88. Paper Prepared in the Department of State0
President Eisenhower, in his desire to promote peaceful solutions of international problems, has received reports of statements made by Prime Minister Nikita S. Khrushchev on various international problems which are of interest to the United States Government. At times the point of view attributed to Mr. Khrushchev would seem to imply a certain misunderstanding of the facts as known to President Eisenhower. Having this in mind for some time past, the President would like First Deputy Prime Minister Frol R. Kozlov, since the latter is just now departing from the United States and going directly to Moscow, to convey to Prime Minister Khrushchev a personal and confidential message from President Eisenhower.
It might lead to a better understanding of our problems if there could be a personal meeting between Prime Minister Khrushchev and [Page 318] President Eisenhower on an informal basis under arrangements which would facilitate a friendly exchange of views on topics of mutual concern and in a relaxed atmosphere. What is contemplated is not a negotiation but merely a discussion for the purpose of improving the understanding of both parties regarding the problems which concern them.
President Eisenhower is hopeful, as he is sure Prime Minister Khrushchev must be, that the Foreign Ministers who resume their Geneva meeting on July 13 will make such progress as would justify a meeting of the four Heads of State.1 Should this prove to be the case, President Eisenhower would support the idea of a Four Power meeting at a place such as Quebec, Canada. There are considerations of a practical nature which make Quebec attractive to President Eisenhower as a place for the meeting. First of all, of course, the Canadians have urged its use. As concerns the American side, the President of the United States has constitutional obligations which make extended absence at a greater distance very inconvenient. Congress will undoubtedly be in session throughout most of the summer which requires the President’s presence except for very brief periods. If that should be agreeable to Prime Minister Khrushchev, President Eisenhower would like to arrange for the informal meeting above mentioned between Prime Minister Khrushchev and himself at Camp David near Washington at a moment which would be mutually suitable, prior to the Quebec meeting. In the event that Prime Minister Khrushchev would be interested in visiting points of interest in the United States incident to a meeting at Camp David, President Eisenhower would be pleased to make the necessary arrangements. President Eisenhower understands that Prime Minister Khrushchev has a very heavy schedule this summer with visits to Poland and Scandinavia,2 etc., and this may pose for him a practical problem, even assuming that the above outline might be of interest to him. Therefore the question of the exact timing would be a matter on which the views of Mr. Khrushchev would be necessary.
Should the foregoing appeal to Prime Minister Khrushchev as a possibility, President Eisenhower adds that if this is agreeable he might find it possible to visit the Soviet Union later this year, perhaps in October, should that prove convenient to the Soviet authorities.
- Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File. Top Secret. Regarding the drafting and presentation of this paper, see Document 87.↩
- Documentation on the meeting of Foreign Ministers in Geneva May 11–August 5 is in volume VIII.↩
- On July 20, the Soviet Government announced that Khrushchev had postponed his scheduled trip in August to Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark because of alleged increased hostile activities against the Soviet Union by several organizations and organs of the press in these countries. Khrushchev later conceded that these Scandinavian activities provided an excuse for postponing his visit to Scandinavia so that he could visit the United States instead. (Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament, p. 370)↩