75. Despatch From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State0

No. 734


  • Conversation Between N.S. Khrushchev and Governor Harriman, June 23, 1959

Mr. Khrushchev received Mr. Harriman at one o’clock in the Kremlin for an interview lasting about 1–1/2 hours prior to going to the country. [Page 270] After the usual pleasantries, the subject turned to corn. Mr. Khrushchev said that the agriculture situation was still very weak, that there were three to four times too many people on the farms. The Soviets have used only one-half of their potentialities.

“The virgin lands have been a complete success. We have recouped all our capital investment and netted a profit of 18 billion rubles not counting machinery and buildings. Even the skeptics are becoming ashamed. We know that the area we have plowed up is what is called in Canada a risky area. However, in the last five years despite two severe droughts we have made a profit. We suppose that this cycle of two bad years in five will be repeated, but the bread grains we harvest are the cheapest in the Soviet Union, that is, 20 to 30 rubles per centner as against 60 elsewhere, and some well-managed farms with good weather conditions have collected grain as cheap as 12 to 15 rubles per centner due to the susceptibility of the virgin lands to mechanization. On the other hand, on some farms we have two to three times as many people as we should. However, many Americans who are good businessmen and rationalizers do not understand the basis of our farming. The average US farmer operates on a purely commercial basis. The Soviet collective farm on the other hand produces for its own needs and sells only what is left over. Hence, we must make a great effort to reduce surplus labor. Some Americans say we lack manpower for the Seven Year Plan. We have plenty of labor for that; we will take them off the farms.”

Asked how he was going to do this, he said, “We have no secrets. We revealed all our secrets in 1953.1 Our chief problem is to change the psychology of the farmers not only by reorganization but by improving management and leadership. Up to now we have given too many directives to farms. From now on farm management must show more initiative. For example, our research centers and experimental farms have hitherto had to operate on our state budgets which they eat up regardless of what they turn out in experiments. From now on they must pay their own way and live on the returns for services they render to our farmers.

Matskevich has told me of the American research centers and their assistance to US farmers. We propose to take a leaf from their book. For example, US commercial farms have profited from our early experiments in artificial insemination and use this method far more than even we who developed it. You should hardly be surprised that Communism [Page 271] which was born of capitalism will make the most use of capitalist advances.”

Asked whether he really thought that the American economic system was approaching its end, he said that the US was still far from the end but was tending in that direction. Asked what he meant by saying that “the Communist system would bury capitalism,” he said he only meant that in an historical sense. Socialism or Communism, he said, was a new and higher form of social organization bound to replace capitalism. The latter must give way. He never meant that Communism would physically bury the capitalist world. The proof of the superiority of the socialist structure is everywhere. During the first Five Year Plan when they constructed the first hydroelectric plant at Dnepropetrovsk, they hired Colonel Hugh Cooper2 whom they regarded as the highest authority. Yet when you look back, what Cooper did was mere child’s play to what is being done today. Another example was a certain American engineer called Morgan3 who was hired as a consultant to the Metro in its early stages. (Morgan was here four years ago and told Khrushchev he was engaged in housing construction in Turkey. However, being a concrete specialist and an expert in tunnels, it turned out that he was building US military bases and no doubt tunnels in Turkey.)

Mr. Harriman suggested that maybe Soviet achievements were due not so much to the Communist or socialist structure but to very vigorous leadership. The system of free enterprise, he suggested, was in its most creative stage. Mr. Khrushchev compared the level of industry in France, Germany, and England of 30 years ago with that of Russia and claimed that the rate of progress and change in the relative positions of these countries was due without doubt to the social structure. Perhaps, Mr. Khrushchev suggested, it was God’s will, in which case God seemed to be on the side of the Communists. But, he added, let us not enter into fruitless theological discussions.

