20. Memorandum of Conversation Between Secretary of State Herter and the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Gray)0


  • Voice of America

I talked to Gordon Gray last night and to George Allen this morning with respect to the subject matter of the attached memorandum from Gordon Gray.1 The issue that this paper poses is entirely different from the issue raised in the Zhukov-Allen talks,2 in which Zhukov suggested the possibility of unjamming the Voice of America in return for our closing down certain black radio stations. [1 line of source text not declassified]

The question posed in Mr. Khrushchev’s remarks to the President related to the unjamming of VOA provided the programs carried by VOA carried no criticism of the Soviet Government or material tending to undermine the government or separate it from the Soviet people. On this latter question George Allen tells me that he is making a very careful study of his programs now, but that some difficult policy matters are arising which will have to be isolated carefully and then presented to the President. In the meanwhile George Allen has asked the VOA to watch its programs carefully with a view to eliminating as much provocative material as possible.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 511.614/10–359. Secret.
  2. Dated October 2, not printed. In it Gray said that President Eisenhower had asked him on September 30 to inform Herter and Allen that at the Camp David talks Khrushchev “had indicated that the Soviet Union would not jam what he referred to as legitimate broadcasts of the Voice of America. Mr. Khrushchev indicated that the Soviet Union would jam broadcasts which were calculated to defy the Soviet Government to the Soviet people and calculated to derogate the Soviet Government or to divide the Soviet Government and the Soviet people.” The President said that he wished the United States to take some initiative in this regard.
  3. See Document 18.