. “How many children are there in families in America?” he asked. “I understand an average of about four children. This is good. To increase the population—good idea.”

“You wanted to ask me about our education system,” he said. “My son doesn’t have the same desire for education as I had.” And again his eyes closed to almost catlike slits. He went on: “I worked in a coal mine owned by the French in the Donbas. I got what education I could at night. The French paid miserable wages, so I couldn’t go to college at that time. This is the type of capitalist exploitation we are fighting against all over the world.” his voice was raised, his fists were clenched, but the storm passed as quickly as it came. He added: “There is no use in talking about the past. The future is ours. The future of communism is inevitable. Nothing can stop it. But our youth must have the same respect for manual labor that I have. After their secondary education they [Page 199] will go to work. If they want to they can study at night and those who want to get an education can do so, but all must have respect for labor. It is through labor that we make human progress and the Soviet Union is going to make progress.”

We had arrived at the salad course and Khrushchev wanted to know if I like mangoes. I told him I was very fond of them. “Well,” he said, “I got a shipment from Nasser the other day. I am afraid they are a little too ripe but let’s try them.” He rang for a servant who brought in a large tray heaped with mangoes. I took one and remarked upon its excellence. Khrushchev said: “Yes, they are good but they are not as good as the ones I get from Nehru.10 He sends me a shipment about once a month. By the way,” he changed the subject, “how is President Eisenhower?” I told him that the President’s health, in my opinion, was excellent.

“You know,” said Khrushchev, “I like that man. At the Geneva Conference11 he took me to the bar after every meeting and we had a drink together. I hope his health is good. I’d like to sit down and have another talk with him. Why do you people have such crazy ideas about Russia and the Communist Party? It must be you capitalists who are fearful that the common people will get what they have. But President Eisenhower is a soldier, not a capitalist.”

“Tell me about your seven-year plan,” I said.12

“There isn’t much to tell. It is really an extension of old five-year plans, and a little more ambitious. We are going to increase those things that we need the most. It was hard in the early days to make much prog-ress with industrialization but now it is increasing by geometric proportions. At the end of seven years we are going to go a long ways toward catching up with the U.S. At the end of another seven years, or at the end of 14 years, we will catch up with the U.S. in production per capita. We will have electricity for the farms of the Soviet Union, automobiles for her people. It is endless the things you can do. This is a great country, a storehouse of resources. Under communism we can do anything.”

“I noticed,” I said, “that you are trying to populate Siberia and locating some of your new plants there. To the south of you lies a great country whose population is increasing by 15 million people a year. Ten years from now China may have another 150 million people. China could be a blessing or a problem to you. Do you consider her a problem [Page 200] at all? Might she be interested in the vacant lot to the north of her? Has this thought motivated your planning in Sibera?”

He looked at me rather quizzically and said: “China is a great country. By the year 2,000 it may have a billion people, but communist states never think of going to war with each other. It is only capitalist states that do that. Of course, we will have no trouble with China. All communist states believe in getting along with each other, in growing and developing. We think of peace not of war. In my latest conference with Mao Tse-tung13 he told me that China was producing more grain this year than she needed. In the Soviet Union, we can increase our agricultural production by ten-fold with adequate mineral fertilizers and adequate manpower. No, there is no fear of China. We both believe in the communist doctrine. We want to develop our countries, have a higher standard of living for our people, and you can only do that through peaceful means.”

The sumptuous lunch had been completed. We walked into the upper hall where there was a large wooden box that looked like cedar painted with some design. The box was about 3–1/2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet. He opened the lid. Inside were neat rows of apples, rapped in white paper. “Take one,” he said, “they are the best apples I have ever eaten.” I took one. It was bright red. “Who sent you these?” I asked. “An old friend of mine,” he said, “Kadar 14 in Hungary.” Each of us took an apple and walked down the stairs through the living room to the front porch.

“Let’s take a walk,” he suggested. We walked along the boardwalk. The family remained near the porch. We were alone except for the interpreter. We walked to the end of the boardwalk, a considerable distance, and then came back. During the walk, he said: “There are two things you must understand. The Soviet Union doesn’t want war and under your system the United States can’t start a war. Isn’t it foolish therefore to continue endlessly this cold war?”

“I quite agree with you,” I said, “but it seems to me that the problem is primarily yours.”

“No, that’s not true,” he said. “You hate communism just because it is a different system. You think you can destroy us. You think if you keep up an armaments race that we cannot do likewise and at the same time improve the standard of living of our people. You think that if our people have a lower standard of living there will be a revolt in our country. But we have proved this false. We have kept up with you in the armaments [Page 201] race. In fact, in some ways I think we are ahead. At the same time we have improved our country and improved the conditions of life of our people. You are afraid of competition from us. You are afraid that we will outproduce you and outsell you in the markets of the world and that other countries will follow the communist example.”

I told him that I was not afraid of this at all. As a matter of fact, I welcomed it because I was just as firmly convinced that our democratic society could produce more and bring greater happiness to its people. In such a race, free from force, there was no question in my mind which would eventually survive. There have been many changes in the world and modern capitalism in America today was no more like capitalism of the 19th century than a flower garden resembled a desert. Khrushchev came back to the subject, remarking: “Why don’t you reduce armaments then, quit this foolish race and use this saving or a portion of it to help undeveloped countries improve their position?”

I retorted that President Eisenhower had said the same thing. In fact I think he proposed it.