Asked about the possibility of coexistence, Khrushchev stated that he had stated his position frequently: no war, disarmament, and the creation of conditions conducive to peace. “There might be a question about the world’s future development, but let us leave that to history. The West says that we want to impose our system by war, but this contradicts objective facts.” Western ideologists, he fears, do not understand Soviet doctrines. The original Communist theory was that war was inevitable in imperialistic societies and that the working class [Page 272] should make use of the arms in their hands during those periods to throw out the capitalists. Marxism had always taught that no war is useful for workers but that it should be used by them to the best advantage. This was proved after World War I which brought the Bolsheviks to power. Due to exceptional circumstances, the United States capitalist system was favored by both World Wars in which it made much money. Governor Harriman vigorously denied this and pointed out that the US had given at least 11 billion dollars to the USSR and had made no profits. Mr. Khrushchev expressed his appreciation and thanks for this aid but insisted that nevertheless both wars were highly profitable. Mr. Harriman suggested that Mr. Khrushchev misunderstood the stimulating of production due to war as profit making. He pointed out that in the last war, the Sverdlovsk area had greatly expanded and greatly increased its capacity, but this did not mean that Sverdlovsk had made profits. Khrushchev replied that compared to the losses in the Donbas, the additional production in the Sverdlovsk area was negligible and asked how many soldiers the US lost in World War II—1–1/4 million casualties in the United States against 20 million in the Soviet Union. Governor Harriman suggested that the Soviet people think that US business wants war or at least an arms race in order to make money. This is not true as Mikoyan no doubt learned. Khrushchev said that Mikoyan had learned no such thing and that he too believed that certain circles in the US wanted the cold war and an arms race for money.

Mr. Harriman pointed out that the cold war and the arms race were started by the Soviet Union. After World War II, the Americans had disarmed faster than any nation in all history and had only started to rearm when the Soviets failed to reduce.

Mr. Khrushchev returned to discussion of the Communist attitude toward war. He said that the old theory of the inevitability of war had been redefined at the 20th Party Congress and later reaffirmed at the 21st.4 At that time it was decided that imperialist war can be avoided though there is no 100 percent guarantee against this. Today the socialist camp is strong, has a firm economic base, and growing manpower. This new force can deter imperialist war and each year it is becoming a stronger influence.

The class war must be settled not by war but by competition. “We can demonstrate,” Mr. Khrushchev said, “the advantages of our system and set an example to other countries which they will follow. However, the question of making a revolution in any country is up to the workers of that country. The US is so rich and its standard of living so high that [Page 273] for the time being it can postpone revolution because it is able to buy off or bribe the workers.”

Mr. Harriman stated that it should be obvious that the United States would never under any circumstances start a war. Mr. Khrushchev asked if there was any reason one could see why the Soviet Union should start one, and Mr. Harriman replied that only a misunderstanding or a miscalculation might lead to one. The important thing, he said, was disarmament. Mr. Khrushchev said that he wanted to create the “objective conditions” which would make such accidents impossible. “Further,” Mr. Khrushchev said, “if one examines Mr. Dulles’ statements, he was motivated not by any misunderstanding but by very real objectives which were endangering peace.” He stated that Mr. Harriman’s criticisms of Mr. Dulles were different than his. In fact, both Governor Harriman’s and Dulles’ attitudes pointed in the same direction. Mr. Harriman pointed to the need of greater exchanges between the US and the USSR. Fifteen thousand Americans would come to the USSR this year; when would the USSR send as many to the US? Mr. Zhukov stated that a two week tour in the US costs 8,500 rubles, and Mr. Khrushchev added that while American tourists paid their own way in the Soviet Union, the unions or the Soviet state had to appropriate money for trips abroad that could better be spent for machinery. Nevertheless, appropriations for exchanges were being increased.

He stated that the elimination of discrimination against the Soviet Union in trade matters was of primary importance. The legal obstacles to trade, he said, were discrimination against the Soviet Union, and he accused Mr. Harriman of having a personal role in the setting up of these obstacles. He suggested that Mr. Harriman reverse his position and use his influence to increase trade. Mr. Khrushchev said there was one important point to clarify in connection with arms and trade. There was no doubt that American legal obstacles against trade were raised as reprisals, but this policy had been a complete failure.

