17. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State0

1784. There would be many advantages in informal meeting between President and Khrushchev before President in position where he could be expected to take definite positions on controversial issues. Principal one would be to enable President to convince Khrushchev of his intention not to seek solutions by force and of his willingness undertake serious negotiations. I believe Soviet policy was for a time influenced by conviction Khrushchev gained from his meeting with Eisenhower that latter man of peace. Probably only specific result such meeting would be agreement upon which issue we would tackle first, which I assume would be atomic testing.

On other hand it would be difficult and perhaps unwise to hold such meeting until President has had at least preliminary contact with our Western allies. Moreover, if Khrushchev came merely to continuation of assembly he would for his own reasons probably feel obliged to take part in discussion of current issues and although he might keep his shoes on, such intervention could scarcely be helpful. Particularly difficult would be such questions as Laos and Congo. I suspect Khrushchev realizes this and will not take initiative although position might be different if there were special session on disarmament alone.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/1-2861. Secret; Limit Distribution.