66. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Secretary of State0

2714. Eyes only Secretary. Much hope that President will maintain plan for meeting NSK. Recognize there will be problem domestic public opinion but believe meeting could be divorced from recent events by revealing date of original proposal. Moreover on questions of Congo, Laos and Cuba President has made clear his firm stance in face of Soviet actions. Believe meeting would be useful for following among other reasons:

On short range, prospect of meeting will cause more reasonable approach by Soviets on such matters as Laos, testing, and disarmament;
On long range, Soviets will be taking major decisions at Party Congress for which preparations now in progress and it is to our interest to influence these decisions;
Mere fact of meeting will exacerbate Soviet-Chinese relations;
Believe Soviets correct in stating that recent events make meeting even more necessary;
Consider on balance meeting would strengthen position of US before world opinion and put US in better position to take strong stand on Berlin and other questions;
Despite recent sharp exchanges and Soviet actions do not believe there has been any major change in Soviet policy or Khrushchevʼs intentions. While it has always been clear that Soviets seek communization of world Khrushchev continues advocate peaceful means. Essential point of exercise would be to further Presidentʼs policy of recognizing basic conflict of interest between us but endeavoring to avoid or minimize confrontation of two great powers in military sense. In this connection at risk being considered apologist suggest we should keep in mind that in recent trouble spots; Iraq, Congo, Cuba and so far as I am informed Laos, Soviets did not initiate crisis but followed their usual policy of taking advantage of opportunities.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/5-461. Secret; Priority.