328. Editorial Note

On June 10, 1963, President Kennedy delivered a speech on world peace at American University in Washington. He called for a reexamination of the U.S. attitude toward the Soviet Union, the cold war, and toward peace itself and for a recognition that total war made no sense in the nuclear age. He asserted that “both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race.” We should “not be blind to our differences—but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.” He announced that “high level discussions will begin shortly in Moscow looking toward early agreement on a comprehensive test ban treaty”; and “to make clear our good faith and solemn convictions on the matter,” he declared that “the United States does not propose to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so. We will not be the first to resume.” For text, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, pages 459-464.

In a meeting in Moscow on July 26—the day after the limited test ban treaty had been initialed—Chairman Khrushchev told Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Harriman that the Presidentʼs “June 10 speech was best statement made by any President since Roosevelt.” Khrushchev expressed the hope that the “President would consolidate his position on basis that speech. Positions expounded in that speech [Page 704] were good and strong but should be made even stronger; those positions promised yield good dividends both for President personally and for US in general.” For text of telegram 365 from Moscow, July 27, in which Harriman reported on the conversation, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, volume VII, pages 856863.