“Look at our progress in science. We developed the hydrogen bomb before the US. We have an intercontinental bomb which you have not. Perhaps this is the crucial symbol of our position. The Seven Year Plan is based on an absence of trade with the US and the Plan is being consistently overfulfilled.” Furthermore, there was nothing that the United States could furnish which the Soviets could not build for themselves. Nevertheless, the Soviets would like exchanges in certain fields of special equipment which they could build but found cheaper to buy abroad. For example, the Soviet Union had recently bought three textile machines not because they could not build them but because it was cheaper to buy them. Suggesting the Soviet Union also needed pipe, Mr. Harriman said that if some progress could be made on disarmament, the trade problem would settle itself. Mr. Khrushchev reacted strongly [Page 274] that this sounded like a condition. The Soviet Union would not sacrifice the security of its country for the few advantages that increased trade would bring.

Turning to another subject, Mr. Khrushchev stated that Stalin had had a great respect for Governor Harriman and confirmed the suggestion by Mr. Harriman that had Roosevelt lived, history might have taken a different course. Stalin, he said, had often told him that there were many cases when Stalin and Roosevelt had opposed Churchill, but there were no cases in which Churchill and Stalin had ganged up on Roosevelt. Truman, however, he said, was a different type and had changed Roosevelt’s policies.

“We don’t consider Stalin without blame. He had grown old by the end of the war but because of his position in the world, he had a very strong voice which he did not always use in the right way.” It was not useful to go into details, but in the last years he had a bad influence both internally and in international affairs. Stalin was distrustful, over-confident, and had lost the power to work himself, and he distrusted others, thereby making it impossible for them to work. After his death, however, Stalin’s successors had successfully developed initiative and produced successes which he had opposed. “We think we have been successful, both internally and internationally,” Mr. Khrushchev said, “and have greatly improved our international position.” He added, “We want to disarm and cease the cold war. You say you want to, too, but we don’t seem to agree.

“Eisenhower suggested air reconnaissance throughout our country.”5 This was utterly unacceptable. Air reconnaissance in view of US bases was not realistically fair though juridically it seemed so. Nevertheless, we would agree to air reconnaissance but not as a start.

The Soviet Union had suggested a non-aggression pact between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries.6 This would lead to a psychological improvement. However, the US objects to such a treaty on the grounds that the UN Charter is sufficient. However, the NATO Pact itself is defended on the basis of the Charter. Thus in one case the US makes a defense pact, justifying it by the UN Charter, and refuses a non-aggression pact on the ground that the UN Charter is enough. Khrushchev said such a pact would bring an increase in confidence. A second step would be a reduction in forces. The Soviets would welcome the [Page 275] most thorough control with inspection by both armies. He also suggested a control of communications. The US had turned this down.7 “We have even agreed to nuclear controls,” he stated. The US had suggested that some nuclear explosions be permitted. The Soviets had agreed although they would prefer to prohibit all since any explosion would assist in the perfection of weapons. In the negotiations at Geneva, the technical experts had reached an agreement but then new difficulties were raised on the political plane.8 “We do not believe,” Mr. Khrushchev said, “that the US is taking a serious attitude toward the control of nuclear weapons.”

Governor Harriman suggested it was a pity that Stalin had not agreed to the 1947 agreement on nuclear controls.9 Mr. Khrushchev stated that the 1947 proposals were preposterous and designed to give the US a monopoly of nuclear weapons. They could not have agreed to them in 1947 and even less so today.

At this point Mr. Khrushchev suggested that we go to the country for luncheon where the discussion could be continued. With Mr. Zhukov of the Cultural Committee and Mr. Troyanovski as interpreter, we got into one car without the usual bodyguard, Mr. Khrushchev commenting that with a former American diplomat such as Mr. Harriman, he felt safe without his bodyguard.

On the way to the country, Mr. Khrushchev stated that the plenary session of the Central Committee due for tomorrow would reach no decisions but simply check up on the progress of the Seven Year Plan. One measure that he hoped would be taken was a setting up of an exhibit in the Industrial and Agricultural Fair10 at which inadequate machinery would be exhibited to shame the makers of it into producing better equipment. However, he admitted that there had been some difficulty in collecting the poor machinery. Governor Harriman expressed amazement that there had been such difficulties since he assumed Mr. Khrushchev’s word was law. Mr. Khrushchev readily admitted that his word was law. “But,” he added, “there is no law you can’t get around.”

