78. Editorial Note

Frol R. Kozlov, First Deputy Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers, visited the United States June 28–July 13. First word of the impending visit came from Richard H. Davis, Charge in Moscow, who reported in telegram 2375 from Moscow, May 26, that Acting Foreign Minister Vasiliy Kuznetsov had just told him that Kozlov would open the Soviet National Exhibition of Science, Technology, and Culture in New York in late June and would spend about 2 weeks in the United States. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/5–2659)

During the next month, U.S. and Soviet officials held numerous conversations in Washington to discuss Kozlov’s tentative itinerary and security arrangements. U.S. officials believed that the Soviet leadership regarded Kozlov’s visit in part as reciprocal to Vice President Richard M. Nixon’s trip to the Soviet Union scheduled to begin in late July. While Secretary of State Christian A. Herter did not want to establish any direct connection between the Kozlov and Nixon visits, he recognized that treatment accorded Kozlov would undoubtedly affect the reception Nixon would receive in the Soviet Union. (Secto 254 from Geneva, June 17; ibid., 033.6111/6–1759) Department of State officials from the outset wanted to accommodate as many Soviet requests concerning Kozlov’s visit as possible. William S. B. Lacy, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for East-West Exchange, was designated coordinator for U.S. Government arrangements connected with the visit. (Memorandum from Kohler to Dillon, June 2; ibid., 033.6111/6–259)

Lacy had several talks on Kozlov’s upcoming visit with Soviet Ambassador Mikhail A. Menshikov. Memoranda of their conversations on June 5, 9, 10, 15, and 20 are ibid., 033.6111/6–559, 033.6111/6–959, 033.6111/6–1059, 033.6111/6–1559, and 033.6111/6–2059, respectively. Memoranda of Lacy’s conversations with Soviet Charge Mikhail N. Smirnovsky on June 23 and 24 are ibid., 033.6111/6–2359 and 033.6111/6–2459. A memorandum of Smirnovsky’s June 25 conversation with John M. McSweeney, who had been designated the senior Department of State official to accompany Kozlov during his stay in the United States is ibid., 033.6111/6–2559. Memoranda of their two conversations on June 26 are ibid., 033.6111/6–2659, and a memorandum of Menshikov’s telephone conversation to McSweeney later that same day is ibid.

In a memorandum to the President, June 27, Acting Secretary of State Robert Murphy summarized the conclusions of the Department of [Page 288] State concerning Kozlov’s visit and its potential significance for future U.S.-Soviet relations:

“We believe the reason for his visit is: (1) to reciprocate the Vice President’s visit to the U.S.S.R.; (2) to estimate U.S. official and unofficial opinion on resolve to preserve our position in Berlin and elsewhere; and (3) to broaden his own experience.

Kozlov is a trusted deputy of Khrushchev and appears to be regarded by the latter as his “heir apparent”. Because we may find ourselves dealing with Kozlov in future years we think we could make the best use of his visit by trying to give him as clear a picture as we possibly can of basic U.S. national objectives.” (Eisenhower Library, Staff Secretary Records, International Series)

Along with this memorandum, Murphy enclosed a paper providing talking points for Kozlov’s proposed call on the President, a biographical sketch of Kozlov, and his tentative itinerary.

A briefing book, containing position papers on major political issues and bilateral questions, is in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1408. Copies of correspondence concerning the visit, memoranda of Kozlov’s conversations with U.S. officials, and a chronology of his travels is ibid., CF 1409. A detailed chronology of Kozlov’s visit, prepared on July 20 by McSweeney and Heyward Isham, who also accompanied the Kozlov party on its tour, contains the names of those Americans who hosted Kozlov’s visits and their brief summaries of Kozlov’s reactions to the places he visited and the events he attended. (Ibid., Central Files, 033.6111/7–1359)

Kozlov and his party arrived in New York at 11:20 a.m. on June 28. On the next morning, he inspected the Soviet Exhibition. President Eisenhower, accompanied by Vice President Nixon, Secretary of Commerce Lewis L. Strauss, Under Secretary of State C. Douglas Dillon, and Ambassador to the United Nations Henry Cabot Lodge, arrived in New York at 4 p.m. for a preview of the Exhibition, and were welcomed to the Soviet Exhibition by Kozlov. A copy of the President’s short letter to Kozlov of June 30, thanking him for his courtesy, is ibid., Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1409. Eisenhower left the exhibition at 5 p.m. and Kozlov formally opened the Soviet Exhibition at 6 p.m. For texts of the brief addresses of Kozlov and Nixon at this opening ceremony, see The New York Times, June 30, 1959.

On Tuesday, June 30, Kozlov drove to Philadelphia and in the afternoon flew to Washington. At 10 a.m. on July 1, he met with Secretary Herter. A memorandum of their conversation on the Berlin situation is in volume VIII, Document 422. At 11:15 a.m., he met with President Eisenhower; see Document 79. Following lunch with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kozlov met with Vice President Nixon; see Document 80. On July 2, Kozlov visited the Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, and gave a speech at a luncheon [Page 289] sponsored by the Overseas Press Club and the National Press Club. For text of his speech, see The New York Times, July 3, 1959. In the afternoon he went sightseeing in the Washington area.

The next morning, Livingston T. Merchant, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, saw Kozlov off at the airport in Washington for his flight to Sacramento, California. A part of their memorandum of conversation is printed as Document 81. The portion of the memorandum of conversation on Berlin is printed in volume VIII, Document 425. Subsequently, Kozlov visited San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Shippingport, Pennsylvania, before returning to New York on the afternoon of July 11.

Kozlov held a press conference on Sunday, July 12, summarized in The New York Times on July 13. A memorandum of his conversation with W. Averell Harriman on July 12 at 6:30 p.m. is printed as Document 86. A memorandum of his conversation with Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Murphy at 9 p.m. is printed as Document 87. Kozlov left for Moscow by airplane very early the next morning. For text of his letter to President Eisenhower, July 13, thanking the President for his and the Americans’ hospitality and the President’s July 14 reply, see Department of State Bulletin, August 3, 1959, pages 157–158.

On July 15, McSweeney and Isham prepared a four-page summary of Kozlov’s visit and a report giving their observations on Kozlov’s personality. (Both in Department of State, Central Files, 033.6111/7–1359) Their evaluation of his visit, prepared on July 16, is printed as Document 90. Intelligence Report No. 8067, “Kozlov’s American Tour: June 28–July 13, 1959,” which the Bureau of Intelligence and Research prepared on August 7 is in National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, OSS-INR Reports.

Additional documentation on Kozlov’s visit, including memoranda of his conversations with state and local officials outside the Washington, D.C., area, are in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1408–1409, and Central File 033.6111.