“No,” said Khrushchev, “it was a Frenchman who proposed it first and I did it second.” I replied that I didn’t know who proposed it first but I do know that President Eisenhower is for this kind of development program.

By this time we had rejoined the family who had gathered in a small group conversing. It was about a quarter to five.

“Now,” said Khrushchev, “you will spend the night here, have dinner with us, go grouse hunting with us tomorrow. I know a wonderful spot about 30 miles from here across the sea.”

“I am very sorry, Mr. Chairman,” I said, “but I really think I should go back to Moscow tonite. I would like to go grouse hunting with you but I have already over-stayed my welcome as it is.”

“But you haven’t seen all the Caucasus,” he said, “If you won’t stay overnight then at least let me send you to Lake Ritzaluke. It is beautiful. You can spend the night up there.”

“But, Mr. Chairman,” I said, “I must be back in Moscow on Tuesday (Tuesday 7) and that would mean I wouldn’t be back in Moscow until Wednesday morning. I must fly back at night.”

“Why?” he asked.

“Mr. Zhukov says that I must fly back at night on Monday,” I replied. “You can fly back any time you wish. You can fly back in the daytime tomorrow, if you wish.”

Zhukov turned to me and said: “We can go and spend the night at Ritzaluke and leave tomorrow afternoon by plane for Moscow.

This I agreed to do.

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“But you should leave immediately,” said Khrushchev. “It is a long mountain road and if you leave right now you can make it there before dark. I don’t want you to drive that road after night. I’ll have my chauffeur put the top of the car down and I’ll give you my fur-lined coat. You’ll need it in the mountains.”

[Here follows the remainder of the report containing Johnston’s impressions of the scenery on the way to Lake Ritzaluke, the hotel where he spent the night, and his boat trip on the lake the following morning before returning to Moscow.]

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Administration Series, ERIC JOHNSTON. Confidential; Limit Distribution. ERIC JOHNSTON, President of the Motion Picture Association of America, visited the Soviet Union in September and October to conduct negotiations on the purchase and sale of motion pictures under the cultural exchange agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union. The portion of the report printed here, which was presumably drafted after Johnston’s return, recounts his meeting with Khrushchev on October 6 near Gagra in the Soviet Union. Before leaving the Soviet Union, Johnston left with the Embassy in Moscow an account of his conversation with Khrushchev, highlights of which were reported in telegrams 778 and 784 from Moscow, October 8. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/10–858 and 032–Johnston, Eric/10–858, respectively) The full text of Johnston’s account, which is identical to the text printed here, was transmitted in despatch 223, October 10. (Ibid., 032–Johnston, Eric/10–1058)

    Attached to the source text is a November 11 memorandum from J.S. Earman, Executive Officer of the CIA, to Minnich forwarding Johnston’s memorandum as well as a memorandum of Johnston’s November 4 conversation with Allen Dulles (Document 57).

    Also attached to the source text are a briefing note for the President prepared by Minnich on November 13 summarizing the topics covered in Johnston’s memorandum and an undated cover sheet indicating that the President would see Johnston at 8:45 a.m. Eisenhower met with Johnston on November 14, 8:43–9:43 a.m., but no record of their conversation has been found. (Eisenhower Library, President’s Appointment Books)

  2. In a letter to Foy Kohler, October 10, charge Davis indicated that, beginning at this point in their conversation, Johnston and Khrushchev discussed Johnston’s idea for the exchange of either feature-length films of Soviet-U.S. relations since World War II or shorter newsreels in which Khrushchev and Eisenhower would informally explain the aims and desires of their peoples. Johnston omitted this portion of his conversation with Khrushchev from this report because he had not yet discussed the idea with government officials in Washington. (Department of State, Central Files, 032–Johnston, Eric/10–1058)
  3. Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of the United Arab Republic.
  4. Reference is to the request of King Hussein of Jordan for military aid following an army revolt in Iraq on July 14 and the dispatch of British troops to Jordan July 17–18.
  5. Reference is to Johnston’s article published in The New York Times, August 10, 1958, which set forth his proposed solution to the Middle East crisis.
  6. Senator William F. Knowland.
  7. Alexander Kerensky, head of the provisional government in Russia July–November 1917 until the Bolshevik takeover.
  8. See Document 55.
  9. In telegram 789 from Moscow, October 8, charge Davis reported that the Turkish charge in Moscow had called on him that afternoon to say that Georgi Nikolaevich Zaroubin, Deputy Foreign Minister, had read to the Turkish charge the previous day the text of a Soviet protest note regarding the C–130 plane and had emphasized Turkish responsibility because the plane was based in Turkey. (Department of State, Central Files, 761.5411/10–858) The text of this Soviet note has not been found.
  10. Reference is to the CBS television series “Playhouse 90,” which produced the play “The Plot To Kill Stalin” on September 25. Ambassador Menshikov protested this production, which portrayed Khrushchev as the virtual murderer of Stalin. Subsequently, the Soviet Union ordered CBS to close its Moscow news bureau.
  11. Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India.
  12. Documentation on the Heads of Government meeting in Geneva in July 1955 is printed in Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, volume V.
  13. See footnote 3, Document 57.
  14. Khrushchev visited Peking July 31–August 3 for talks with Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of the People’s Republic of China.
  15. Janos Kadar, First Secretary of the Hungarian Revolutionary Socialist Party.