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

3039. During private conversation among Dobrynin, Smirnovsky, DCM and me at Spaso yesterday evening, both Dobrynin and Smirnovsky pressed importance of substantive forward movement in conversations starting July 28 with Secretary. Questioned as to relation these talks with Sino-Soviet discussions starting July 5 both claimed latter would have no effect on US-Soviet talks which should be considered independently, with emphasis on necessity progress in US-Soviet dialogue. Both made effort play down influence Sino-Soviet discussions on US-Soviet relations, emphasizing fact Secretaryʼs visit would take place later. Otherwise refused to be drawn out on Moscow-Peiping conflict.

Dobrynin pressed for Secretary to have concrete proposals of some kind (without specifying subject) for his conversations with “highest” Soviet officials. While declining to indicate Soviet preparedness make similar positive suggestions, he emphasized that Secretaryʼs visit could not be considered sheer formality. Practical results would have to be expected and mere repetition shop-worn positions could actually result in set-back our relations.

Dobrynin was not sure as to relationship proposed nuclear discussions and Secretaryʼs visit, but accepted these might be considered preparatory. He pressed as to identity high-level representatives and I said no information beyond that conveyed orally to Khrushchev on occasion delivery Presidentʼs original letter. When he suggested might be Foster, I agreed this possibility.

Dobrynin failed to react to mention of Berlin. As regards nuclear test ban, he reiterated well-established line (including having reviewed with Kuznetsov at New York latterʼs cable re US agreement to two or three inspections) of Soviet disappointment (even, perhaps, dismay, when Soviet offer, which had been based on conviction it would be sufficient to finalize matter, was not accepted. Dobrynin and Smirnovsky both played on theme that this had been serious set-back for those in government who advocate desirability and possibility of finding areas of agreement with the United States).

As regards specifics Secretaryʼs visit, Dobrynin indicated they expected initiative from us as to timing and method announcement. He understood Secretary preferred about three days, including one day at [Page 703] Leningrad. Dobrynin noted that whereabouts Khrushchev might affect this schedule—if he in south an additional day or so might be desirable. (In conversation with DCM, Smirnovsky stated that there would be no difficulty about communications in event Khrushchev talks took place outside Moscow since twice daily courier plane would probably be arranged.)

Earlier conversation was devoted (by Dobrynin) largely to subject District of Columbia permission Soviet Embassy proceed with building plans—with heavy emphasis on reciprocity and Soviet Governmentʼs preparedness proceed with our large building project if their Washington deal approved.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL US-USSR. Top Secret; Priority; Eyes Only.