165. Memorandum of Conversation0



July 17–20, 1960

[Here follows the same list of participants as Document 164.]


  • General World Situation

Mr. Dillon then solicited President Tito’s views on the general world situation and the Russian attitude with respect to it. He started out by saying that, while we could understand though not agree with the Russian reaction to the U–2 incident, we could not understand the Russian action with respect to the latest airplane situation involving the RB–47.1 He said that the Russians knew about past RB–47 activities. He said that the plane never had gone closer than 30 miles to the Soviet Union and that we were prepared to prove this fact in the UN. He noted that Russian planes have engaged in the same kind of activities as the RB–47. He also noted the curious fact that the Russians are not saying where they shot down the RB–47. Mr. Dillon said it was strange to us why the Russians were stirring up so much trouble on the RB–47 and asked for President Tito’s views.

The President replied that he does not have the facts and thus finds it hard to express views on the matter. In his opinion, however, it would have been wise, in view of the U–2 incident, to have avoided any activity close to Soviet territory that might cause another incident. Against the background of the U–2 incident, we should have been extra careful to prevent even the smallest possibility of causing another incident in the cold war situation that has now developed because any incident, otherwise small in itself, gets more “resounding” and exaggerated.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 559, CF 1274. Confidential. The drafting officer is not indicated; approved by Dillon on July 21. The meeting was held in Tito’s villa. See also Documents 164 and 166168.
  2. A U.S. Air Force RB–47 reconnaissance bomber was shot down by the Soviet Union over the Barents Sea on July 1. Four American servicemen were killed and the survivors were taken into custody by the Soviets. See Part 1, Documents 157165.