Returning to the international scene, Mr. Khrushchev said that it seemed the West wanted to prolong the cold war. Three times he had [Page 276] already reduced the strength of his forces11 until his military advisers had told him that further reductions were out of the question.

Mr. Khrushchev said he found many of Mr. George Kennan’s ideas expressed in the Reith lectures12 coincided with his own. He liked particularly the idea of a gradual withdrawal in Central Europe. “Many of Mr. Kennan’s ideas would be acceptable to us and should be to the advantage of the US as well.” Asked specifically if he was prepared to withdraw his troops from Eastern Europe, Khrushchev said he was, under certain conditions, which, however, he did not specify.

The Geneva summit conference, he said, was [a] failure because Dulles and Eisenhower had entertained the unreal objective of liquidating East Germany. “To this we will never agree.” Mr. Khrushchev said.

While he did not want to criticize the dead, he found Mr. Dulles had an exaggerated idea of his own personal importance and had underestimated the importance of others.13 Speaking most confidentially, he stated that it was embarrassing if not unpleasant to note the manner in which Mr. Eisenhower had behaved at Geneva, not as a maker of policy but as an executor of Mr. Dulles’ policies. Mr. Dulles, sitting on his right during the conference, had simply passed Eisenhower notes which the latter had then read out without contributing anything of his own.

At the dacha which lay beyond Kuntsevo and Rublevo, Messrs. Mikoyan, Kozlov, and Gromyko were awaiting us. For about half an hour we walked about the garden and down to the Moscow River. On the way, we discovered a hedgehog which Mr. Khrushchev picked up and gave to one of his bodyguards to take home to his grandson.

We then started lunch with the usual toasts. The first toast was to Governor Harriman in which his role during the war was praised. Mr. Khrushchev then launched into a review of Soviet international interests. The Soviets, he said, were not interested in expansion anywhere. The Mid-East had only oil and cotton. The Soviet Union had better cotton and oil enough to sell to the United States if it wanted it. India, he said, could take care of its own problems if it were willing to turn its jungles into arable land. Mr. Mendes-France14 had suggested to Mr. Khrushchev that China with its bursting population was a menace to the Soviet Union. This, he said, was hardly true. The Soviet Union, if it so [Page 277] desired, could turn its Siberian forests into arable land sufficient to feed all of China if necessary.

Nevertheless, he said, the Chinese presented a special and delicate situation since they had their own way of looking on problems and the Soviets did not want to tell them how to run their country. (More on China later.)

Turning to Western Europe, Mr. Khrushchev asked what good Finland with its rocks and swamps was to the Soviet Union. Similarly for the other Scandinavian countries. Germany, however, was a different problem.

The West seemed to forget that a few Russian missiles could destroy all of Europe. One bomb was sufficient for Bonn and three to five would knock out France, England, Spain, and Italy. The US had a winged, pilotless plane whose speed was 1,000 kilometers per hour, which was within easy range of Soviet fighters. US missiles, he said, could carry a warhead of only ten kilograms whereas Russian missiles could carry 1300 kilograms. Under these circumstances it was unrealistic to threaten the Soviets.

[Here follows discussion of Berlin, identical to Thayer’s report transmitted in telegram 2653 from Moscow, June 25; see volume VIII, Document 417.]

Calming down, Mr. Khrushchev said that as a great capitalist, Mr. Harriman’s opinion was valuable. “In the US the workers have no views. I am a miner by origin, now a Prime Minister, and that is a characteristic of this country.” Mikoyan said, “I am a plumber.” Kozlov said that he was a homeless waif. Gromyko said that he was the son of a beggar. When Mr. Harriman stated that this was not unusual in the United States and that he had many contacts among the working class, Khrushchev retorted that the class struggle was an international question. “Tolstoy,” he said, “wanted to till the soil like a peasant, but the peasants called him the stupid count, and said the count had worms in his backside.”

A discussion ensued as to whether capitalism could survive. Khrushchev said that if he died and a capitalist came near his grave, he would turn over. “But if you, Mr. Harriman, approach, I won’t turn over. We want your friendship but not from weakness. If we doubt from weakness, there would be war. We would like to deal with you because you have authority. You are a master, not a lackey. We don’t threaten your capitalism.

“I will tell you a secret. When the war ended, the question of Petsamo arose. We seized it, but Stalin said we must pay something for the nickel because, he said, Harriman is a part owner.” Mr. Harriman said he had never heard of nickel in Petsamo until after the end of the war. [Page 278] Khrushchev stated, “Perhaps Stalin was misinformed, but nevertheless we wanted to avoid war and paid dollars for the nickel.”

The conversation turned to Mr. Kozlov. Mr. Khrushchev stated that he and Mikoyan were of the same age, though Mikoyan is one year younger. Kozlov is 15 years younger. He and Mikoyan have one thing in common. They are agreed that Kozlov will follow them. “Despite his white hair, which ladies love, Kozlov is young, a hopeless Communist. When we pass on, we will rest easily because we know Kozlov will carry on Lenin’s work.” Asked what happens if Kozlov dies earlier or what will happen after Kozlov, Khrushchev said, “We have eight million Communists.” Khrushchev said that after Khrushchev and Kozlov, it won’t be any easier for you. “Nevertheless,” he said, “I recommend him. He is modest and not such a brute (nakhalni) as we.” Harriman asked, “Were you ever modest?” Khrushchev replied, “Perhaps.” Harriman asked his opinion of Kirichenko.15 Khrushchev asked, “Why do you ask of Kirichenko? We have Aristov, Breshnev, Mukhitdinov, Pospelov, and, youngest of all, Polyanski.16 Don’t try to bet on our followers,” Khrushchev said. “If you bet on Kirichenko, you will lose. We have plenty of horses in our stable. Bet on our country, not on individuals.17 You bet on Malenkov and he proved to be “gavno”. You bet on Beria,18 he was also gavno. Then on Molotov. You were against Molotov but I respect Molotov more than all of them. Beria was an adventurer. Malenkov was a yellow chicken and Stalin knew it.”

Harriman: “Who did Stalin think would follow him?”

Khrushchev: “Stalin didn’t think; he thought he would live forever. I will tell you how Stalin died. We all went out to his dacha on Saturday and had a good dinner. He was in fine spirits. We said goodbye and went home. Usually he called us on Sundays but he did not that day. On Monday night his guards called and said that he was ill. Beria, Bulganin, Malenkov and I (Khrushchev) came out to the dacha and found him unconscious. He lived for several days but did not regain consciousness. He was paralyzed in the arm, the leg, and the tongue from a blood clot in [Page 279] his brain. For one moment before he died, he regained consciousness. He could not speak but he shook hands and he made jokes by gestures, pointing to a picture of a girl feeding a lamb, obviously referring to the fact that he, like the lamb, was being fed with a spoon. Then,” said Khrushchev, “he died and I wept. I was his pupil. We are all indebted to him. Like Peter the Great, he combatted barbarism with barbarism, but he was a great man.

Kozlov will be worthy of us. If you want Kirichenko, he will be worse for you than Kozlov will be.” Harriman asked why, then, had Khrushchev turned over Party affairs to Kirichenko. Khrushchev replied, “I am very jealous of my prerogatives and while I live I will run the Party. If you are trying to bury me, you are wish-thinking. Nevertheless, he said, “it is ideas that are important, not people. It is not important who will follow me. Our policy will not change.”

The subject turned to Ambassador Bohlen.19 Khrushchev said that he was respected but was not honest. He had documentary proof that Bohlen spread the rumor that Khrushchev was a drunkard. “When General Twining was here,20 we all drank heavily. Bohlen can drink too, but later he told the correspondents that I was a drunk. Some British and Scandinavian journalists protested.”

Khrushchev then said, “Please understand we want friendship. Within five to seven years we will be stronger than you. I am giving you a secret of the General Staff which your military can use in competition in ballistic missiles. I am talking seriously now. If we spend 30 billion rubles on ballistic missiles in the next 5–6 years, we can destroy every industrial center in the US and Europe. Thirty billion rubles is no great sum for us. In the Seven Year Plan, we are spending on power, gas, etc., no less than 125 billion rubles. Yet to destroy all Europe and the US would cost us only 30 billion. We have this possibility. If we save 11 billion in one year, if we overfulfill our plan by five percent, this will give us a savings of 55 billion in five years. Yet we only need 30 billion. I am frank because I like you as a frank capitalist. You charm us as a snake charms rabbits. I am talking about potentialities. Of course, we will make some missiles but we won’t use them. We know if you use yours, it would be silly. Who would lose more? Let us keep our rockets loaded and if attacked we will launch them.”

Discussing the Japanese question, Mr. Khrushchev said, “We helped to defeat Japan at the request of Roosevelt. It is true that we agreed to help Chiang Kai-shek but that was during the period in which [Page 280] Japan was the enemy. Once Japan was defeated, the situation was changed and when another force—the Communists—arose, naturally we supported them against Chiang and we will continue to support them. What is China, Peking or Formosa? To whom does Formosa belong? Only to China, and China is Peking. At any time we desire, we can destroy Formosa. I will tell you confidentially, we have given the Chinese rockets which are in the Chinese hinterland but within range of Formosa and can destroy it at will. Your Seventh Fleet will be of no avail. Fleets today are made to be destroyed. If the Chinese decide to take Formosa, we will support them even if it means war.”

Miscellaneous items

Governor Harriman expressed surprise at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations’ estimate that the maximum future industrial growth of the United States was only 2 percent.21 He said he had told the professors that if they wanted to keep their jobs, they should revise their estimates to 4 or 4–1/2 percent. Mr. Khrushchev supported by Mr. Mikoyan stated that they were satisfied with the 2 percent figure because this had been the figure for the past five years.

Mr. Zhukov told Mr. Harriman that the Seven Year Plan contemplated no increase in the rate of production of automobiles. The cheap 8,000 ruble car which was planned would probably not be out for another 15 years.

Mr. Khrushchev stated that while he was the senior member of the Presidium, he had only one vote and that decisions were taken by a majority.

Repeatedly during the conversation, Mr. Khrushchev referred to the class struggle throughout the world and to “circles in the United States” which wanted cold war and an armaments race.

Mr. Khrushchev was scornful of the suggestion of free elections in Germany as a method of reunification.

Throughout the evening there was much free bantering between Mikoyan and Khrushchev. Mr. Harriman suggested that if Mikoyan became too obstreperous, Khrushchev should send him to the United States rather than Siberia. Mikoyan stated that it was too late to send him to Siberia as that was no longer permitted. Kozlov and Khrushchev, however, stated that between them they could make an exception of Mikoyan. However, Mr. Khrushchev added, what is the good of sending Mikoyan to Siberia? We would merely have to clothe and feed him. It seemed apparent that Mikoyan is the second in a double leadership. [Page 281] Frequently Khrushchev referred to decisions of “Anastas and myself”, e.g., the selection of Kozlov as successor.

Asked whether in the secret speech at the 20th Party Congress a passage relating to foreign affairs had been omitted from the public published version, Mr. Khrushchev replied, “That speech was written not by me but by Allen Dulles.”22

However, he admitted later that undoubtedly foreign diplomats dealing with Stalin had shared some of the difficulties in international affairs which Stalin’s Soviet subordinates had suffered in internal questions.

Asked whether he found it difficult to make 150 speeches every year, Khrushchev said many are speeches of greetings or farewell. Speeches on developments within the Soviet Union, he said, wrote themselves and were a pleasure rather than a burden to make.

During the last hours of the discussion, Mr. Harriman frequently suggested he leave, knowing that the Soviet leaders were very busy. However, Mr. Khrushchev insisted that he stay on and discuss problems in greater detail. “Our working day is over and we are ready to spend all night talking with you.” When eventually Mr. Harriman got up to leave at 10:30, Mr. Khrushchev stood in front of the door for at least 15 minutes preventing him from leaving while he continued his talk.

Despite the roughness of Mr. Khrushchev’s language and the toughness of the position he took on many issues, he was most genial throughout the evening, smiling incessantly, proposing toasts frequently—chiefly in cognac which he drank liberally—and constantly flattering Mr. Harriman as a great capitalist. “Since workers in the United States have no rights, we like to talk to a great capitalist like yourself, particularly because we know of your good works during the war.” Comparing him to Eisenhower, he stated, “You talk with authority and not as a lackey, and that is why we have been so glad to receive you.”

Eventually at 10:45 the party, broke up. Mr. Khrushchev stated that he would announce to the press only that the conversation had taken place in a warm and friendly atmosphere. He requested that no mention be made of the hedgehog as hedgehogs had a somewhat special and embarrassing connotation in Russia.

For the Ambassador:
Robert I. Owen

First Secretary of Embassy
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 032-Harriman, Averell/6–2659. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Ambassador Thompson apparently from detailed notes of this conversation provided by Charles W. Thayer who accompanied Harriman. Thayer’s verbatim record of the conversation on Berlin was transmitted in telegram 2653 from Moscow, June 25, printed in vol. VIII, Document 417.
  2. Reference presumably is to Khrushchev’s lengthy report to the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party at its session September 3–7, 1953, which strongly criticized weaknesses in Soviet agriculture and stressed the need to provide collective farmers with greater incentives to increase productivity.
  3. Hugh L. Cooper, an hydraulic engineer, designed and helped to construct the water power and navigation project at Dnepropetrovsk in the Ukraine area of the Soviet Union in the early 1920s.
  4. Not further identified.
  5. The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was held February 14–25, 1956. Regarding the 21st Congress, see Document 68.
  6. The reference is to Eisenhower’s “open skies” proposal, which he presented at the Geneva summit conference in July 1955; see Secto 63, July 21, 1955, printed in Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. V, pp. 447456.
  7. In his letter to Eisenhower, December 10, 1957, Bulganin proposed, among other things, a nonaggression pact between the NATO and Warsaw treaty nations, based on the principle of “co-existence.” (Department of State Bulletin, January 27, 1958, pp. 127–130)
  8. Not further identified.
  9. The conference of Allied and Communist experts on the detection of nuclear test violations met in Geneva July 1–August 21, 1958.
  10. Reference is to the Baruch plan, which the United States advanced in the United Nations for the international control of atomic energy from 1946 to 1948. The Soviet Union consistently opposed this plan.
  11. Reference is to the Soviet Agricultural and Industrial Fair scheduled to open in Moscow in late July.
  12. Reference is to the Soviet Government’s announcements of August 13, 1955, May 14, 1956, and January 6, 1958, each of which specified reductions in its armed forces.
  13. Kennan’s BBC Reith Lectures in 1957, which generally proposed disengagement in Central Europe, were published in George F. Kennan, Russia, the Atom, and the West (London: Oxford University Press, 1958).
  14. Dulles died on May 24.
  15. Pierre Mendes-France, former French Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
  16. Aleksey Illarionovich Kirichenko, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
  17. Averkiy Borisovich Aristov, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; Leonid Ilich Brezhnev, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; Nuritdin Akramovich Mukhitdinov, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; Petr Nikolaevich Pospelov, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; and Dmitriy Stepanovich Polyansky, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
  18. Russian slang, usually transliterated as “govno,” which means human excrement.
  19. Lavrenti Beria, Soviet Minister of Internal Affairs, was executed in December 1953 after having been found guilty of high treason by the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union.
  20. Charles E. Bohlen served as Ambassador to the Soviet Union 1953–1957.
  21. General Twining’s report to the President on his trip to the Soviet Union June 23–July 1, 1956, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. XXIV, pages 246249.
  22. Not further identified.
  23. Documentation on the efforts of the Department of State to exploit Khrushchev’s secret speech to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party on February 25, 1956, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. XXIV, pp. 56 ff.